Originally created 12/16/05

Twins agree to deal with Batista



MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins agreed to a one-year contract Thursday with two-time All-Star third baseman Tony Batista, filling another need in their lineup.

Batista played last season in Japan, batting.263 in 559 at-bats with 27 homers and 90 RBIs for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in the Pacific League. The 32-year-old Batista has eight-plus years of major league experience, last playing with Montreal in 2004.

He has a career average of.251 with 214 homers, also playing for Oakland, Arizona, Toronto and Baltimore. Batista's best season came in 2000, when he hit.263 with 41 homers, 114 RBIs and 96 runs in 620 at-bats for the Blue Jays.

Also, the Twins agreed to terms with catcher Shawn Wooten on a minor league deal. Wooten also has experience as a first baseman, third baseman and designated hitter, spending three-plus seasons in the majors with the Angels, Phillies and Red Sox while compiling a.272 career average in 669 at-bats.

He played one game for Boston last year and for Triple-A Pawtucket batted.267 with 20 doubles, 17 homers and 60 RBIs in 427 at-bats.

If added to the 40-man roster, Wooten would get a contract paying him at an annual rate of $450,000 in the major leagues.