Craig Biggio will complete his second decade as the face of the Houston Astros next summer and possibly pass a major milestone in the process.
As expected, the Houston Astros and the second baseman agreed to a one-year contract, allowing Biggio to avoid filing for free agency and return to Houston for a 20th season.
"Obviously, to be here for 20 years and one organization, there's been a lot of loyalty," Biggio told the Houston Chronicle. "It's something that doesn't happen very often anymore, and I take a lot of pride in that."
At the press conference announcing his signing, Biggio's wife Patty and daughter Quinn were on hand as more than one dozen representatives of the Sunshine Kids, a charity Biggio has helped raise more than $2 million over the years.
While happy to be back for another season, Biggio, who needs 70 hits to reach 3,000 for his career, didn't say whether it would be his last in uniform.
"Let's go out and play for a little while and see what happens during the course of the season, and there will be ample time to let everybody know," he said. "My No. 1 goal for this year coming back is to get back in the postseason. We saw what happened with the Cardinals (winning the World Series) and if you get hot at the right time, anything can happen, and that could have been us this year.
"The No. 2 goal is obviously we're close to 3,000. It's a nice thing for myself, but I want it for my family and I want it for the city of Houston, because they deserve to have it. I'm going to do everything humanly possible in order to get that for them."
Biggio is the team's all-time leader in games (2,709), hits (2,930), at-bats (10,359), runs (1,776), doubles (637), extra-base hits (970) and total bases (4,514). He's second in homers (281) and RBIs (1,125).
Hall may find a home in left: Bill Hall spent most of the past season in the infield with the Milwaukee Brewers. But it shouldn't be surprising to see Hall play in the outfield in 2007.
Hall, who was the team's MVP in 2006, played outfield exclusively for the Major League Baseball All-Stars in their five-game series against the Japanese All-Stars. Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin was in Japan during the series and was impressed with what he saw from Hall.
"I asked him afterward if he felt acclimated to the outfield and he said yes," Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I think there's probably a pretty good chance he'll move to the outfield (for the Brewers). I personally think he's better suited to left field."
Edmonds key to Cardinals' success: The St. Louis Cardinals have signed center fielder Jim Edmonds to a new two-year contract that will keep Edmonds in St. Louis through at least 2008.
"Jim is one of the team's leaders on and off the field," general manager Walt Jocketty told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "And it's no coincidence that he has been a big part of creating and maintaining a winning attitude ever since his arrival in 2000."
In 16 postseason games, Edmonds had 10 RBIs for the World Series champion Cardinals, and his performance in October, according to Jocketty "absolutely" came into play when deciding if the team wanted to bring Edmonds back.
"There were some concerns about how long his (post-concussion) condition would persist," Jocketty said. "As we saw, it's a very difficult thing to get a handle on. Fortunately, Jim was able to be a major factor during the postseason. I don't think we win it without him."
Miller will return to Cubs: Wade Miller has signed a new one-year deal to come back to the Chicago Cubs and is expected to compete for a spot in the 2007 rotation.
Miller missed most of the 2006 season due to injury, but the Cubs believe he is the kind of pitcher they want in their rotation.
"We thought it was a good gamble, with his makeup and his winning type of mentality, which speaks for itself," general manager Jim Hendry told the Chicago Tribune. "He could have pitched earlier, but since we were out of it, we didn't force him back."
Reds snatch up Crosby: The Cincinnati Reds wanted to get Bubba Crosby off the free-agent market as quickly as possible.
The Reds have signed outfielder Bubba Crosby to a one-year deal after he spent the last three years with the Yankees.
"We're going to look for him to try to make the team out of Spring Training," said Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky told the Cincinnati Post. "He's got the ability to play all three outfield positions. He's a left-handed batter and really knows how to play."
With multiple teams interested in the services of Crosby, the Reds wanted to get him in the fold as quickly as possible.
"He's a guy that there was a lot of interest in and we're glad to have him," Krivsky said.
Sheffield happy to reunite with Leyland, Dombrowski: Veteran slugger Gary Sheffield, traded last week from the New York Yankees to the Detroit Tigers, has made Tigers manager Jim Leyland one of the happiest men in baseball.
"You talk about adding a bat to your ballclub, and then you add Gary Sheffield," Leyland told the Detroit Free Press. "This is one of the ultimate bats in baseball, and one of the ultimate people. I can't tell you how happy we are."
Leyland and general manager Dave Dombrowski are well-respected baseball men that Sheffield says he's looking forward to working with. In 1997, Sheffield won a World Series ring with the Florida Marlins with Leyland as his manager and Dombrowski as the general manager.
"These two guys, they get things done," said Sheffield. "They're business-minded, smart people. They treat you like men. That's (who) you want to be around."
McCann joins ranks of Braves' slugging catchers: Brian McCann became the third different Braves catcher to win the Silver Slugger Award in four years. He joins Javy Lopez and Johnny Estrada, who won in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
"This is a great honor," McCann told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . "Going into the season, I never expected I would win the Silver Slugger. ... I'm proud of the season I had and the work I put in, but it also seemed as if things just went my way at the plate."
McCann hit .333 with 34 doubles, 24 home runs and 93 RBIs and was selected to the National League All-Star team.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.