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Canseco settles; Blue Jays deliver $7.5-million deal to reliever Henke

Published Oct. 16, 2005

NEW YORK - Jose Canseco settled his arbitration case and became a $2-million man on Monday and Tom Henke and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a three-year deal for $7.5-million that makes him the second-highest paid relief pitcher. Canseco and Oakland agreed to the $2-million salary, a raise of $400,000, just two days before a scheduled arbitration hearing.

Last year, Canseco got a then-record raise of $1,305,000 after becoming the first player to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season. But he ran into trouble off the field and Oakland general manager Sandy Alderson had sought to make that an issue in the talks.

"Our major concern was the turmoil in the marketplace, as much as anything else," Alderson said. "We just felt more comfortable with a one-year contract."

Henke and the Blue Jays were close to an agreement last week for $7.2-million but the reliever balked when Toronto refused to guarantee that he would be paid during a lockout in the 1991 season.

Under the deal agreed to Monday, Henke gets a $1.1-million signing bonus, $800,000 in 1990, $2.6-million in 1991 and $3-million in 1992.

The $2.5-million annual average is second only to Mark Davis of Kansas City, who got a four-year deal fo $13-million.

Henke was 8-3 in 1989 with 20 saves and a 1.92 ERA. The 32-year-old right-hander had threatened to leave the Blue Jays after the 1990 season if the case went to a hearing.

Catcher Matt Nokes and the Tigers went before an arbitrator Monday.

Nokes was asking for $650,000, a raise of $455,000, while the team was offering $400,000.

In other signings: Canseco's teammate, second baseman Mike Gallego, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $1,065,000 contract.

Left-hander John Cerutti and the Blue Jays settled at $762,500, a raise of $345,000. Cerutti was 11-11 last season with a 3.07 earned-run average.

Outfielder Glenn Braggs and the Brewers settled at $575,000, a raise of $395,000. Braggs appeared in 144 games last season, batting .247 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI.

Right-hander Eric King and the White Sox agreed to $415,000, a raise of $250,000. King was 9-10 with a 3.39 ERA for the White Sox.

Centerfielder Oddibe McDowell agreed to a one-year, $690,000 contract with the Braves, avoiding arbitration which was scheduled Monday. McDowell batted .304 with seven home runs, 56 runs batted in and 15 stolen bases in 76 games last season after being acquired from the Indians on July 21.

First baseman Danny Heep agreed to a one-year contract with the Red Sox for $595,000. Heep, 32, hit .300 last season, and had 17 doubles, five home runs and 49 RBI in 113 games.

Top five bullpen salaries Club Years Avg. salary Mark Davis, K.C. 1990-93 $3,250,000

Tom Henke, Tor 1990-92 $2,500,000

Jeff Reardon, Bos 1990-92 $2,266,667

John Franco, Mets 1990-92 $2,233,333

Dan Plesac, Mil 1990-92 $2,166,667

Thon honored as most courageous

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Shortstop Dickie Thon of the Philadelphia Phillies, who last season capped a four-year comeback from serious injury, was honored by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association on Monday night with their annual Most Courageous Athlete Award.

Thon, 31, suffered physical and psychological damage when he was struck in the head by a pitch in 1984 while with Houston.

He finished last season at .271, with 15 home runs.