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Tigers Withdraw Gonzalez Offer

February 14, 2000

DETROIT (AP) _ The Detroit Tigers have withdrawn an eight-year, $140 million contract offer to outfielder Juan Gonzalez, general manager Randy Smith said Sunday.

``Neither side was comfortable with the deal that was out there,″ Smith told WKBD-TV.

Smith, speaking from Florida, said the Tigers were still interested in signing the slugger to a long-term deal. Detroit got the two-time AL MVP from Texas in a nine-player trade in November.

Gonzalez’s contract would have been the richest total package in baseball history. Ken Griffey Jr.’s $116.5 million, nine-year contract currently holds that distinction.

Griffey got far less than his market value to join his hometown Cincinnati Reds. He agreed to a lower amount in order to clinch the trade that moved him from Seattle on Thursday.

Tigers spokesman Tyler Barnes said the team would not comment on any contract situation involving Gonzalez. Smith did not immediately return telephone messages left at his home and on his cellular phone.

Gonzalez has a .295 batting average and 340 home runs after 11 seasons in the major leagues, all with Texas.

Gonzalez has reached 100 RBIs in all but four of his 11 seasons. Last year, he hit .326 with 39 homers and 128 RBIs.

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