The Diamondbacks hosted shortstop Royce Clayton for a visit Wednesday while also working to sign other free agents. Team officials were cautiously optimistic they could announce a signing as soon as today.
Arizona has offers out to workhorse right-hander Russ Ortiz and power-hitting infielder Troy Glaus, among others.
“We're pushing hard on a number of fronts,” general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. “We're in pretty serious discussions with them.”
Garagiola and John Boggs, the agent for Ortiz, were both in their offices Wednesday evening.
“Negotiations are continuing,” Boggs said. “We've had some very extensive talks.”
Detroit, which has also been interested in Glaus, reportedly is out of the running.
Clayton and agent Rick Licht met with Garagiola, CEO Jeff Moorad and former Diamondback Matt Williams (a teammate of Clayton's on the 1991-95 Giants) and discussed the direction of the franchise.
“Royce was very pleased with having the opportunity to sit down and hear everything straight from Jeff's mouth,” Licht said.
“I found him a very interesting person,” Garagiola said of Clayton. “We talked about his expectations and why they were what they were. He was very compelling.
“We explained our whole situation. We explained why we were where we were on a number of things.”
Arizona could present Clayton another contract offer as soon as today.
Free agent outfielder David Dellucci, a former Diamondback, has yet to choose from four suitors and seems likely to put off a decision until at least next week.
“We're really no closer now than we were a couple of days ago, as far as I'm
concerned,” he said Wednesday.
Arizona, Florida and Texas have offered Dellucci two-year deals; Colorado's proposal is a one-year contract plus a team option for 2006. But none of the offers have been enough to convince Dellucci to sign.
Dellucci took note of the $2.5 million, two-year deal Ricky Ledee — a similar left-handed-hitting outfielder — signed with Los Angeles on Monday.
“That Ricky Ledee deal has changed my mind a lot,” Dellucci said. “Teams are starting to realize they're going to have to pick it up a little bit.”
Former D-Backs closer Matt Mantei agreed to terms with Boston.
He has agreed to a one-year deal that will pay $750,000 with $1 million in incentives based on appearances and another $500,000 in possible incentives. Because Arizona did not offer Mantei arbitration, it will not get draft-pick compensation from Boston. . . .
Dennis Lewallyn, who served as bullpen coach the second half of the 2003 season, and Rick Schu, who was hitting coach this year, are expected to remain in the organization as minor league pitching and hitting coordinator, respectively.