Cone goes full circle, heading home to K.C.

December 09, 1992|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

LOUISVILLE,KY — LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Kansas City Royals struck a blow for the Orioles yesterday when they signed free-agent right-hander David Cone to a three-year contract worth $18 million.

Cone was still on the wish list of Toronto, but he passed up offers from the Blue Jays and the New York Yankees to return to the city where he began his career.

"I never in my wildest imagination thought I'd get a chance to come home to Kansas City," said Cone, who played five seasons the Royals organization before he was traded to the New York Mets for catcher Ed Hearn. "I know a lot was written about the way I felt about New York. That's where I had my highest highs and lowest lows, but I never thought I would get a chance to play at home again. All things being equal, I would have signed with Kansas City."

The Royals also shored up their infield defense with the acquisition of free-agent shortstop Greg Gagne, who signed a three-year contract.

Gagne, 31, joins former Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Jose Lind in the middle of a Royals infield alignment that already includes Wally Joyner at first base and Gregg Jefferies at third.

For the past eight years, Gagne has been one of the defensive cornerstones of the Minnesota Twins.

Expos trade Calderon

The Montreal Expos traded outfielder Ivan Calderon to the Boston Red Sox yesterday for right-handed pitcher Mike Gardiner and minor-league right-hander Terry Powers.

Calderon, 30, should add some punch to a restructured Red Sox lineup in the designated hitter role.

Griffey gets $24 million

Seattle Mariners center fielder Ken Griffey agreed to a four-year contract worth $24 million. Griffey, 23, hit .308 with 27 homers and 103 RBI last season and was MVP in the All-Star Game. He also won his third consecutive Gold Glove.

Yount reconsidering

Robin Yount, who agreed last week to contract terms with the Milwaukee Brewers, is reconsidering his future after the team lost free agent and longtime teammate Paul Molitor to the Toronto Blue Jays.

"It's certainly going to give me some thoughts of what I'm going to do, and I'm going to sit down here and weigh out what should be done and how bad I really want to come back, knowing that a lot of the Milwaukee Brewers have left now," Yount said.

Howe signs with Yankees

Steve Howe, back in baseball after an arbitrator overturned his lifetime ban, agreed with the Yankees on a $4.2 million, two-year contract.

Howe, 34, was 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA for the Yankees last season and six saves in 20 appearances. He was suspended indefinitely by then-commissioner Fay Vincent on June 8 after pleading guilty in federal court to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to possess cocaine.

Maddux names his price

Greg Maddux, a day after taking a tour of the New York, told the Yankees that they could have him for a five-year, $37 million contract. The Yankees, eager to sign a top free-agent pitcher, recently offered Maddux a five-year, $34 million deal.

Marlins sign Magadan, Hough

The Florida Marlins signed former New York Mets third baseman Dave Magadan to a two-year, guaranteed Triple-A contract.

The Marlins also signed Charlie Hough, 44, to a Triple-A contract and have invited him to spring training to compete for a spot.

Winfield honored

Free agent Dave Winfield was named Outstanding Designated Hitter yesterday for a 1992 season in which he hit 23 home runs and had 91 RBI in 130 games for the Blue Jays. (Overall, he had 26 home runs and 108 RBI.)

The Chicago White Sox's George Bell was second.

Stieb signs with White Sox

Free-agent right-hander Dave Stieb, the winningest pitcher in Toronto history, has left the club after a series of injury-marred seasons to sign with the Chicago White Sox for one year and an option on the 1994 season.

Incaviglia joins Phillies

Free-agent outfielder Pete Incaviglia signed a two-year contract for $1 million per season with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Incaviglia, 28, also received a $100,000 signing bonus and other unspecified bonuses. The Phillies have the option on Incaviglia for $1.2 million in 1995, with a $200,000 buyout if they choose not to pick it up.

Indians sign Ojeda

The Cleveland Indians signed free-agent left-hander Bob Ojeda to a one-year contract, with an option for another year.

Ojeda, 35, started 29 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year, going 6-9 with a 3.63 ERA. His career record is 113-97. He pitched for the Red Sox and Mets before going to the Dodgers.

Braves make Glavine offer

Tom Glavine, eligible to become a free agent after the 1993 season, reportedly has been offered a four-year contract worth $4.2 million per year by the Atlanta Braves.

More signings

The Chicago Cubs signed free-agent reliever Dan Plesac to a two-year deal. . . . The Red Sox added some pitching depth in wake of the Gardiner deal, signing veteran Scott Bankhead to a one-year contract. . . . The Cincinnati Reds signed free-agent reliever Tim Burke to a Triple-A contract.

Arbitration refused

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