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Padres Re-Sign Hernandez for $6.5M

December 2, 1998

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Catcher Carlos Hernandez returned to the San Diego Padres today, agreeing to a $6.5 million, three-year contract.

Last season was Hernandez’s first as a starter. He spent his first seven big league seasons as a backup with the Dodgers and 1997 as a backup with the Padres.

His agent, Elliott Vallin, said it came down to a choice among San Diego, Baltimore and Anaheim, but Baltimore dropped out after it obtained Charles Johnson in a three-way deal with Los Angeles and the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

``I think we made the wise decision to come back,″ Vallin said.

Hernandez, who was in his native Venezuela, has a good relationship with Kevin Brown and planned to call the free agent pitcher, Vallin said. Re-signing Brown is San Diego’s top offseason priority.

Hernandez gets a $750,000 signing bonus, $1 million next season, $1.5 million in 2000 and $3.25 million in 2001.

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