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Giles signs Pirates-record deal: 5 years, $45-million

Brian Giles, a platoon outfielder when Cleveland traded him in 1998, became the richest player in Pirates history Friday by signing a five-year contract extension worth at least $45-million.

First baseman Kevin Young's $24-million, four-year deal had been the club record.

Giles got a $5-million signing bonus that was partially deferred to next season. The extension overrides a contract that was worth $3.2-million next season and contained a club option for 2002.

By agreeing to defer $12-million, Giles puts the Pirates in a better position to re-sign key players such as catcher Jason Kendall, whose contract runs through 2001, and pitcher Todd Ritchie.

PHILLIES' JACKSON OUT FOR YEAR?: Reliever Mike Jackson, signed during the off-season to a $3-million, one-year contract, stopped while throwing off the mound because of soreness in his right shoulder. Manager Terry Francona was not optimistic about Jackson recovering this year. Team physician Michael Ciccotti said: "There is certainly a reasonable chance that he would miss the rest of the season." Jackson was hurt during the first series of the year while warming up in Arizona and never threw a pitch.

NEW FENWAY NAME FOR SALE?: To raise money for a new Fenway Park, the Red Sox are considering selling the stadium name.

"I recognize that many fans care deeply about the name of the ballpark," chief executive officer John Harrington said. "But we do not think we can ask for the first public dollar until we have shown our willingness to consider every possible private dollar."

The Red Sox are preparing to ask taxpayers for as much as $275-million to help purchase land and to build a parking garage.

JETER ON DL: The Yankees placed shortstop Derek Jeter on the 15-day disabled list with an abdominal strain. Jeter has been out since leaving a game against Tampa Bay on May 11. The move is retroactive to May 12, meaning Jeter can come off the DL on May 27 when the Yankees host the Red Sox. Infielder Alfonso Soriano was recalled from Triple-A Columbus.

SUSPENSIONS: Major League Baseball upheld three-game suspensions given to Tigers outfielders Juan Encarnacion and Luis Polonia for their roles in two bench-clearing brawls in April. The suspension of catcher Robert Fick was reduced to four games from five. Meanwhile, Detroit activated pitcher Brian Moehler from the 15-day disabled list and put Mark Johnson on the DL with a strained lower back.

ANGELS: Right-hander Jason Dickson is scheduled to go on the disabled list today with tendinitis in his left hip and stiffness in his pitching shoulder. Anaheim will purchase the contract of right-hander Brett Hinchliffe from Triple-A Edmonton and transfer right-hander Tim Belcher from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.

BLUE JAYS: Outfielder Todd Greene and pitcher Darwin Cubillan were recalled from from Triple-A Syracuse and shortstop Chris Woodward was demoted.

BRAVES: Cuban defector Brayan Pena, an 18-year-old catcher, agreed to terms and was assigned to Atlanta's Gulf Coast League team. The switch-hitter from Havana was a member of Cuba's national junior team when he defected last year while playing at a tournament in Caracas, Venezuela. He received a $1.25-million signing bonus, his agents said.

BREWERS: Backup catcher Tyler Houston was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised calf. Raul Casanova was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.

MARLINS: Owner John Henry, stymied in his bid for a publicly financed ballpark, might build a smaller stadium with his money.

Henry and architects are discussing a 25,000-seat ballpark that could be expanded to 35,000. He estimates the project could cost $80-million, plus another $60-million to $100-million for a roof.

On Tuesday, Class A affiliate Kane County drew 7,691 against the Clinton Lumberkings, while the Marlins-Padres game drew 7,101.

Henry said he would rather build his own small park than move. He's not sure where a new stadium could be located.

Meanwhile, ace Alex Fernandez went on the 15-day disabled list a day after he threw 100 pitches in five innings. He is scheduled to meet next week with Dr. James Andrews. An MRI revealed "no significant changes" since his 1997 rotator cuff surgery, general manager Dave Dombrowski said.

EXPOS: Free-agent left-hander Jim Poole was signed to help an injury-depleted bullpen.

INDIANS: Right-hander Scott Sanders, called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday, was designated for assignment. Cleveland purchased the contract of right-hander Paul Rigdon, who will make his major-league debut Sunday against the Yankees.

RANGERS: Shortstop Royce Clayton took his feud with teammate Chad Curtis public in Clayton's diary for a Web site. Then, at the urging of manager Johnny Oates, Clayton apologized to Curtis a few hours later and both players said the incident was over. They have feuded over music played in the clubhouse. In the diary, Clayton, who claimed the information was posted by mistake, said Curtis was unfriendly the first time the players met in spring training and they have no relationship.

ROCKIES: Pitcher John Thomson went through alcohol rehab after crashing his car into a house during spring training in Tucson, Ariz., the Denver Post reported. Thomson could not be reached.

OWNER RELEASED: Tom Hicks, majority owner of the NHL's Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers, is out of a hospital in Santa Fe, N.M., where he was treated for dehydration.

_ TIMES WIRES

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