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Pirate booty: Drabek garners $4.5-million

Doug Drabek of the Pittsburgh Pirates became the fifth highest-paid pitcher in baseball Saturday, while a pair of Texas Rangers split their arbitration cases.

Kevin Brown of the Rangers won, while teammate Kenny Rogers lost. In addition, Boston infielder Jody Reed of Brandon lost his hearing, leaving owners with a 10-5 advantage in cases decided this far.

Drabek, who won in arbitration last year at a record $3.35-million, agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.5-million. The salary ties him for 12th overall by average annual value and makes him the fifth highest-paid pitcher behind Jack Morris of Toronto ($5.8-million), Roger Clemens of Boston ($5,380,250), Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets ($5.15-million) and Chuck Finley of California ($4,625,000).

"It's a tribute to the willingness of the new regime in Pittsburgh to get the job done," said Randy Hendricks, who represents Drabek. "We had some reluctance in accepting their offer because of our great belief in our case."

Drabek turned down a four-year deal, Pirates general manager Ted Simmons said, but both parties agreed to continue negotiations for a long-term contract.

"This is the guy who represents the real cornerstone of the Pirates," Simmons said. "This is the guy who Jimmy (Leyland) wanted and who I wanted."

Meanwhile, Houston catcher Craig Biggio tripled his salary, agreeing to $1,375,000.

Arbitrator Gil Vernon chose Brown's request of $1.2-million instead of the Rangers' offer of $750,000. Arbitrator Patrick Harden, hearing his first case, picked Texas' offer of $620,000 to Rogers instead of the pitcher's request for $975,000.

Drabek, the 1990 NL Cy Young Award winner, was seeking $4.9-million in arbitration. The Pirates were offering $3,685,000, making the settlement $208,000 above the midpoint.

Drabek, 15-14 with a 3.07 ERA last season after going 22-6 with a 2.76 ERA in 1990, remains eligible to file for free-agency after this season.

"We've agreed to sit down in spring training and discuss a multiyear contract," Hendricks said.

The 26-year-old Brown was 9-12 with a 4.40 ERA last season and made $355,000. Rogers, who made $287,000 in 1991, was 4-4 with a 7.53 ERA in nine starts.

Arbitrator Theodore High, also hearing his first case, picked Boston's offer of $1.6-million instead of Reed's request for $2.25-million.

College games

2 Florida 9, 10 Long Beach St. 8: Brian Duva belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Gators, ranked No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball, to their 14th consecutive home victory. Eddie Christian's three-run double off UF starter John Burke highlighted a six-run second inning for the 49ers (2-4). But Florida (8-0) fought back on the strength of a pair of homers by Bo Camposano.

South Florida 5, Stetson 3 (11): Wade Norris singled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the 11th inning to lead the Bulls (4-2) past the host Hatters (2-3). Norris also hit a 425-foot homer to centerfield in the third.

8 Florida St. 20, VMI 0: Chris Roberts blasted a pair of home runs and had five RBI to lead the No. 8 host Seminoles (5-1).


Braves: Deion Sanders said he's leaning toward a baseball career over football. "This is the way I'm leaning," he said. "The only way I'm going to be successful in baseball is to do it full-time." Sanders played half a season with the Atlanta Braves last year before joining the NFL Falcons.

Royals: George Brett, 38, and Leslie Davenport, 27, of Kansas City, were married in a private ceremony in Los Angeles. The marriage was the first for both.