Reds don't offer Larkin arbitration
CINCINNATI -- After a series of goodbyes that started in September, the Cincinnati Reds cut final ties with shortstop Barry Larkin on Tuesday.
The Reds declined to offer their team captain salary arbitration after a 19-year career with his hometown team.
Larkin, 40, had planned to retire after the 2004 season, but batted .289 in 111 games, with eight home runs and 44 RBI, and felt he played well enough to ask for one more contract.
Larkin was willing to accept a utility role, but the Reds said they were not interested.
General manager Dan O'Brien told Larkin by telephone in October that he would not be offered a contract.
Larkin won the NL Most Valuable Player award in 1995, the last time the Reds made the playoffs. As captain, he was the acknowledged leader in the clubhouse and frequent spokesman for the players.
Larkin is second on the Reds' career list in hits, trailing Pete Rose. He's also second in doubles, runs and stolen bases.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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