Reds, Wilson agree to #036;4M, 2-year contract

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 13, 2003


-- Right-hander Paul Wilson agreed to a $4 million, two-year contract with Cincinnati on Sunday, a move that general manager Jim Bowden said will give the Reds a proven fourth starter.

''Paul has the ability to pitch 180 to 200 innings a year,'' Bowden said. ''We felt it was important to add another proven starter to join Ryan Dempster, Jimmy Haynes and Danny Graves in the rotation.''

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Wilson, 29, who was not offered a contract by Tampa Bay by the Dec.20 deadline, was 6-12 with a 4.83 ERA last season for the Devil Rays. He pitched a career-high 193 2-3 innings, including at least six innings in 23 of his 30 starts.

Wilson, the first overall pick in the 1994 draft, sat out the 1999 season because of ''Tommy John'' reconstructive surgery on his elbow.

To help the Reds with cash flow, Wilson gets $500,000 this year and $3.5 million in 2004.

The deal is contingent on Wilson passing a team physical. He was examined Sunday by the Reds' medical director, Dr. Timothy Kremchek.

To make room for Wilson on the 40-man roster, the Reds designated for assignment right-hander Brian Reith, who split last season between the Reds' and the Phillies' Triple-A affiliates.