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The biggest contract since the end of strike, Larry Walker’s 4

April 12, 1995

NEW YORK (AP) _ The biggest contract since the end of strike, Larry Walker’s 4-year deal with Colorado, is worth nearly $500,000 more than originally thought.

Walker’s contract guarantees him $22,494,382, according to information obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. If the Rockies exercise an option for 1999, the deal would be worth $25,494,382.

Walker gets a $1 million signing bonus and $4,494,382 this year. Because the strike reduced the season by 18 games this year, the actual amount of salary he will receive will be reduced 11.11 percent to $3,995,006.

The outfielder will get $4 million in 1996 and $5.5 million each in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. If the Rockies don’t exercise the $5 million option, they will have to pay a $2 million buyout. The option would become guaranteed if he has 475 plate appearances in 1998 or 1,075 combined in 1997 or 1998.

Walker can earn an additional $275,000 per season in performance bonuses.

Colorado’s deal is by far the largest since the 232-day strike ended, nearly $9.4 million more than the Rockies’ $13.1 million, 3-year deal with pitcher Bill Swift.

Walker’s deal has an average annual value of $5,623,595, the second-highest of the offseason, trailing only Jeff Bagwell’s $27.5 million, 4-year deal with Houston, which has an average annual value of $6,875,000.

In 1995, Walker can earn $50,000 each for 290, 355, 423 and 490 plate appearances and $25,000 each for 512, 534 and 556 plate appearances.

During the remainder of the contract, he can earn $50,000 each for 325, 400, 475 and 550 plate appearances and $25,000 each for 575, 600 and 625 plate appearances.

In future years, his base salary will increase by $25,000 for each performance bonus level reached the previous season.

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