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A-Rod, Ramirez Sign With New Teams

December 12, 2000

DALLAS (AP) _ Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were the big winners on baseball’s biggest spending day ever.

Rodriguez got a record-shattering $252 million, 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers on Monday, doubling the previous high in sports.

``I like to win,″ said Texas owner Tom Hicks, who committed $2 million more to Rodriguez than he did to buy the team and its stadium three years ago. ``I like to build things, whether it’s a corporate acquisition or a chance to win the World Series. These things excite me.″

A few hours later, Ramirez reached a preliminary agreement on a $160 million, eight-year contract with the Red Sox.

That was all part of a half-billion dollar spending spree by four teams on four players that baseball executive vice president Sandy Alderson said put the game in a ``crisis situation.″

``It’s incredible,″ Alderson said. ``It’s a straight upward trend that doesn’t look like it will augur at all. Every club will be affected by this.″

Los Angeles finalized a $55 million, five-year deal with right-hander Darren Dreifort, and Kevin Appier signed a $42 million, four-year deal with the New York Mets.

Mike Hampton’s $121 million, eight-year contract with Colorado has gone from a record to third place in two days.

``It seems the height of hypocrisy for the Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies and now the Boston Red Sox _ three members of the so-called Blue-ribbon Commission on Economics, who have been whining about out of control payrolls and who seek to limit their own revenue-sharing exposure _ to ever complain about anything again,″ said New York Yankees president Randy Levine, who signed Mike Mussina to an $88.5 million, six-year deal before the winter meetings.

Ramirez missed out on the richest contract in sports _ topping Kevin Garnett’s $126 million, six-year agreement in October 1997 with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves _ by less than a day.

The 28-year-old outfielder turned down a $136 million, eight-year offer from the Indians, according to two sources with knowledge of that team’s offer, both speaking on the condition of anonymity.

His deal with the Red Sox calls for a $16 million signing bonus to be paid over five years, $13 million next season, $15.5 million in 2002, $18 million in 2003, $20.5 million in 2004, $20 million in 2005, $19 million in 2006, $18 million in 2007 and $20 million in 2008.

Boston has $20 million options for 2009 and 2010.

``He just felt the challenge of playing elsewhere plus a more attractive economic package were factors he couldn’t turn away from,″ Ramirez’s agent, Jeff Moorad, said Tuesday.

Ramirez’s contract was dwarfed by Rodriguez’s deal, which calls for a $10 million signing bonus paid over five years and salaries of $21 million in each of the first four years _ well above the $15.8 million Minnesota paid its entire team this season.

The 25-year-old Rodriguez gets $25 million a year in 2005 and 2006, and $27 million in each of the final four seasons. A total of $36 million is deferred at 3 percent interest, the money to be paid from 2011-2020.

Will anybody top that deal? The man who brokered it, agent Scott Boras, has a candidate.

``The guy who comes to mind for now is the little guy in Boston,″ he said of Pedro Martinez, a bargain at $12.5 million a year. ``There would be great demand.″

In other news:

_ The New York Mets completed their starting rotation, signing Appier and Steve Trachsel, who got a $7 million, two-year deal.

_ Detroit and Houston completed a trade that sent Roger Cedeno, Mitch Meluskey and Chris Holt to the Tigers, and Brad Ausmus, Doug Brocail and Nelson Cruz to the Astros.

_ The Mets traded outfielder Bubba Trammell to San Diego for reliever Donne Wall. They also signed outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo to a $700,000, one-year contract, the second non-pitcher from Japan to join the majors.

_ Jason Bere reached a preliminary deal with the Chicago Cubs on Monday that would pay him $4.5 million for two years.

_ The Anaheim Angels signed right-hander Pat Rapp to a $2 million, one-year deal and outfielder Kimera Bartee to a $270,000 contract.

_ Infielder Jeff Frye signed a $1 million, one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

_ The Chicago Cubs selected right-hander Scott Chiasson from Oakland with the first pick in the major league draft.

_ Reliever Doug Henry signed a two-year contract with Kansas City.

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