O's re-sign Gomez, allowing vagabond to sit still this winter

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Solid year gets utility man a one-year extension

Roberts sits with bruise

Notebook

September 14, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

ARLINGTON, Texas - It's finally safe for Chris Gomez to unpack his suitcase.

The Orioles have re-signed Gomez to a one-year, $850,000 contract, assuring that he'll stay with an organization for consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001 and 2002, when he played with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"There was no urgency. It's just a good thing to know," executive vice president Jim Beattie said. "Going into the offseason, I think it's helpful for him. He's done the job that we hoped he would do. And it helps with your roster planning in the offseason."

"Good man, good professional player," interim manager Sam Perlozzo said. "He plays every infield position and plays them well. He knows how to play the game. It's a good signing."

Gomez's 2005 contract also called for him to make $850,000, and he earned a $50,000 bonus for appearing in 60 games. He needs three more games to earn another $50,000.

Gomez is batting .283 in 75 games after last night. He signed a minor league contract on Dec. 9, was claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies four days later in the Rule 5 draft, and had his contract sold to the Orioles on Dec. 20.

"It's a pleasant surprise to get something done, and I'm very happy to be going into the offseason knowing I'll be back next year," Gomez said.

"It'll be a lot different from the last few years, not knowing where you're going to be, not knowing if you're going to get a deal or whatever."

Since breaking into the majors with the Detroit Tigers in 1993, Gomez has played for the San Diego Padres, Devil Rays, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays. He's been with four teams in the past four years.

"Most places I've been have been pretty similar," he said. "This one is just as good or better than any places I've been. I love playing on the East Coast, I love playing in the AL East. And how can you not love playing at Camden Yards?

"This team's fun to be around. There's obviously a lot of talent here. It would be nice to put it together and make a run next year. We showed signs of that this year."

Gomez has started at every infield position, including once at shortstop when Miguel Tejada, who ran his consecutive-games streak to 900 last night, served as the designated hitter.

"I'll never complain about that," he said. "I'm here to do whatever they want."

Bruised Roberts sits

Second baseman Brian Roberts wasn't in the starting lineup last night after taking a foul ball off the inside of his right ankle during Monday's game.

Roberts, who pinch-hit in the ninth, said he could have played and wasn't asked about the ankle before Perlozzo made out the lineup.

"It's a little of everything," Perlozzo said. "I think he's pressing just a hair right now, his hamstring is a little sore, he fouled a ball off his [ankle]."

Perlozzo also took into account how Roberts has struggled against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Last night's starter, R.A. Dickey, has developed the same pitch.

"I was trying to find a day for him to get out of the lineup, and I felt like this was the day," Perlozzo said.

Beattie, Flanagan wait

Beattie and vice president Mike Flanagan will continue planning for next season without any assurances that they'll return. Their contracts expire in 2005.

"This is the only thing we can do in this situation. We're going ahead like it's business as usual," Beattie said.

"There aren't large decisions to be made right now, but we do things for the benefit of the club."

Beattie said a date hasn't been set for the yearly organizational meetings. "We haven't taken a look at that at this point," he said.

He wouldn't comment on whether any discussions have taken place with majority owner Peter Angelos concerning his contract situation.

Sosa settles lawsuit

Sammy Sosa settled a lawsuit yesterday that alleged he owed more than $22,000 for a law firm's work in resolving tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service, a lawyer said.

Details of the settlement were not released.

"The matter has been satisfactorily resolved and the parties remain on good terms," said Richard Josepher, a partner in the Boca Raton law firm of Tescher, Gutter, Chaves, Josepher, Rubin, Ruffin and Forman that represented Sosa and his charitable foundation.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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