NEW YORK (AP) -On a deadline day that has lost much of its importance, major league teams had to decide by midnight Saturday whether to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents.
Before last year, the deadline day was Dec. 7 and players not offered arbitration couldn't re-sign with their former teams until May 1. But under baseball's new labor contract, agreed to during last year's World Series, free agents can return to their former teams at any time.
The Yankees offered arbitration to pitchers Andy Pettitte and Luis Vizcaino. They also offered it to third baseman Alex Rodriguez and closer Mariano Rivera, who have agreed to contracts but have not finalized their deals. New York didn't offer arbitration to Roger Clemens, who may retire.
Boston made arbitration offers to relievers Eric Gagne and Mike Timlin. San Diego made offers to outfielder Mike Cameron and catcher Michael Barrett but declined to offer arbitration to outfielder Milton Bradley. Houston offered arbitration to infielder Mark Loretta and left-hander Trever Miller.
On Friday, the Atlanta Braves offered arbitration to reliever Ron Mahay and didn't offer it to outfielder Andruw Jones.
By not offering arbitration, a club loses the right to receive amateur draft picks if it loses a highly ranked player to another team. Free agents offered arbitration have until Dec. 7 to accept.
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