Jose Valentin signed a one-year deal with the Brewers that likely includes a pay cut for the slumping shortstop.
Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Brewers General Manager Dean Taylor announced yesterday that the club's option on Valentin for the 2000 season had been restructured. Valentin, who turned 30 on Thursday, had an injury-plagued 1999 season and played in just 89 games.
Valentin's offensive numbers have steadily declined since 1996, when he batted .259 with 24 homers and 95 RBI, all career highs. He has spent his entire eight-year career with Milwaukee. Last season he hit .227 and drove in 38 runs.
* CARDINALS MOVES: The Cardinals signed RHP Mike James and OF Steve Bieser to minor league contracts and rehired a former general manager as a scout. Bing Devine, who was general manager from 1958 to '64 and 1968 to '78, rejoined the team as special assignment scout. Devine was responsible for the Cardinals acquiring Lou Brock in a 1964 trade with the Cubs.
* GRAND OPENING: The Astros will open Enron Field with a pair of exhibition games against the Yankees on March 30 and 31. Houston is moving into its new 42,000-seat retractable-roof stadium after playing the past 35 years at the Astrodome. The Astros and Yankees opened the Astrodome with an exhibition game on April 9, 1965. Mickey Mantle accounted for the lone New York run with the stadium's first home run as Houston won in 12 innings, 2-1.