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AROUND THE NL

BRAVES: Atlanta played its final game at West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium, losing 2-0 to Montreal, its longtime co-tenant. The Braves are moving to Disney World; the Expos to Jupiter. Atlanta cut LHP Yorkis Perez and will give him $93,232 rather than his full $375,000 salary.

CUBS: Brant Brown won the leftfield job; Brooks Kieschnick, who batted .362 with three homers in 47 at-bats, is headed to Triple-A Iowa. RHP Dave Swartzbaugh will be the No. 5 starter while Kevin Tapani recovers from his hand injury.

DODGERS: The widow of former IF Jim Gilliam has sued, claiming the team is profiting from his image on posters, media guides and other products. Edwina Higgenbotham also sued Major League Baseball and acting commissioner Bud Selig in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, seeking unspecified general and punitive damages.

MARLINS: Florida traded OF Joe Orsulak and RHP Dustin Hermanson to Montreal for OF/1B Cliff Floyd. Floyd, 24, hit .242 with six home runs and 26 runs batted in over 117 games last season with Montreal coming back from a career-threatening 1995 wrist injury. Orsulak hit .221, with two homers and 19 RBI in 120 games with Florida. Hermanson, acquired in the Quilvio Veras deal, was 1-0 with an 8.56 ERA in eight games with the Padres. He was expected to be optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

METS: New York placed IF Alvaro Espinoza on unconditional release waivers and placed IF Tim Bogar on waivers. By releasing Espinoza, the Mets must give him $101,834 in termination pay rather than his entire $410,000 salary. 1B Roberto Petagine was sent outright to Norfolk and OF Gary Thurman was optioned to Norfolk. The team assigned Manny Alexander No. 8 _ the number of Cal Ripken, the shortstop Alexander backed up for a few years in Baltimore. But Alexander arranged to switch numbers with Carlos Baerga, who wears No. 6. The No. 8, Alexander said: "is a bad number. Bad luck. I don't want that number to follow me." Alexander had a cool relationship with Ripken. "We never talked; I wish he had talked to me more," Alexander said.

PADRES: OF Rickey Henderson wants to be traded _ now. "I've been going with the flow, but I'm getting tired of the flow now," said Henderson, who likely will open the season as San Diego's fourth outfielder. Henderson, 38, became expendable when OF Greg Vaughn agreed to arbitration, then signed a $15-million, three-year contract. The Padres have tried to trade Henderson, but his contract has been a hindrance. He's scheduled to make $2-million in salary, plus performance bonuses that could add up to $1.5-million if he gets 600 plate appearances. Henderson wants to be traded someplace where he'll start.

PIRATES: Pittsburgh reassigned five players to its minor-league camp, including Trey Beamon, who began camp in a two-way race to start in rightfield. The moves reduced the roster to 29. Also cut were RHP Clint Sadowsky, the reliever acquired from Detroit for Dan Miceli; and three non-roster players: OF Keith Mitchell, INF Kevin Polcovich and C Reed Secrist.

ROCKIES: Dante Bichette, who went 3-for-3, made his first outfield start after off-season reconstructive knee surgery.

_ TIMES WIRES

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