The New York Mets finally signed a starting pitcher, agreeing Wednesday to a three-year, $21.75-million contract with Rick Reed.
Reed gets $6.75 million next season, $7 million in 2002 and $8 million in 2003. The Mets have an $8-million option for 2004 that would become guaranteed if Reed has either 585 innings pitched in the next three seasons or 400 in 2002 and 2003.
"I said it a million times probably over the last couple of years: I enjoyed my time in New York and I wanted to stay," Reed said.
Reed, a 36-year-old right-hander, was 11-5 with a 4.11 earned-run average in 30 starts last season. He had been seeking a four-year, $32-million contract from the Mets--matching Al Leiter's deal with the team.
The Mets, who missed out on signing free-agent pitchers Mike Mussina and Denny Neagle, saw three of their five starting pitchers become free agents after the World Series: Reed, Mike Hampton and Bobby J. Jones.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will return with their pitching rotation intact after agreeing to a two-year, $6.5-million contract with Armando Reynoso. The Diamondbacks also hired former Dodger Bob Welch as their pitching coach to complete the staff of new Manager Bob Brenly. . . . Andres Galarraga has turned down the most recent offer from the Atlanta Braves and is drawing interest from several other teams. The first baseman's three-year, $24.75-million contract expired at the end of last season. . . . Ozzie Guillen, the Tampa Bay Devils Rays' lone free agent, re-signed with the team, agreeing to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. . . . Mickey Morandini returned to the Toronto Blue Jays when he agreed to a minor league contract. . . . Baseball players approved the 2001 schedule. It is the American League's first unbalanced schedule--in which teams play division rivals more often than others--since 1976 and the National League's first since 1992. Division rivals, for the most part, will play each other 18 or 19 times next year.