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SUBWAY SERIES / YANKEES vs. METS | BASEBALL NOTES

Delgado Gets Record $17 Million

October 21, 2000|From Associated Press

Carlos Delgado soared past Roger Clemens and became baseball's highest-paid player Friday, agreeing to a record $68-million, four-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again," Delgado said during a news conference in Toronto. "It's good to be back. I firmly believe we have the talent here to win and I'm here to win. I'd like to play my whole career in Toronto."

Delgado's average salary of $17 million breaks the previous mark of $15.45 million set by Clemens and the New York Yankees earlier this year when they agreed to what amounts to a two-year extension worth $30.9 million.

Delgado's deal falls short of the record for total dollars, set in December 1998 when Kevin Brown and the Dodgers agreed to a $105 million, seven-year contract.

Delgado's mark most likely will not last long. Seattle shortstop Alex Rodriguez is eligible for free agency after the World Series and is expected to get a record deal that could be worth $20 million or more. Cleveland outfielder Manny Ramirez also could break the mark.

Delgado gets a $4.8-million signing bonus and salaries of $10 million in 2001, $17.2 million in 2002, $17.5 million in 2003 and $18.5 million in 2004.

None of the money is deferred, and Delgado gets a complete no-trade clause.

"On the field we have to ensure we have our team leader in place and that man is Carlos," Blue Jay chairman Paul Godfrey said.

Delgado said his decision to remain in Toronto wasn't based on money. He has long been a fan favorite and Delgado had said he liked playing for the Blue Jays, who finished third in the AL East at 83-79.

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Delgado and Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies were named winners of the Hank Aaron Award. The award, established last year, recognizes the season's best overall hitter in each league.

The winners were determined in voting by play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts for each club's radio and TV rights-holders.

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The commissioner's office is investigating comments Seattle Manager Lou Piniella made last weekend after Clemens threw inside to Rodriguez.

Piniella acknowledged Paul Abbott deliberately threw a pitch over the head of Yankee catcher Jorge Posada the following inning.

"He wants to throw at our guys, we'll throw at his guys," Piniella said. "If he wants his hitters to get thrown at, that's fine with me. That's exactly what will happen. That's exactly what happened tonight, and that will be exactly what happens the next time he faces our ballclub."

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Salary Milestones

Milestone contracts in baseball history, as obtained by The Associated Press from player and management sources. Figures include all guaranteed income but not income from potential incentive bonuses. There is no distinction for money deferred without interest:

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Date Player Team Salary Nov. 19, 1979 Nolan Ryan Houston $1 million a year for 4 seasons Feb. 7, 1982 George Foster New York Mets $2.04 million a year for 5 seasons Nov. 22, 1989 Kirby Puckett Minnesota $3 million a year for 3 seasons June 27, 1990 Jose Canseco Oakland $4.7 million a year for 5 seasons Feb. 8, 1991 Roger Clemens Boston $5.38 million a year for 4 seasons March 2, 1992 Ryne Sandberg Chicago Cubs $7.1 million a year for 4 seasons Jan. 31, 1996 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle $8.5 million a year for 4 seasons Nov. 19, 1996 Albert Belle Chicago White Sox $11 million a year for 5 seasons Dec. 12, 1997 Pedro Martinez Boston $12.5 million a year for 6 seasons Oct. 26, 1998 Mike Piazza New York Mets $13 million a year for 7 seasons Dec. 12, 1998 Kevin Brown Dodgers $15 million a year for 7 seasons Oct. 20, 2000 Carlos Delgado Toronto $17 million a year for 4 seasons

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