The Yankees have finalized their minor-league contract with righthander Mark Prior, who is trying to make it back to the major leagues for the first time since 2006.
Still trying to come back from shoulder surgery, Prior spent most of 2010 with an independent minor-league team. He could be reunited with former Chicago Cubs teammate Kerry Wood, who was New York's setup man late in the season and then became a free agent.
New York also agreed to minor-league contracts with right-handers Brian Anderson and Buddy Carlyle; lefthanders Neal Cotts and Andy Sicco; infielder Doug Bernier; and catcher Gustavo Molina.
Choate, Marlins agree. Reliever Randy Choate has agreed to a $2.5 million, two-year contract with the Florida Marlins. Choate appeared in 85 games in 2010, the most in the American League since 2004 and the most by a lefthander in the AL since 1998. He went 4-3 with a 4.23 ERA for Tampa Bay and held lefthanded hitters to a .202 average, fourth-best in the AL. Choate will receive $1 million in 2011 and $1.5 million in 2012. He can earn an additional $150,000 annually in performance bonuses, with $50,000 each for 60, 70, and 80 games.
Dodgers, Guerrier close. The Los Angeles Dodgers are close to signing reliever Matt Guerrier. A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed Wednesday that Guerrier will sign a three-year contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Guerrier must still take a physical on Thursday, when the Dodgers could announce the deal. The 32-year-old right-hander has spent his entire career with the Minnesota Twins. He had a 3.17 ERA in 74 games last season. Guerrier was even better in 2009, with a 2.36 ERA in 79 games, which led the American League.
A's, Harden agree. Righthander Rich Harden has agreed to terms on a one-year contract to rejoin the Oakland Athletics. A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed Wednesday that Harden was coming back to the A's. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Harden must take a physical - and he has had his share of injury problems - before a formal announcement is made. The A's may announce the deal by the end of the week. Harden went 5-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 20 appearances and 18 starts last season for the AL champion Texas Rangers.
Minimum salary rises. The lowest-paid players in the major leagues are getting a raise. The minimum salary is rising by $14,000 to $414,000, the commissioner's office said Wednesday. The minimum minor-league salary for players on 40-man rosters for at least the second year or with at least one day of major-league service will increase from $65,000 to $67,300.