First baseman Gerald Perry, who spent 1990 with the Kansas City Royals and then became a free agent, agreed to a three-year, $3.3 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday.
Perry, 30, is expected to back up Pedro Guerrero and be a left-handed pinch hitter.
Perry had 42 steals for the Atlanta Braves in 1987 and hit a career-best .300 for the Braves the next season, when he was an All-Star.
* MINOR LEAGUES: The minor leagues approved a seven-yeacontract with the major leagues by a 27-9 vote.
The vote by the National Association of the Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor-league governing body, was exactly the 75 percent minimum required. Major-league owners ratified the Professional Baseball Agreement on Tuesday.
* COMMISSIONER: Fay Vincent was hospitalized with what doctors have diagnosed as an upper-respiratory infection.
"From what I understand, it is not a worsening of the condition but a lingering condition," Steve Greenberg, the deputy commissioner, said. "But because it is lingering, the doctors thought they would keep an eye on him for a few days."
Vincent has been ill since November and has not been to his office since before Thanksgiving.
* DODGERS: Los Angeles offered free-agent center fielder Brett Butler a three-year contract worth $7.5 million, sources confirmed.
"I was kind of looking for a four-year contract," said Butler, 33, who has narrowed his choices to the Dodgers and hometown Braves.
* REDS: Pitcher Jose Rijo, the team's Most Valuable Player in the World Series sweep of the Oakland Athletics, is suing his wife, Rosie, for divorce. His wife is the daughter of Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal.