O's sweeten offer in Anderson talks But GM Gillick says nothing is imminent

March 27, 1997|By Ken Rosenthal | Ken Rosenthal,SUN COLUMNIST

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Orioles, attempting to sign Brady Anderson to a contract extension before Opening Day, have made the All-Star center fielder an offer believed to be significantly higher than their first proposal last November.

Anderson, 33, will earn $4 million this season in the final year of his contract. He rejected the club's initial offer of a two-year, $8 million extension, and negotiations remained at a standstill until this week, when the Orioles made their second proposal.

"We've been talking," general manager Pat Gillick said last night. "I wouldn't say anything right now is imminent."

Anderson is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, along with teammates Cal Ripken and Mike Mussina. Gillick has said the club will suspend negotiations after Opening Day, and Mussina has said he will file for free agency if he does not reach agreement with the club by then.

The Orioles are believed to be close to signing Ripken to an extension. They are deadlocked with Mussina, and Gillick said Monday that he does not expect those talks to resume before Opening Day.

Anderson, like Mussina, has indicated a strong desire to remain in Baltimore, and likely would accept a contract below market value to do so. He also has told Gillick he would be willing to negotiate into the season, saying, "I don't have any deadlines, man."

"We've talked to him about returning in a multi-year deal," Orioles assistant general manager Kevin Malone said. "We're working at trying to get something done. I don't know if we will or not."

Pub Date: 3/27/97

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