For Randy Wolf, the chance to play for the hometown team was simply too good to pass up.
Wolf signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team he grew up rooting for. The deal includes a vesting option for a second season based on innings pitched.
"I could have gone to the highest bidder. But to me, [that] isn't the important thing. It's [about] going to a place I have always dreamed of playing," Wolf told the Los Angeles Daily News. "I think every kid who grows up in his hometown and loves baseball grows up dreaming of playing for that team. I don't know how many times I will have that opportunity, so this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Elbow surgery in 2005 limited Wolf to just 25 starts and 136 2/3 innings over the past two seasons. He'll need to pitch 180 innings in 2007 for the second year of his contract to become guaranteed.
"I actually felt 100 percent as far as strength," Wolf said. "My velocity got back to a point it probably hadn't been at in four or five years. The only frustrating thing was my command wasn't exactly where I wanted it. I found myself getting ahead in counts and trying to finish off a hitter with maybe a slider, and it would be a ball. ... But I was fortunate to have several teammates who had been through that. It was good to have guys telling me to be patient, that [the command] was going to come, and not to beat myself up over it."
The Dodgers examined Wolf thoroughly and are convinced he's healthy.
"His arm is strong from all we can tell," general manager Ned Colletti said. "That's the first half of it. The second half is who he is and what he is about. We're thrilled to have somebody with his makeup and his character want to be part of this organization."
Wolf was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 25th round of the 1994 draft, but he instead elected to go to college at Pepperdine. He became a second-round pick of the Phillies and posted a 69-60 record over eight seasons in Philadelphia.
Braves have Glavine on the radar: The Braves are interested in bringing back former star pitcher Tom Glavine, who became a free agent when the Mets declined their option on the lefty. Still, Atlanta has yet to make a formal contract offer.
"There's been a few very pleasant conversations with the Braves, who have expressed interest in having Tommy back," agent Gregg Clifton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "but as of now, no formal discussions about any terms that the Braves would be willing to offer Tom for him to return."
Glavine has said he will either return to the Braves or re-sign with the Mets. Atlanta may be trying to clear payroll space before offering him a contract or it may be waiting for the passing of the Dec. 1 deadline for teams to offer former players salary arbitration in an attempt to avoid losing the two draft picks it would cost to sign Glavine, a Type A free agent. The Mets may not offer arbitration because Glavine would most likely earn more money in that scenario than he would have had they picked up his 2007 option.
The 40-year-old Glavine went 15-7 with a 3.82 ERA for the National League East champion Mets in 2006.
Sought-after Dellucci lands in Cleveland: Pursued by multiple teams, outfielder David Dellucci has chosen to sign a three-year contract with the Cleveland Indians.
"At least 12 teams called us on David," his agent, Joe Longo, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Cleveland seemed like the right fit. They were the most aggressive and said the everyday job [in left field] is his."
Last season with the Phillies, Dellucci batted .292 with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs in part-time duty.
Longo says that Dellucci is excited about the prospect of playing for the Indians.
"David is going to come to Cleveland full tilt," he said. "He's excited to have a role, and he has a lot to prove."
Suppan has fond memories of his time in Pittsburgh: Among the teams pursuing free-agent pitcher Jeff Suppan is one of his former employers, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"There are a lot of teams reaching out, a tremendous amount of interest in Jeff," Suppan's agent, Scott Leventhal, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "And Pittsburgh is one of those teams."
Despite having had a great deal of success with St. Louis over the past three seasons -- a span in which he won more games (44) than any other current free agent -- Suppan still has fond memories of his time with the Pirates.
"Jeff's stint in Pittsburgh is one of the things we've discussed," Leventhal said. "He very much enjoyed his time there."
Kennedy returns to his roots: Adam Kennedy's career has come full circle.
He's returning to the team that originally signed him and rejoining a double-play partner with whom he's already won a World Series.
Kennedy signed a three-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, who signed him at the beginning of his career.
Kennedy, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2002 ALCS with Anaheim, will be reunited with Eckstein and Scott Spiezio, all of whom were part of the World Series champion Angels squad.
"It should be a good partnership for a number of years," general manager Walt Jocketty told the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Kennedy has twice batted .300 in his seven-year big-league career.
Davis hopes for long stay in Arizona: Doug Davis, the newest Arizona pitcher after being acquired from Milwaukee, will be eligible for free agency after the 2007 season. However, Davis, who lives in the Phoenix area, has already stated he would like to be a Diamondback for more than one season.
"Doug is definitely interested in being in Arizona," agent Steve Canter told the Arizona Republic. "He definitely would like to be with the D-Backs for a long time, and I think they're very interested, too."
Mussina-Yankees a good marriage: The New York Yankees formally announced the two-year deal they reached with Mike Mussina. General manager Brian Cashman said re-signing the right-handed pitcher was an easy decision for the team.
"I know Mike Mussina, my manager knows him, the coaching staff knows him," Cashman told the New York Daily News. "We know how he prepares, we know the commitment he has to put himself in a position to be successful."
Mussina went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA last season. Now 38, he said this contract could be the final one of his career.
"I haven't really thought about it, I just want to play out these two years and see how things are," Mussina said. "We'll have to see how I feel, what the situation is. If the situation is not right, this may be it."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.