- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks neared agreement Tuesday on a three-team trade that would send All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson from Detroit to New York, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

The World Series champion Yankees would trade right-hander Ian Kennedy to Arizona, and lefty reliever Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson to Detroit, the person said on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final.

Detroit would ship All-Star pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks, and Arizona would send touted young pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth to the Tigers.

The teams were still working on technical aspects of the trade, the person said, including checking medical records.

The speedy Granderson would displace Melky Cabrera as center fielder on the Yankees. Cabrera, a 25-year-old switch-hitter, batted .274 last season with 13 homers, 68 RBI and 10 steals. He could shift to left, depending on whether New York re-signs Johnny Damon or designated hitter Hideki Matsui.

WHITE SOX: Third baseman Mark Teahen agreed to a three-year, $14 million deal with Chicago and avoided arbitration.

Acquired from Kansas City on Nov. 6, Teahen will earn $3.75 million next year, $4.75 million in 2011 and $5.5 million in 2012. He had been eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.

“It’s nice to have the contract kind of worked out and not have to worry about the arbitration process, which can be strenuous,” Teahen said.

“They see me as part of the future. It’s nice to have it all wrapped up and I can focus on baseball, and I’m looking forward to having the comfort of playing with a guaranteed contract as well.”

GAMMONS: Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN after 20 years to become an analyst for MLB Network.

Gammons will offer commentary for breaking news and big events such as the postseason, winter meetings and the trade deadline. He will appear on the network’s news shows as well as develop short documentary-style pieces. He also will write regularly for MLB.com, becoming part of its new columnist Web site.

“To be involved with people whose network is devoted to baseball, and baseball only, is something I look forward to with excitement,” Gammons said.

Gammons joins Bob Costas as a major presence at MLB Network. In addition, Gammons will become an analyst and reporter for NESN, the regional sports network in New England.

MARINERS: Chone Figgins is moving to Seattle - and perhaps a new position.

The former Los Angeles Angels spark plug finalized his four-year, $36 million contract with Seattle, a deal that includes a vesting option for 2014 that could make it worth $45 million over five years.

Figgins, however, might not necessarily replace free agent slugger Adrian Beltre at third base.

“He’s open to playing anywhere in the infield,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said.

The 31-year-old Figgins was primarily a third baseman in each of his last three seasons with the Angels. But he has played 113 major league games at second base and 27 at shortstop.

BRAVES: Atlanta’s surplus of closers forced the team to part ways with outfielder Ryan Church.

Church was designated for assignment by the Braves to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for reliever Rafael Soriano, who made a surprise decision to decline salary arbitration.

The Braves last week signed closer Billy Wagner and setup man Takashi Saito. The expectation was Soriano and Mike Gonzalez would decline salary arbitration offers and become free agents.

Instead, Soriano is still with the Braves. The right-hander accepted arbitration late Monday and can’t be traded before June 16 without his consent.

The team added about $10 million in payroll with Wagner and Saito, and Soriano could earn more than $7 million.

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