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Elster Rejects Rangers’ Offer

December 7, 1996

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Kevin Elster rejected the Rangers’ latest contract offer, apparently putting 1995 starter Benji Gil back in the Texas lineup.

Elster, 32, was offered a one-year contract worth about $550,000 plus a team option for 1998. Elster had a base salary of $180,000 last season and earned $90,000 in bonuses.

Patrick Elster, who represents his younger brother, said that was inadequate after a turnaround season in which Kevin Elster hit .252 with 24 homers and 99 RBIs.

``I don’t think they honestly expected Kevin to take this,″ Patrick Elster said. ``It’s extremely disappointing to Kevin because he really wanted to come back to Texas. He loved the team and the fans there. But this offer just wasn’t going to get it done.″

Patrick Elster said Rangers general manager Doug Melvin told the brothers the team would not improve its offer and likely would not offer salary arbitration by Saturday midnight EST deadline.

Gil, 24, spent nearly all of the 1996 season at Class AAA Oklahoma City after back surgery in the spring.

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