Braves turn to Glaus to fill two needs

ATLANTA - The power-hungry Atlanta Braves are hoping longtime third baseman Troy Glaus can fill the team's void at first base.

The Braves have reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract with Troy Glaus, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is not final.

The agreement is pending a physical planned for the first week of January.

Glaus has played third base most of his career, but the Braves probably would use the 33-year-old at first base in place of Adam LaRoche, who became a free agent.

"We think he's 100 percent healthy," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "I have talked to him and told him we would love to have him here."

Glaus played in two games at first base for St. Louis this past season after missing most of the year while recovering from shoulder surgery. He hit .172 in 14 games.

If healthy, Glaus could give the Braves much-needed power behind Chipper Jones and Brian McCann. The Braves ranked 22nd in the major leagues with 149 homers last season.

Glaus hit 27 homers with 99 RBIs for St. Louis in 2008 and had 30 or more homers in five of seven seasons from 2000-06 with the Angels, Arizona and Toronto. He has 304 career homers.

"He's been a power guy every year except when he got hurt," Cox said. "He's still a young guy, and he's always been athletic. He can learn to play first in a heartbeat, and I know he has played there some already."

Umpires, MLB reach deal. Major League Baseball ensured its first decade of labor peace since the 1960s by agreeing to a five-year contract with umpires that runs through 2014.

The deal, which is subject to ratification next month, was the second straight achieved without acrimony since a failed mass resignation in 1999 led to 22 umpires losing their jobs.

Signings. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that reliever Fernando Rodney has reached a preliminary agreement with the Angels on a two-year deal worth $11 million. ... The Athletics have finalized a $5.25 million, one-year contract with free agent outfielder Coco Crisp. ... Nick Johnson returned to the Yankees, finalizing a $5.75 million, one-year contract. ... Outfielder Brian Anderson and the Royals have agreed to a $700,000, one-year contract.

Blue Jays, Mariners finalize trade. Citing the need for more experience in their bullpen, the Seattle Mariners finalized their trade of former No. 1 draft choice Brandon Morrow to the Toronto Blue Jays for veteran reliever Brandon League and minor league outfielder Johermyn Chavez.