The San Francisco Giants made their pitch early for left-handed pitching help, and that helped them land Bud Black. A four-year contract for a reported $10 million helped, too.

"To be honest, I was expecting a timetable closer to Dec. 1. I resigned myself it might take six to eight weeks," admitted Black, whose signing on Friday came just four days after major league baseball teams were allowed to start negotiations with free agents.Black started last season with Cleveland and ended it with Toronto's Blue Jays, posting cumulative statistics including a 13-11 record and 3.57 ERA. The Blue Jays wanted him back for 1991.

Black will be pitching in the National League for the first time next year. His career record with four American League teams is 83-82.