NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Reliever Koji Uehara has reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, pending a physical.
The 37-year-old right-hander spent the last two seasons with Texas, and Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said Thursday that he had tried to re-sign him before Uehara decided to accept Boston’s offer.
“We would have liked to have him back,” Daniels said. “We made an offer early in the process.”
Uehara had a 1.75 ERA in 37 relief appearances this year, holding batters to a .160 average.
• The Houston Astros took hard-throwing reliever Josh Fields from the Boston system, with the overall first pick in the draft of players left off 40-man rosters.
The 27-year-old Fields was a combined 4-3 with 12 saves and a 2.01 ERA for Triple-A Pawtucket and the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. The right-hander struck out 78 and walked 18 in 581/3 innings.
There were 15 players picked in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. Teams pay $50,000 to select them and must keep them on the big league roster throughout 2013 or offer them back to the original club for $25,000.
The Red Sox selected second baseman Jeff Kobernus with the seventh pick in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, but then shipped the former Nationals prospect to the Tigers for outfielder Justin Henry.
Last year at Triple-A Toledo, Henry, 27, hit .300 with 22 stolen bases.
The Red Sox also lost right-handed pitcher Ryan Pressly to the Twins. Pressly was 7-5 with a 5.38 ERA in 2012, splitting the year between Class A Salem and the Portland Sea Dogs.
YANKEES: Kevin Youkilis in pinstripes? That one-time improbability became possible on the final day of the winter meetings, when New York offered the former Red Sox third baseman a one-year, $12-million contract, according to a person familiar with the situation.
MLB.com first reported the offer. Youkilis, 33, also is being pursued by the Indians, managed by Terry Francona, his former Red Sox manager.
Even if Youkilis signs with the Yankees, they will look for additional help at the position, preferably a lefthanded hitter.
TWINS: Minnesota agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Jared Burton on a two-year, $5.5 million contract.
Burton, 31, had five saves and a 2.18 ERA in 62 innings with 16 walks and 55 strikeouts in 2012.
DIAMONDBACKS: Arizona completed one-year contracts with free agent Eric Hinske and catcher Wil Nieves.
A veteran of 11 major league seasons, Hinske, 35, spent the last three years with the Atlanta Braves. He hit .197 with two homers and 13 RBI in 132 at-bats this year.
Nieves, also 35, wasn’t tendered a contract by Arizona last week. He batted .306 with a home run and three RBI in 16 games for Arizona in 2012.
PHILLIES: Philadelphia filled its biggest need right before the winter meetings ended, acquiring center fielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May.
Revere, 24, is expected to be Philadelphia’s answer in center. He batted .294 with 40 stolen bases in 124 games last season.
BRAVES: Reed Johnson, 36, the top pinch hitter in the National League last season, rejoined Atlanta with a one-year contract that includes a club option for 2014.
Atlanta acquired Johnson and pitcher Paul Maholm from the Chicago Cubs on July 30. Johnson hit a combined .290 with three home runs and 20 RBI last season. He batted .419 (18 for 43) as a pinch hitter.
CUBS: Outfielder Nate Schierholtz and the Chicago Cubs are closing in on a one-year, $2.25 million contract, according to reports by several media outlets.
Schierholtz was traded from San Francisco to Philadelphia last season in the deal that sent Hunter Pence to the Giants at the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
METS: New York vacated the winter meetings after spending the last four days drumming up trade offers for R.A. Dickey.
According to sources, the Mets even approached the crosstown Yankees earlier this week about trading for the reigning Cy Young Award winner, an indication of just how wide a net the Mets have cast in their efforts to flip Dickey for an impact player.
Rumors have swirled about a trade involving Rays righthander James Shields, and top free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke remains in the marketplace.