|01-21-2005, 11:51 AM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Leucadia CA
Astros, Clemens agree to 1 year, $18 million deal
Houston might have had the worst offseason in baseball. They had extra money to spend after losing out on the Beltran sweepstakes. I think this move was more of a business decision than a competitive baseball move. They know the "Rocket" will fill the house every fifth day he pitches at home.
Clemens gets record one-year, $18M contract from Astros
Jan. 21, 2005
SportsLine.com wire reports
NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens is coming back for one more year -- and is getting the highest salary for a pitcher in baseball history.
The Rocket and the Houston Astros agreed Friday to an $18 million, one-year contract, and the seven-time Cy Young Award winner made the commitment to play for his 22nd major league season.
Houston called a news conference but did not reveal the subject. A baseball source familiar with the arrangements said it was to announce an agreement with Clemens that would give him a record salary for a pitcher, topping the $17.5 million Pedro Martinez earned with Boston last year in the option year of his contract.
Clemens first retired after pitching for the New York Yankees in the 2003 World Series. But he changed his mind and agreed on Jan. 12 last year to join his hometown Astros, accepting a $5 million, one-year deal that was way below his market price.
The 42-year-old right-hander helped lead the Astros within one win of their first World Series appearance, earning $1,825,000 in bonuses based largely on Houston's home attendance, then said again that he was "99 percent" retired.
But momentum built after he returned earlier this month for a Hawaiian vacation, and he asked for $22 million salary -- matching his uniform number -- when proposed figures for salary arbitration were filed Tuesday. Houston offered $13.5 million, leaving the midpoint at $17.75 million.
His agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, then negotiated the deal with the Astros on Wednesday and Thursday.
Clemens is agreeing to a contract that makes him the highest-paid pitcher for the fifth time, following deals with Boston in 1989 ($2.5 million average), with the Red Sox in 1991 ($5.38 million), with Toronto in December 1996 ($8.25 million) and the Yankees in August 2000 ($15.45 million). The two contracts with Boston and the one with New York made him the sport's highest-paid player overall.
Clemens also is getting the highest, one-year contract in baseball history, topping Greg Maddux's $14.75 million deal with Atlanta in 2003.
His decision to stay is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise miserable offseason for the Astros. All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent left to sign with Los Angeles, All-Star center fielder Carlos Beltran departed to sign with the New York Mets, center fielder Lance Berkman tore up a knee playing flag football at a church function and promising but injured pitcher Wade Miller was let go.
Clemens, a 10-time All-Star, is 10th on the career wins list with 328, one behind Steve Carlton. Clemens' 4,317 strikeouts are second to Nolan Ryan's 5,714.
His decision to sign with Houston last year was spurred by former Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte, who left New York to sign with the Astros. Clemens went 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 218 strikeouts, winning his first Cy Young in the NL, but Pettitte hurt an elbow tendon while batting in his first start, was largely ineffective and had season-ending surgery in August.
At $18 million, Clemens tied Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds for the fourth-highest average salary in the major leagues, trailing only Alex Rodriguez ($25.2 million), Manny Ramirez ($20 million) and Derek Jeter ($18.9 million).
The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
|01-21-2005, 01:41 PM||#2|
Don't Argue With Me
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Clemens either pitches for the Astros or he retires. That gives him a lot of leverage. He has nothing to prove to anybody. So they are paying part of the dividend for not signing Beltran and it *is* a PR/Business move but it's a great one. He puts asses in seats and there are very few in the game that do. So even if they overpay, they know they will make some of this money back in increased attendance, Rocket merchandise, etc. It's what the Astros should have done with Nolan Ryan back in 1988 (not the dollars, but the business sense).
The real danger is that the Rocket/Bagwell/Biggio Farewell Tour will lead them to take on unwise contracts in a push to get the flag. Alphonso Soriano, anyone?
|01-22-2005, 03:49 PM||#3|
Join Date: Nov 2002
They'll finish behind my new team, the Buccos this year......call it my fearless prediction