Lefthander George Sherrill, who saved 51 games in two seasons with Baltimore before struggling last season with the Dodgers, has finalized a $1.2 million, one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.
The 33-year-old joins Scott Linebrink, acquired from the White Sox, as new veterans in the bullpen. Closer Billy Wagner retired and Takashi Saito was not re-signed. Sherrill was 2-2 with a 6.69 ERA with the Dodgers last season. He held lefthanders to a .192 batting average.
In another move in the National League, catcher Wil Nieves has agreed to a $775,000, one-year contract with the Brewers. The 33-year-old hit .203 with three homers and 16 RBIs last season for the Nationals.
Junior circuit business. The Angels and reliever Scott Downs have agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal. Downs, one of the top middle relievers on the free-agent market, went 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA in 67 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last season. . . . The Orioles have reached agreement on a $1.5 million, one-year contract with shortstop Cesar Izturis. A former Gold Glove winner, Izturis made only nine errors in 2010 and had a fielding percentage of .985.
Santo mourned. Former Cubs player and beloved broadcaster Ron Santo was eulogized in Chicago as friends and colleagues praised his optimism in the face of health problems and the never-ending failures of his favorite team.
Msgr. Don Mayall told mourners that Santo embodied joy, hope, and courage. He suggested most Cubs fans would remember Santo's joy, from clicking his heels after wins at Wrigley Field to his unabashed rooting during radio broadcasts.