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A-Rod, Ramirez Sign With New Teams

December 12, 2000

DALLAS (AP) _ Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were the big winners on baseball’s biggest spending day ever.

Rodriguez got a record-shattering $252 million, 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers on Monday, doubling the previous high is sports history.

``I like to win,″ said Texas owner Tom Hicks, who committed $2 million more to Rodriguez than he did to buy the team and its stadium three years ago. ``I like to build things, whether it’s a corporate acquisition or a chance to win the World Series. These things excite me.″

A few hours later, Ramirez reached a preliminary agreement on a $160 million, eight-year contract with the Red Sox, according to a high-ranking baseball official familiar with the negotiations.

That was all part of a half-billion spending spree by four teams on four players that baseball executive vice president Sandy Alderson said put the game in a ``crisis situation.″

``It’s incredible,″ Alderson said. ``It’s a straight upward trend that doesn’t look like it will augur at all. Every club will be affected by this.″

Los Angeles finalized a $55 million, five-year deal with right-hander Darren Dreifort, and Kevin Appier signed a $42 million, four-year deal with the New York Mets.

Mike Hampton’s $121 million, eight-year contract with Colorado has gone from a record to third place in two days.

``It seems the height of hypocrisy for the Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies and now the Boston Red Sox _ three members of the so-called Blue-Ribbon Commission on Economics, who have been whining about out of control payrolls and who seek to limit their own revenue-sharing exposure _ to ever complain about anything again,″ said New York Yankees president Randy Levine, who signed Mike Mussina to an $88.5 million, six-year deal before the winter meetings.

Ramirez missed out on the richest contract in sports _ topping Kevin Garnett’s $126 million, six-year agreement in October 1997 with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves _ by less than a day.

The 28-year-old outfielder turned down a $136 million, eight-year offer from the Indians, according to a source with knowledge of that team’s offer, also speaking on the condition of anonymity.

His agent, Jeff Moorad, said earlier in the evening that all things being equal, his client would sign with Cleveland.

That was dwarfed by Rodriguez’s deal, which calls for a $10 million signing bonus paid over five years and salaries of $21 million in each of the first four years _ well above the $15.8 million Minnesota paid its entire team this season.

The 25-year-old Rodriguez gets $25 million a year in 2005 and 2006, and $27 million in each of the final four seasons. A total of $36 million is deferred at 3 percent interest, the money to be paid from 2011-2020.

Will anybody top that deal? The man who brokered it, agent Scott Boras, has a candidate.

``The guy who comes to mind for now is the little guy in Boston,″ he said of Pedro Martinez, a bargain at $12.5 million a year. ``There would be great demand.″

In other news:

_ The New York Mets completed their starting rotation, signing Appier and Steve Trachsel, who got a $7 million, two-year deal.

_ Detroit and Houston completed a trade that sent Roger Cedeno, Mitch Meluskey and Chris Holt to the Tigers, and Brad Ausmus, Doug Brocail and Nelson Cruz to the Astros.

_ The Mets traded outfielder Bubba Trammell to San Diego for reliever Donne Wall. They also signed outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo to a $700,000, one-year contract, the second non-pitcher from Japan to join the majors.

_ Jason Bere reached a preliminary deal with the Chicago Cubs on Monday that would pay him $4.5 million for two years.

_ The Anaheim Angels signed right-hander Pat Rapp and outfielder Kimera Bartee one-year contracts.

_ Infielder Jeff Frye signed a $1 million, one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

_ The Chicago Cubs selected right-hander Scott Chiasson from Oakland with the first pick in the major league draft.

_ Reliever Doug Henry signed a two-year contract with Kansas City.

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