Mets give Mazzilli a mike

Ex-O's manager hired as studio analyst

Tigers, Mesa agree on deal



December 12, 2006

Lee Mazzilli, replaced as a bench coach for the New York Yankees, will move across town to become the lead studio analyst for the New York Mets on SportsNet New York.

Mazzilli, whose contract wasn't renewed by the Yankees, will join pre- and post-game studio host Matt Yallof for 85 of the 125 games on the Mets' network. The SportsNet New York broadcast team includes former Mets teammates Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling and lead booth announcer Gary Cohen.

The Brooklyn native played outfield and first base for the Mets from 1976 to 1981 and returned in 1986 to play for the World Series championship team. He retired in 1989 after 14 seasons in the major leagues.

"It's a great opportunity for me. The Mets have been a huge part of my life," Mazzilli said. "It's a great challenge and a chance to cover one of the most exciting teams in baseball."

Mazzilli, 51, spent one year as the bench coach before being replaced by Don Mattingly last month. He was fired during his second season as manager of the Orioles, and was the Yankees' first base and outfield coach from 2000 to 2003.

Tigers -- The team agreed to terms on a one-year contract with former Orioles reliever Jose Mesa. The Tigers also announced that the club has agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension with third baseman Brandon Inge. Inge will earn $4.9 million next year, $6.2 million in 2008, $6.3 million in 2009 and $6.6 million in 2010.

Rangers -- Free agent Kenny Lofton reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year deal worth about $6 million. The deal for the center fielder was confirmed by a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was pending a physical on Lofton, 39, a six-time All-Star.

Red Sox -- Scott Boras, the agent for Daisuke Matsuzaka, said lengthy meetings with team executives were planned as the parties try to work out a deal with the Japanese pitcher before a Thursday night deadline. Speaking at his office building some 45 miles south of Los Angeles, Boras wouldn't comment directly on the negotiations, but did say Matsuzaka "is worth well in excess of $100 million."

Angels -- Reliever Darren Oliver and the team agreed to a one-year contract. Oliver appeared in 45 games for the Mets last season, going 4-1 with a 3.44 ERA.

Blue Jays -- The team is leaning toward keeping outfielder Vernon Wells in 2007, even if it is unable to negotiate a long-term deal with him, reported. When asked to give odds on the likelihood of Wells' staying with Toronto in 2007, general manager J.P. Ricciardi declined to make a prediction.

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