Doug Fister dealt to Nats, Jim Johnson to A’s

On a night usually dominated by news of players let loose, the

Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics filled pitching needs

with trades.

Washington obtained right-hander Doug Fister from Detroit for

infielder Steve Lombardozzi and left-handers Robbie Ray and Ian

Krol on Monday. Oakland acquired closer Jim Johnson from Baltimore

for infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named.

Fister was 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA last season for the AL Central

champions, who last month traded slugging first baseman Prince

Fielder to Texas for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

”It gives us some flexibility for some other things we want to

do,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said, insisting the

trade wasn’t made to free money for a long-term deal for AL Cy

Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who can leave after next

season.

Fister joins a talented Nationals rotation that already includes

Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez.

Oakland, which also closed in on a $22 million, two-year

contract with left-hander Scott Kazmir, is revamping after losing

to the Tigers in the AL division series.

The 30-year-old Johnson led the majors with 51 saves in 2012 and

tied for the big league lead last season with 50. The two-time AL

West champion A’s found their closer to replace All-Star Grant

Balfour, who became a free agent after the season and is expected

to command a multiyear deal.

Meanwhile, 43 players became free agents at midnight EST when

their teams failed to offer 2014 contracts, a group that included

2009 NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan (Miami) and St. Louis

reliever John Axford.

Clubs often use the so-called tender deadline as leverage to

force agreements with players they won’t go to arbitration with.

Among the players let loose were Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia,

Boston right-hander Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Kalish, Mets

right-hander Jeremy Hefner, Yankees infielder Jayson Nix, Tampa Bay

outfielder Sam Fuld and Kansas City infielder Chris Getz.

The Los Angeles Angels gained nearly $10 million of payroll

flexibility, declining to offer contracts to pitchers Tommy Hanson,

Jerome Williams and Juan Gutierrez along with third baseman Chris

Nelson.

With an excess of catching after reaching an agreement to sign

Brian McCann, the New York Yankees traded Chris Stewart to

Pittsburgh for a player to be named, and Stewart agreed to a $1

million, one-year deal with the Pirates. The Yankees also finalized

a $5 million, two-year contract with shortstop Brendan Ryan, who

became their starter in September when Derek Jeter went back on the

disabled list.

Kazmir’s deal with Oakland is pending a physical, a person said,

speaking of anonymity because the team hadn’t finalized the

contract. The 29-year-old left-hander went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA in

29 starts and 158 innings last season for Cleveland and becomes

part of a rotation that includes Sonny Gray and A.J. Griffin. The

Athletics probably won’t pursue a new deal for 40-year-old Bartolo

Colon, an 18-game winner.

Utilityman Willie Bloomquist agreed to return to Seattle pending

a physical expected to take place later this week, a baseball

official with knowledge of the deal said, also speaking on

condition of anonymity because the agreement wasn’t final.

Bloomquist spent his first seven big league seasons with Seattle

and the past three with Arizona. He hit .317 for the Diamondbacks

this year but had just 139 at-bats.

Catcher Dioner Navarro agreed to an $8 million, two-year

contract with Toronto that pays $3 million next year and $5 million

in 2015. The 29-year-old batted .300 with a career-high 13 homers

and 34 RBIs in 89 games for the Chicago Cubs last season. An

All-Star in 2008, he has not played more than 89 games in a season

since 2009 because of injuries.

Another catcher, Jose Molina, agreed to a $4.5 million, two-year

contract to remain with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Thirteen players eligible for arbitration agreed to one-year

deals: San Diego left-hander Eric Stults ($2.75 million) and

right-hander Tim Stauffer ($1.6 million); Baltimore outfielders

Nolan Reimold ($1,025,000) and Steve Pearce ($850,000); Atlanta

left-hander Jonny Venters ($1,625,000) and infielder Ramiro Pena

($700,000); Washington right-hander Ross Ohlendorf ($1.25 million);

Detroit outfielder Don Kelly ($1 million); Chicago White Sox

catcher Tyler Flowers ($950,000); Philadelphia first baseman Kevin

Frandsen ($900,000); Oakland right-hander Fernando Rodriguez

($600,000); and Cleveland right-handers Frank Herrmann and Blake

Wood ($560,000 each);

In agreements announced Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers reached

deals with outfielder Mike Baxter and catcher Drew Butera ($700,000

each) and left-hander Scott Elbert ($575,000).

AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and AP Sports Writers Tim

Booth and Larry Lage contributed to this report.