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Braves Don't Niggle Neagle; He Signs $17.5-Million Deal

November 28, 1996|From Staff and Wire Reports

Last week, John Smoltz. This week, Denny Neagle. One week after making Cy Young winner Smoltz baseball's highest-paid pitcher with a four-year, $31-million contract, the National League champion Atlanta Braves locked up left-hander Neagle with a $17.5-million, four-year contract Wednesday.

"We're happy to have finalized this contract extension," General Manager John Schuerholz said. "It's another step in our working to ensure that our roster remains as strong as possible."

Neagle still had a year left on his contract at $3.1 million for 1997. Under the new terms, Neagle, 28, will earn $3.5 million in 1997, $4.5 million in 1998 and $4.75 million in 1999 and 2000. The Braves have a $5.25-million option for 2001 or a $500,000 buyout.

The Braves, who have been to four of the last five World Series, winning in 1995, can now turn their attention to long-term deals with Greg Maddux, the four-time NL Cy Young Award winner, and Tom Glavine, who won the award in 1991. Both are under contract through the 1997 season.

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Second baseman Ryne Sandberg, 37, agreed to a $3.5-million, one-year contract with a team option for 1998 to remain with the Chicago Cubs. He came out of retirement last season and batted .244 with 25 homers and 92 RBIs.

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Trying to rebuild their bullpen for next season, the New York Mets sent first baseman Rico Brogna to Philadelphia and pitcher Jerry DiPoto to Colorado in separate deals.

New York got pitchers Toby Borland and Ricardo Jordan for Brogna and Armando Reynoso for DiPoto. Earlier this week, the Mets acquired Greg McMichael from Atlanta.

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The Dodgers announced that outfielder Wayne Kirby signed a one-year contract, veteran infielder Dave Hansen has opted to become a free agent, and left-handed pitcher Brandon Watts and infielders Howard Battle, Tripp Cromer and Garey Ingram have been assigned to triple-A Albuquerque. . . . Pitcher Jamie Brewington, who spent last season in the minors after going 6-4 for San Francisco in 1995, was traded to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named. . . . Mike Trombley, one of the few consistent relievers last year for the Minnesota Twins, re-signed with the team for a $775,000, two-year contract. . . . Reliever Bryan Harvey agreed to a minor league contract with the Braves, who agreed to give him a $500,000, one-year deal if he makes the major league roster.

Boxing

A judge in Glasgow, Scotland, ruled that no one was to blame for the death of boxer James Murray, who suffered fatal brain injuries during a British bantamweight title fight last year. The judge cleared opponent Drew Docherty of any fault, praised the medical help at ringside and said that a riot in the hall had not hampered medics. Murphy, delivering his judgment after a three-day inquiry, said Murray's death Oct. 13, 1995, was the result of an accident.

Miscellany

The 56th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix, a 100-lap U.S. Auto Club national championship midget car race, will be held tonight on the half-mile oval at Perris Auto Speedway.

Ron Shuman, who last week won the Sprint Car Racing Assn. championship by winning the season's final race, will be seeking his ninth Turkey Night victory. Shuman, of Tempe, Ariz., last won in 1993 at Bakersfield Speedway. Billy Boat, is defending champion.

Also entered are USAC champions Jimmy Sills of Placerville, Silver Crown; Kenny Irwin Jr. of Indianapolis, midgets; and Ricky Shelton of Huntington Beach, TQ midgets.

The number of athletes who flunked tests for steroids at the Atlanta Olympics will stand at two, despite the findings of a sophisticated lab machine. The International Olympic Committee said it would ignore five other samples from the Summer Games that were detected by the high-tech equipment and found to contain the banned strength-builders. . . . Jacques Villeneuve of Canada edged Michael Schumacher of Germany for the fastest time during the third day of Formula One tests at Estoril, Portugal. . . . The No. 3-ranked UCLA men's water polo team begins the defense of its national title Friday in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. USC, which defeated UCLA on Nov. 23, also plays Friday.

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