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Players File for Free Agency

November 6, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Deion Sanders filed for free agency Wednesday after declining to exercise his $2.5 million player option, and Jack McDowell filed a day after the Indians turned down his $4.8 million option.

Doug Strange was the third player who filed Wednesday, increasing the total to 131. Up to 10 more players are potentially eligible to file by Monday’s deadline.

Two players agreed to new contracts Wednesday. Tim Wakefield got a $10 million, three-year contract with Boston and John Jaha agreed to a one-year contract with Milwaukee worth $3,387,500, the same salary he had in 1997.

Wakefield was 12-15 with a 4.25 ERA for the Red Sox last season and earned $2.5 million. He will get $3.5 million next season, $4 million in 1999 and $4.5 million in 2000. Boston has a $5 million option for 2001.

Jaha, 31, hit .300 with 34 home runs and 118 RBIs in 1996 but played in just 46 games last year before a season-ending shoulder injury and hit .247 this year with 11 homers and 26 RBIs.

He can earn $612,500 in performance bonuses: $3,062.50 for each plate appearance from 501-600 and $7,656.25 for each game started from 111-150.

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