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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES

Raines Returns to Crowded Yankees

August 12, 1996|Associated Press

Tim Raines, sidelined more than two months because of a strained right hamstring, was activated by the New York Yankees and Mike Aldrete was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Raines has been out since May 22. He went five for 27 (.185) with nine walks and two stolen bases in a rehabilitation stint for double-A Norwich before being activated from his second stay on the DL.

Raines was batting .286 with six steals when he was injured. He returns to a crowded outfield with Darryl Strawberry and Gerald Williams in left, and with the recent addition of Cecil Fielder as the designated hitter, faces the prospect of diminished playing time.

Raines began the season on the disabled list because of a chip fracture of his left thumb. He was activated April 16.

Aldrete, hampered by tendinitis in his right wrist, has batted .298 for the Yankees since being obtained from California June 12. Overall, he is hitting .230 this season.

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Kris Benson, college baseball's top pitcher and the No. 1 starter on the U.S. Olympic team, became the highest-paid draft choice in major league history by agreeing to a signing bonus estimated at about $1.8 million with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Clemson right-hander's deal, reached after only two days of face-to-face negotiations involving Pirate Managing General Partner Kevin McClatchy, eclipses the $1.6 million signing bonus received by last year's No. 1 pick, the Angels' Darin Erstad.

"This is a message to Pirates fans we are serious about building a winner here," McClatchy said.

The negotiations between agent Greg Clifton and the Pirates stalled as Benson concentrated on playing for the bronze medal-winning U.S. Olympic team. But they accelerated rapidly after Benson, 21, of Kennesaw, Ga., arrived Saturday for his initial meeting with McClatchy and General Manager Cam Bonifay.

McClatchy said the Pirates wanted to complete the negotiations so Benson could begin preparing for pro ball.

Benson already has pitched 208 innings this season with Clemson and the U.S. Olympic team, so he will not play again until 1997.

He will report to the Pirates' major-league camp as a non-roster invitee before likely opening the 1997 season at single-A Augusta or double-A Carolina.

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The Philadelphia Phillies placed right-hander Bobby Munoz and left-hander Michael Mimbs on the disabled list and sent infielder Desi Relaford to triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre.

Munoz is recovering from elbow surgery and Mimbs has a sore left shoulder. Relaford was acquired in a recent trade that sent pitcher Terry Mulholland to the Seattle Mariners.

The Phillies recalled right-handers Rich Hunter and Larry Mitchell and Kevin Sefcik from Scranton-Wilkes-Barre.

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Jason Schmidt, Atlanta's fifth starter before going on the 15-day DL on July 17 because of a cracked rib, pitched two innings in a rehab assignment at Double-A Greenville. He gave up four hits and two runs, but reportedly was pain-free. . . . The Milwaukee Brewers released pitcher Kevin Wickander, optioned catcher Mike Matheny to triple-A New Orleans and recalled catcher Kelly Stinnett from New Orleans. . . . The Houston Astros designated pitcher Terry Clark for assignment and activated pitcher Todd Jones from the 15-day DL.

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