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Mets Sign First Baseman Tony Clark

February 20, 2003

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) _ First baseman Tony Clark agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Mets on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Clark, a switch-hitter, also will be looked at in left and right field by the Mets. If he is added to the major league roster, he would get a $550,000, two-year contract and the chance to make $200,000 more in performance bonuses _ the same terms infielder Jay Bell and pitcher David Cone agreed to.

``We’re going to see if there’s a role where he can fit in on the club,″ general manager Steve Phillips said. ``He’s open minded to going to Triple-A if things don’t work out. We’re going to see if he can be more versatile than just a first base-, DH-type of guy,″ Phillips said. ``We figured with an athlete like that and a no-risk look, it seemed to make sense.″

Clark hit .207 with three homers and 29 RBIs in 275 at-bats with the Boston Red Sox last season. Before 2002, he spent his entire career with the Detroit Tigers, who took him with the second overall pick in the 1990 amateur draft.

He was an All-Star in 2001, when he hit .287 with 16 homers and 75 RBIs. He has a .270 career average with 159 homers in eight major league seasons.

Clark is expected to report to spring training Friday.

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