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Yankees Send Pitcher Kenny Rogers and $5 Million to A’s for Player To Be Named; Baseball Exec

November 7, 1997 GMT

Yankees Send Pitcher Kenny Rogers and $5 Million to A’s for Player To Be Named; Baseball Exec Says the Player Is Third Baseman Scott BrosiusBy RONALD BLUM

NEW YORK (AP) _ Kenny Rogers’ unhappy stay with the Yankees ended Friday when he was traded to the Oakland Athletics along with $5 million in a deal that eventually will bring third baseman Scott Brosius to New York.

Rogers, signed to a $20 million, four-year contract as a free agent before the 1996 season, never adjusted to the turmoil of the Yankees. He nearly was demoted to the bullpen during his first spring training with New York, and his confidence never appeared to recover.

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New York had traded him to San Diego July 4 in a deal centered around Greg Vaughn, but the trade was voided the following day when the outfielder flunked his physical and Rogers returned a week later.

``He did not live up to our expectations or his,″ Yankees general manager Bob Watson said. ``I don’t know exactly what the problem was.″

New York, which agreed to pay half of Rogers’ $5 million salary in each of the next two seasons, said it will get a player to be named. A baseball executive, speaking on the condition he not be identified, said the player will be Brosius, who hit .203 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs, becoming only the fourth player ever whose average dropped 100 points in one season.

Brosius hit .304 in 1996 with 22 homers and 71 RBIs despite missing 47 games with a broken right arm after Mark Gubicza hit him with a pitch. Oakland will protect Brosius during the Nov. 18 expansion draft, then send him to the Yankees, the executive said.

The move means the Yankees probably won’t protect Charlie Hayes, their regular third baseman, in the draft.

Rogers, a left-hander who will be 33 Tuesday, was 12-8 with a 4.68 ERA in his first season was the Yankees but was hit hard in the postseason, allowing 11 runs in seven innings. Rogers slumped to 6-7 with a 5.65 ERA last season in 22 starts and nine relief appearances and was dropped from the roster for this year’s division series against Cleveland.

``That kind of showed his time was up in New York,″ Watson said.

Oakland is looking to rebuild after finishing last in the AL West with a 65-95 record, 25 games behind division-leading Seattle. The A’s began the process by trading Mark McGwire to St. Louis on July 31.

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Rogers pitched a perfect game for Texas against the Angels on July 28, 1994. He spent seven seasons with the Rangers before signing with the Yankees, going 70-51.

``We feel Kenny will be a great addition to our starting rotation,″ Oakland general manager Billy Beane said. ``He has shown the ability not only to provide a lot of innings, but has been successful doing so. His addition is the first step to improving our pitching staff in 1998.″

The Yankees figure to be a markedly different team next season. Cecil Fielder, Wade Boggs, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Tim Raines and Pat Kelly have filed for free agency.

In addition, they might trade center fielder Bernie Williams rather than agree to his demand for a $70 million, seven-year contract.

``We’ll continue to talk, but you can’t just keep beating your head against the wall,″ Watson said.

Williams’ agent, Scott Boras, has compared his client to Gary Sheffield ($61 million for six years) and Sammy Sosa ($42.5 million for four years).

``We are not on the same page and feel that Bernie is not in that stratosphere as far as dollars,″ Watson said. ``The best interests of the club may be to try to negotiate a one-year deal, and if we can’t, go through the arbitration process. Or it might be in the best interests of the club to try and trade Bernie. But at present, we want to talk about a long-term deal.″