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Belle Joins the Free Market

Baseball: White Sox slugger is one of 17 more players filing for free agency.

October 28, 1998|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Albert Belle and World Series MVP Scott Brosius were among 17 players filing for free agency Tuesday, and the Texas Rangers exercised their $8.5 million option on Juan Gonzalez.

Belle, unlike other free agents, is in the unusual position of having a fallback position. Through Nov. 25, he has the option of reverting to his contract with the Chicago White Sox, which calls for salaries of $10 million in each of the next three seasons with a $10 million club option for 2002 that carries a $5 million buyout.

His talent is undisputed -- he hit .328 last season with 49 homers and 152 RBIs -- but so is his temper, making it unclear how much other teams will pursue the outfielder.

Brosius, obtained by the Yankees from Oakland last November for pitcher Kenny Rogers, definitely increased his value this year. He hit .300 with 19 homers and 98 RBIs during the regular season and played outstandingly at third base, then batted .383 in the postseason, leading New York in hits (18), home runs (4) and RBIs (15).

He earned Series MVP honors by going 8-for-17 (.471) with two homers and six RBIs in the sweep of San Diego.

A day earlier, Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams filed.

"We need to formulate a proposal for Scott and Bernie to consider," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday. "We're going to get together, probably in the next few weeks, have an organizational meeting, formulate a plan and make a proposal."

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