Monday, December 20, 1999

Guzman refuses arbitration

Reds will get draft picks for free agent

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Right-hander Juan Guzman retained his free-agent status Sunday night by refusing the Reds' offer of salary arbitration.

        Guzman's decision, which Reds Assistant General Manager Darrell “Doc” Rodgers relayed after contacting the Players Association, essentially finishes his brief tenure with the Reds. Guzman finished 6-3 with a 3.03 ERA after the Reds acquired him from Baltimore for two minor-league pitching prospects on July 31.

        Guzman's move also indicated that he'll soon sign a multiyear contract with another team as one of the top free-agent pitchers available. Having offered him arbitration, the Reds will receive two extra high-round selections in next June's amateur draft as compensation.

        Had Guzman accepted arbitration, he tentatively would have been a Red for the 2000 season. Unable to pay Guzman the $6 million or more that he would have been awarded in arbitration, Reds General Manager Jim Bowden probably would have tried to trade him.

        Another deadline will arrive today, when the Reds must decide whether to tender contracts to unsigned players on the 40-man offseason roster. They're expected to tender everybody a contract.

        Nine arbitration-eligible players are in line for significant raises: center fielder Mike Cameron, second baseman Pokey Reese, outfielders Dmitri Young and Michael Tucker, utilityman Mark Sweeney, right-handers Steve Parris and Scott Sullivan and left-handers Ron Villone and Gabe White.

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