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AROUND THE HORN Baseball news and notes



Published: Mon, February 17, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Mets lure Cone back: David Cone decided to give it one more try. Out of baseball last year, the 40-year-old pitcher will attempt a comeback with the New York Mets, signing a minor league contract Thursday. The right-hander last pitched in 2001, going 9-7 with a 4.31 ERA in 25 starts for Boston. Cone worked as an analyst for the New York Yankees' YES network last season and had been expected to do so again. But after a lot of lobbying from Mets lefty Al Leiter -- and the possibility of winning a spot as the No. 5 starter -- Cone chose to give it a shot. He would get a $550,000, one-year contract if he makes the team and the chance to earn $200,000 more in performance bonuses.

Rockies: Closer Jose Jimenez and Colorado agreed Thursday to a $3.6 million, one-year contract. Jimenez leads the Rockies with 82 career saves, setting a team record with 41 last season, when he was 2-10 with a 3.56 ERA. He is 13-13 with a 3.57 ERA in 199 innings pitched with the Rockies. The 29-year-old right-hander, who made $1,937,500 last year, had asked for $3.9 million in arbitration and had been offered $3.2 million. A hearing had been scheduled for next week in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Marlins: Outfielder Al Martin signed a minor league contract with Florida, adding some more left-handed power to their revamped lineup. Martin, 35, will get an invite to the Marlins' spring training, which opens when pitchers and catchers report on Saturday. Last season, Martin spent spring training with the St. Louis Cardinals but sat out the year after having surgery to repair a torn muscle in his left elbow. In his last full season, Martin hit .240 with seven home runs and 42 RBIs with Seattle in 2001.

-- Associated Press




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