Monday, December 11, 2000
RHP Dreifort agrees to five-year deal with Dodgers
By John Torenli
SportsTicker Staff Writer
DALLAS (Ticker) -- Apparently, super agent Scott Boras was not
too busy negotiating Alex Rodriguez's monster deal to work out a
nice little five-year, reported $55-million pact for righthander
Dreifort today agreed to terms on the lucrative deal with the
Los Angeles Dodgers, returning to the team that weaned him over
the previous six seasons.
As Day 4 of the Winter Meetings progressed, the only thing most
media members were concerned with was when superstar shortstop
Rodriguez was going to take the podium at the Wyndham Anatole
Hotel and announce that he had in fact signed a 10-year deal
with the Texas Rangers.
But Boras, who continually refuses to acknowledge that a deal
has been reached for Rodriguez, was not ignoring Dreifort's
needs. Instead, he seemed to take the extra time needed to make
the 28-year-old one of the highest-paid pitchers in the game --
the top-two, Los Angeles' Kevin Brown and Colorado's Mike
Hampton, are also Boras clients.
Boras got Hampton an unprecented eight-year, $123.8 million
contract on Friday and today, he got Dreifort his bundle not for
previous achievements but for the 6-2, 211-pounder's tremendous
He will join a staff anchored by Brown and filled out with
himself, Andy Ashby, who signed a three-year, $22.5 million deal
on Friday, Chan Ho Park and budding righthander Eric Gagne.
"Signing Darren has been our No. 1 priority since the season
ended," Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone said. "He has
displayed tremendous ability and development and has the
potential to be a No. 1 starter in the future. He is a
homegrown talent with a strong connection to our community and
organization. With the additon of Andy Ashby, Darren was the
most logical fit to solidify this rotation that also features
Kevin Brown and Chan Ho Park."
After spending his first three seasons as a reliever, Dreifort
has become a formidable starter with intimidating stuff. He is
coming off a 12-9 season in which he posted a 4.16 ERA while
striking out 164 in 192 2/3 innings.
Dreifort's career mark of 39-45 is made more impressive when you
consider that he lost nine of his first 10 career decisions as a
reliever. He is also a formidable hitter, belting three homers
last season, inlcuding two against the Chicago Cubs on August 8.
Ironically, Dreifort was the second player selected in the 1993
first-year player draft behind Rodriguez, who the Dodgers
tinkered with acquiring earlier this offeseason before dropping
out of the continually growing sweepstakes.