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Stottlemyre, Diamondbacks Make Deal

November 20, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Arizona Diamondbacks landed the first big free agent pitcher of the offseason, agreeing Thursday to a $32 million, four-year contract with Todd Stottlemyre, The Associated Press learned.

Stottlemyre, 33, went 9-9 with a 3.51 ERA in 23 starts for St. Louis before he was traded to Texas on July 31 along with infielder Royce Clayton for pitcher Darren Oliver and third baseman Fernando Tatis. He then went 5-4 with a 4.33 ERA in 10 starts for the Rangers.

While Arizona made no announcement, the agreement was confirmed by Diamondbacks chief executive officer Jerry Colangelo.

``We’ve agreed to agree,″ Colangelo said. ``We have the formality of getting the contract completed.″

Stottlemyre, who made $4.9 million this season, was considered the No. 3 free agent pitcher available. While the sides agreed on the money, they did not agree to all the details of the contract.

``With Kevin Brown and Randy Johnson, Stottlemyre is right behind those two in the free-agent market,″ Colangelo said.

Stottlemyre, a right-hander, has a 123-110 career record and a 4.23 ERA.

``He was in Phoenix a few days ago with his agent,″ Colangelo said. ``I think he liked what he saw. It was a good fit. We think we have the equivalent of another Andy Benes.″

In their initial season, the Diamondbacks went 65-97, finishing last in the NL West, 33 games behind San Diego. Arizona’s rotation for next season also includes Benes, Brian Anderson and Omar Daal.

``You add Stottlemyre to it, that strengthens us considerably,″ Colangelo said.

Arizona also has been involved in negotiations with Johnson and outfielder Bernie Williams. Colangelo said those talks will continue.

``Nothing precludes anything,″ he said. ``We’re still looking at all our options.″

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