Rickey Henderson close to signing with Padres
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After being ignored by teams all spring, career steals leader Rickey Henderson was on the verge Sunday of signing a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres -- one of his many former teams.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers said he expected to finalize the one-year deal, an incentive-laden contract with a base salary slightly above the major league minimum of $200,000, on Sunday night after a phone call with agent Jeff Borris.
''It's 99.9 percent sure we'll have a deal,'' Towers said, adding he expects Henderson to join the team at its training camp on Monday. ''If he's healthy and still has some game in him, he might be a good addition.''
Henderson, 42, needs 86 hits to reach 3,000 and is closing in on a couple of major league career records. He will have to play his way onto the Padres' roster.
Henderson, who was not re-signed by the Seattle Mariners after last season and has played for seven major league teams in a 22-season career that has included four stops in Oakland, played for the Padres in 1996 and part of 1997.
Wells says he'll retire if Chicago declines option
TUCSON, Ariz. -- David Wells insists he will retire after this season if the Chicago White Sox don't exercise his $9 million option for 2002.
''This is my last stop,'' Wells said Sunday. ''If they pick it up, they pick it up. If not, I will retire.''
Wells, acquired in January from Toronto, will make $8.25 million this year and Chicago would have to pay a $1.25 million buyout if it declines the option.
''I'm tired,'' he said Sunday after his third outing of the spring, a three-inning stint in a 7-5 loss to Anaheim. ''It's tough moving your family.''
The White Sox acquired Wells in a trade with Toronto on Jan. 14 after he spent two years with the Blue Jays.
Wells has a 161-107 career record with the New York Yankees, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit and Toronto. Making his third spring start, he allowed two runs and four hits in three innings against the Angels.
''I don't know what his experiences have been in other places,'' Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said. ''I would hope we can keep him. He has not been a problem here. He has done his own thing, but at the same time I think he has added something to this club. It would be a tough loss to lose an ace the very next year.''
Knoblauch may be seeing field from different view
TAMPA, Fla. -- Chuck Knoblauch's faulty arm may earn him a longer throw.
With his second baseman struggling in the field again this year, Yankees manager Joe Torre said he has thought about moving Knoblauch to left field.
If New York moves Knoblauch to left, Alfonso Soriano would move to second base. Knoblauch said he hadn't discussed the possibility with Torre this year. Knoblauch played the outfield as a freshman at Texas A&M because the school had a senior who played second base. He's only played one game in the outfield in the major leagues, catching two flyballs for Minnesota against Oakland on Sept. 16, 1993
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