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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS / NATIONAL LEAGUE | AROUND THE MAJORS

Marlins' Sale Is Close to Being a Done Deal

October 01, 1998| From Associated Press

Florida Marlin owner Wayne Huizenga and prospective buyer John Henry are closer than ever to a deal that would keep the team in South Florida.

Henry, reluctant to delay his purchase of the team with many off-season decisions pending, has agreed to Huizenga's demands on the two issues blocking a sale, a source close to the negotiations said Wednesday.

One of those off-season decisions is the fate of Manager Jim Leyland, who said he will announce today whether he will exercise an escape clause in his contract. The Colorado Rockies, who fired Manager Don Baylor on Monday, are interested in Leyland.

Huizenga and Henry, a millionaire commodities trader from Boca Raton, hope to sign an agreement next week. The $150-million sale would then need approval from major league baseball.

"Everything has been resolved," the source said.

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Milwaukee Brewer Manager Phil Garner and two of his coaches, Jim Lefebvre and Bill Castro, will be back next season, but other members of the coaching staff will be replaced after this year's finish. The Brewers were 74-88, their sixth consecutive losing season overall. First base coach Joel Youngblood, third base coach Doug Mansolino and pitching coach Don Rowe were ousted. . . . Left-hander Steve Cooke, who started one game for the Cincinnati Reds on April 2 and sat out the rest of the season because of elbow problems, was reinstated from the disabled list, then released. . . . Tampa Bay left-hander Tony Saunders underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his throwing elbow.

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