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Burks was Boston's No. 1 draft pick in '83

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox will announce Thursday that they've signed Ellis Burks to a one-year contract, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports.

Burks will be guaranteed $750,000, with health-based incentives that could double that amount.

The Red Sox have been having conversations with Burks for weeks
and he had a physical this week. Late last week, another AL team, believed to be Seattle, made a run at signing him, which caused the Red Sox to accelerate the pace in the last few days and close the deal.

Burks' agent, Jim Turner, confirmed Wednesday that his client
took the physical. Turner said he wanted to wait for the results
before publicly discussing his client's talks with the Red Sox.

Boston's negotiations with Burks were first reported Wednesday
by The Boston Globe.

Burks, 39, played six seasons in Boston after being selected as
the team's No. 1 draft pick in 1983. He was an All-Star and Gold
Glove outfielder in 1990, three years after making his big league
debut. He left the team as a free agent after the 1992 season, when
the Red Sox declined to re-sign him because of concerns about his
back.

Burks then played with the Chicago White Sox, Colorado, San
Francisco and Cleveland. His season with Cleveland ended in June
last year because of a nerve condition in his right elbow that
required surgery. He became a free agent after the Indians declined
to exercise a $5 million option.

Burks batted .301 with 32 home runs and 91 RBI in 2002, his
last full season. He's expected to compete for the right-handed
designated hitter's spot and serve as the top right-handed pinch
hitter.

Boston is expected to announce Wednesday that former big league
infielder Dale Sveum, who managed the Double-A Altoona Curve, will
succeed Mike Cubbage as the team's third-base coach.