The Boston Red Sox acquired closer Mark Melancon from the Houston Astros Wednesday for infielder Jed Lowrie and righthander Kyle Weiland. In a separate deal, the Red Sox signed Nick Punto to a two-year deal.

The Red Sox now have a potential replacement for closer Jonathan Papelbon, who signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies. Melancon is a 26-year-old righthander who had 20 saves last season with an 8-4 record and 2.78 ERA in 71 relief outings.

Lowrie, 27, played all four infield positions for Boston last season and hit .252 with six homers and 36 RBIs. Weiland, 25, was 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA in seven games, including five starts, last season for Boston. Punto got a $3-million deal.

Brewers sign Aramis Ramirez

Milwaukee finalized a three-year, $36-million contract with free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, adding a much-needed bat to their lineup.

The Diamondbacks have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.75-million contract with 41-year-old righthander Takashi Saito.

Berra, Mullin getting awards

Yogi Berra will be among the honorees at the 32nd Thurman Munson awards dinner.

He'll be joined by Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey and former NBA and St. John's star Chris Mullin, who will receive awards for their athletic success and philanthropic work at the dinner on Jan. 31 in Manhattan.

Berra, 86, will receive the Munson Legend Award to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World Champions.

The gala, which remembers the late Yankees catcher and captain, benefits AHRC-New York City Foundation. Diana Munson, Thurman's widow, has helped raise nearly $10 million to assist children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. -- AP Piniella coming aboard?

YES has had discussions with former Yankees player, manager and television analyst Lou Piniella about joining the network as an analyst for 2012, a network spokesman confirmed. But he stressed there is no deal yet.

More MLB news

Newsday LogoDON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access