Because of pitchers like Bartolo Colon, Orel Hershiser was forced to leave Cleveland and find a new home.

Hershiser, who went to spring training with the Indians, but couldn't crack their starting rotation, agreed Thursday with the New York Mets on a $2 million, one-year contract that gives him the chance to earn $500,000 more in performance bonuses.

``I knew the chance to win, and to win in New York _ people say the greatest city in the world _ was an opportunity that I wanted to have,'' Hershiser said from Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Hershiser, also sought by Atlanta, Florida, Philadelphia and the Chicago Cubs, wanted to win 10 more games, to give him 200 for his career. And he wouldn't have had that opportunity pitching out of the bullpen for Cleveland.

The Indians already had five starters, including Colon, whom they signed to a $9.25 million, four-year contract Thursday. Cleveland has an option 2003 that could make the deal worth $15 million over five years.

Colon finished 14-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 1998, leading the team with six complete games and two shutouts while pitching 204 innings. He earned his first All-Star selection after going 9-4 in the first half with a league-best 2.46 ERA.

``As I said before, I don't think there's any team in major league baseball that would not want to have Bartolo Colon in its rotation,'' Indians general manager John Hart said from Winter Haven, Fla.

Colon struggled Thursday night, giving up seven runs and six hits in five innings as Cleveland lost to Kansas City 16-6. Colon walked five and struck out five. He gave up a first-pitch homer to Carlos Beltran, as well as homers to Johnny Damon and Tim Spehr.

Hershiser pitched two shutout innings in his Mets debut Thursday night, as New York beat the Montreal Expos 5-0 behind homers by Craig Paquette and Roger Cedeno.

``I have no idea what their plans are,'' Hershiser said. ``I don't even know who's in their rotation. Today I was on the road for 3 1/2 hours, in two different camps.''

At Lakeland, Fla., the New York Yankees signed Tony Fossas to a minor league contract, giving the World Series champs a second left-handed option in the bullpen.

Fossas, 41, will make $410,000, with a chance for $150,000 in bonuses if he makes the major league roster. He has an agreement that he will be released instead if he does not make the team.

At Sarasota, Fla., the Cincinnati Reds traded backup outfielder Jon Nunnally to the Boston Red Sox and third-string catcher Brook Fordyce to the Chicago White Sox for minor leaguers.

At Phoenix, Olmedo Saenz broke a tie with a two-run triple in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Chicago White Sox 10-8 in a game marred by a stadium accident that left a fan injured.

A 35-year-old man tumbled over a railing trying to catch a promotional T-shirt that had been shot into the stands between innings. He fell about 20 feet, hitting his head. He was treated by paramedics and then taken to the hospital. His condition wasn't immediately available.

Also Thursday, Cal Ripken Sr. died of lung cancer at the age of 63, leaving in doubt whether his son, Cal Jr., would accompany the Orioles on their exhibition game in Cuba on Sunday.

In other games:

Dodgers 8, Astros 5

At Kissimmee, Fla., Raul Mondesi hit two home runs and had three RBIs and Darren Dreifort allowed three runs in five innings for the win.

Twins 2, Devil Rays 1

At Fort Myers, Fla., Marty Cordova, still nursing a shoulder injury, hit his third home run of the spring, and Minnesota won on Denny Hocking's two-out single in the ninth.

Angels 11, Brewers 4

At Phoenix, Dave Hollins hit his first two homers of the spring and drove in six runs, and Omar Olivares gave up three runs in five innings.

Padres 10, Mariners 7

At Peoria, Ariz., Reggie Sanders hit a three-run homer to help bail out Woody Williams, who allowed six runs in four innings, including Russ Davis' seventh homer of the spring.

Cubs 11, Rockies 4

At Tucson, Ariz., Jose Hernandez went 5-for-6 and drove in four runs as Chicago roughed up Darryl Kile for seven runs in 4 2-3 innings.

Diamondbacks 9, Giants 8

At Tucson, Ariz., Travis Lee hit a three-run, opposite-field homer in the ninth inning to give Arizona the win.

Reds 3, Pirates 2

At Sarasota, Fla., Kris Benson retired the first 13 batters and allowed only one hit over five innings, but Ed Sprague's throwing error gave Cincinnati the win.

Blue Jays 6, Braves 1

At Kissimmee, Fla., Kelvim Escobar pitched three hitless innings and struck out five for Toronto. Atlanta's Mark Wohlers had his most impressive outing of the spring, pitching two scoreless innings, allowing one hit.

Tigers 8, Yankees 7

At Lakeland, Fla., Darryl Strawberry's first game in the outfield was uneventful as he cleanly handled three hits and went 0-for-1 with two walks. Brad Ausmus' RBI double and a two-run single by Brian Hunter off Mike Stanton broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth.

Phillies 8, Red Sox 7

At Clearwater, Fla., Gary Bennett celebrated locking up a roster spot by working a bases loaded, two-out walk off Ron Mahay in the ninth inning for Philadelphia. Bennett will start the season as the Phillies' backup catcher behind Mike Lieberthal. Tom Prince was lost for 6-8 weeks with a wrist injury.