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BASEBALL NOTES

Ramirez on the Market

October 28, 2000|From Associated Press

Some of the biggest names in baseball hit the free-agent market Friday, only hours after the final out of the World Series.

Outfielder Manny Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians and right-hander Mike Mussina of the Baltimore Orioles were among 10 players who filed Friday, the first day of the 15-day window for players to leave their teams.

Among the others who filed was catcher Todd Hundley of the Dodgers.

Ramirez, Mussina and shortstop Alex Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners are expected to get the three highest contracts among this year's free-agent class.

A total of 157 players potentially are eligible to file by the Nov. 10 deadline.

Ramirez is thought to be the top priority of the World Series champion New York Yankees.

Cleveland owner Larry Dolan and General Manager John Hart would like to keep the outfielder, who grew up in New York. He hit .351 with 38 homers and 122 runs batted in in only 439 at-bats this year.

"His first choice was always to remain in Cleveland," said Ramirez's agent, Jeff Moorad, who met with the Indians this week in Cleveland. "We intend to give John Hart and Larry Dolan every opportunity over the next several weeks to put something together."

Mussina, 31, was 11-15 this year with a 3.79 earned-run average and 210 strikeouts, eight shy of his career high.

Mike Bordick, traded from Baltimore to the New York Mets in July, also was among the 10 who filed.

Also filing were two other catchers: Sandy Alomar of the Indians and Tom Lampkin of the Mariners.

The others filing were Colorado Rocky outfielders Jeffrey Hammonds and Todd Hollandsworth, St. Louis Cardinal shortstop/outfielder Shawon Dunston and San Diego Padre third baseman Dave Magadan.

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Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, hospitalized in La Jolla for nearly eight weeks, remains on a ventilator but has been moved out of intensive care again. Mathews, 69, was moved from the ICU at Scripps Green Hospital to a sub-critical unit at another Scripps Hospital nearly four weeks ago, but moved back after only a few days. . . . The Mariners have made an offer to their free-agent manager, Lou Piniella, that reportedly would make him the third-highest paid manager in baseball. He was offered a three-year contract for an estimated $7 million, a raise of about $1 million a year over his current salary of $1.3 million, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. The Seattle Times reported that the offer was for two years with an option for a third and would give Piniella a small percentage of the Mariners. . . . The Atlanta Braves exercised their option on the contract of former Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz.

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