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Phoenix likely to hold major league expansion draft

August 5, 1997

PHOENIX (AP) _ Major league baseball officials will likely make Phoenix the site for the expansion draft scheduled for November.

``We are in the process of finalizing plans,″ said Bill Murray, executive director of baseball operations, adding that the selection of Phoenix ``is pretty much down the track.″

The expansion draft, which will allow the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays to choose 35 players each from the existing teams, is set for Nov. 18.

Murray and other baseball officials will make a site inspection in Phoenix to ensure there are enough hotel rooms for league and team officials, according to a story published in The Arizona Republic on Monday.

A number of baseball team officials would already be in the Phoenix area for the general managers meeting Nov. 13-16.

``With most of the baseball people already here, having the draft here makes all the sense in the world,″ said Jerry Colangelo, managing general partner of the Diamondbacks. ``We would be excited to be the host team.″

Under expansion-draft rules, the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays will flip a coin to determine the draft order.

Each existing team is allowed to protect 15 players initially and may protect three more when one of its players is selected. No team can lose more than three players.

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