• 45°

Jeter asks for #036;18.5 M

The Associated Press

Last month, it was Alex Rodriguez who set salary records.

Friday, January 19, 2001

Last month, it was Alex Rodriguez who set salary records. Now, his good friend, Derek Jeter, is right behind him.

Jeter asked for an $18.5 million, one-year contract, and New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera made a $10.25 million request.

Atlanta outfielder Andruw Jones asked for $8.2 million as 63 players exchanged figures with their teams Thursday in salary arbitration.

Twenty-seven players, meanwhile, agreed to contracts. Kansas City first baseman Mike Sweeney got the biggest deal, $13 million for two years.

A pair of players eligible for free agency after next season settled on large one-year contracts. Los Angeles pitcher Chan Ho Park agreed at $9.9 million and Oakland outfielder Johnny Damon, acquired from Kansas City last week, agreed to $7.1 million.

Yankees officials and Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, spoke throughout the day about a multiyear contract and made progress, according to a person familiar with the talks who spoke in the condition he not be identified.

With the sides still apart, the Yankees submitted $14.25 million as their arbitration figure. If the sides don’t agree, an arbitrator would pick one figure or the other after a hearing during the first three weeks of February.

Most cases settle. Of 90 players who filed last year, just 10 went through to hearings, with owners winning six.

This year, 102 players filed and 12 settled before Thursday.

Last year, Jeter set an arbitration record when he asked for $10.5 million. The Yankees countered at $9.5 million and the sides agreed at the midpoint after owner George Steinbrenner failed to finalize a $118.5 million, seven-year contract.

Rivera, who like Jeter is eligible for free agency after next season, was offered $9 million by the Yankees.

Last year, Rivera and the Yankees wound up before an arbitrator, who chose the team’s $7.25 million offer over the pitcher’s $9.25 million request.

Jones was the only other player to ask for more than $5 million. Atlanta submitted a $6.4 million offer to the center fielder, who made $3.7 million last season.

While Jeter and the Yankees were $4.25 million apart, the largest difference request and offer, the smallest spread belonged to Scott Hatteberg and the Boston Red Sox. The catcher asked for $1.1 million and the team offered $1 million.

Toronto gave two-year contracts to pitcher Esteban Loaiza ($10.3 million), designated hitter Brad Fullmer ($6.5 million) and outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. ($6.3 million).

The Chicago White Sox gave pitcher James Baldwin a $5.95 million, one-year contract and first baseman Paul Konerko a $6.1 million, two-year deal.

Pitcher Shawn Estes and the San Francisco Giants, meanwhile, agreed on a one-year contract worth $4,725,000.

Atlanta reliever Kerry Ligtenberg agreed to a $2.9 million, two-year deal. Teammate John Rocker, eligible for salary arbitration for the first time, asked for a raise from $290,000 to $2.98 million. The Braves countered at $1.9 million.

Kerry Wood, who won the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year award and then missed the following season because of elbow surgery, asked for a raise from $690,000 to $2.45 million. The Chicago Cubs countered at $1.7 million.

Tampa Bay pitcher Esteban Yan requested the smallest amount, $750,000, and was offered $550,000. Oakland pitcher Cory Lidle received the lowest offer, $525,000. He asked for $795,000.

In a trade, the New York Mets got reliever Rick Croushore from the Boston Red Sox, bolstering the NL champions’ already deep bullpen.

The Mets sent minor league pitcher Frank Graham and a player to be named to Boston. Croushore, a 30-year-old right-hander, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Wednesday when they added David Cone to the roster.

Croushore began last year with Colorado, going 2-0 despite an 8.74 ERA in six games. Demoted to the minors, he was traded to Boston on July 27 and went 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in five games for the Red Sox.

Free agent pitcher Ramon Martinez finalized his $1.5 million, one-year contract with Los Angeles, a deal that allows him to make $3.5 million more in performance bonuses.

Among players in arbitration, Anaheim agreed to a $1.9 million, two-year contract with outfielder Orlando Palmeiro and a $1,125,000 deal with infielder Scott Spiezio. Cincinnati gave outfielder Alex Ochoa a $4.35 million, two-year contract.

Pittsburgh agreed to one-year contracts with right-handers Jason Schmidt ($3.2 million) and Rich Loiselle ($775,000), and St. Louis agreed to one-year deals with left-hander Jason Christiansen ($1.6 million) and right-hander Alan Benes ($925,000).

Also agreeing to one-year contracts were Minnesota outfielder Matt Lawton ($3.9 million), Colorado left-hander Ron Villone ($2.8 million), Cleveland right-hander Steve Karsay ($2.7 million), Florida outfielder Mark Kotsay ($2,125,000), Montreal right-hander Carl Pavano ($1.3 million), Detroit right-hander Danny Patterson ($1.1 million), Florida infielder Dave Berg ($587,500), Los Angeles outfielder Bruce Aven ($550,000) and Mets left-hander Tom Martin ($362,500)

Detroit shortstop Deivi Cruz was said to have agreed to a contract after exchanging figures with the Tigers. Oakland pitcher Ariel Prieto, who has been designated for assignment, did not swap figures with the Athletics.