Suspended reliever agrees to one-year contract
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Posted: Wednesday March 01, 2000 09:51 AM
Lefty John Rocker converted 38 of 45 save opportunities last season
with 104 K in 72.1 innings.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- John Rocker, suspended until May 1 for his offensive comments against gays, foreigners and minorities, agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.
Terms of the contract with not immediately available. The 25-year-old left-hander was one of the Braves' lowest-paid players last year at $217,500.
Rocker had 38 saves, one short of the franchise record, but does not have enough major league service to be eligible for arbitration. That severely limited his bargaining power and probably meant a contract of $300,000 to $350,000.
The players' association has appealed Rocker's suspension, which covers all of spring training and the first 28 days of the regular season. A decision by arbitrator Shyam Das is expected this week.
Several baseball officials, speaking on condition they not be identified, said a decision could be issued as early as Wednesday.
The Braves also signed outfielder Freddy Garcia to a one-year deal. He has a chance to make the team as a bench player.
Atlanta has yet to reach agreements with five other players, including 18-game winner Kevin Millwood. General manager John Schuerholz set a Wednesday deadline for negotiations; otherwise, the unsigned players will automatically be renewed to one-year contracts.
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