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Beltran to be introduced Tuesday

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran passed his physical without
incident -- both at the doctor and on the street -- and the New York
Mets scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to announce his $119
million, seven-year contract.

With Randy Johnson due to be introduced by the Yankees the same
day, the Mets called their neighbor Monday and let them know their
shindig at Shea Stadium would be at 11 a.m., because some of the
people had to leave town in the afternoon, Mets spokesman Jay
Horwitz said.

The Yankees scheduled a 2 p.m. announcement in the Bronx to
introduce the Big Unit, who got into a little confrontation with a
television cameraman on the way to his physical.

At the Mets' minicamp in Port St. Lucie, Fla., manager Willie
Randolph was excited about the prospect of having Beltran in his
lineup.

"Just to think about having someone of that caliber on your
ballclub is awesome," Randolph said.

Beltran will join a retooled roster that includes three-time Cy
Young Award winner Pedro Martinez.

"Sometimes they use the word rebuilding, but I think it's tough
to rebuild in this type of market," Randolph said. "I assumed we
would add some veterans and free agents, but so far it's been a lot
more than I expected. I think that ownership has made a serious
effort to get back to winning ways, and it's exciting to be part of
that."

Randolph watched Beltran's outstanding postseason with the
Houston Astros, when he hit .435 with eight homers and 14 RBI.

"He was phenomenal," Randolph said. "Timing is very important
sometimes, but I think for him what he did was always there. It
says a lot about him, that he was able to raise his play at the
right time."

New York's contract calls for Beltran to receive an $11 million
signing bonus. Tuesday is the last day before a change in federal
rules makes signing bonuses subject to increased taxes.

"I'm very satisfied because we reached a deal," Beltran told
the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora. "The Mets showed genuine
interest all the way and were willing to commit the way I wanted
them to.

"I hope the Houston fans understand, because I'm very grateful
to them. This was a very difficult process. The reason we could not
reach a deal with the Astros was because of a no-trade clause.

"The Astros offered me a seven-year contract, but they would
not give me a no-trade clause. At this stage in my career I want
stability. To be in a city during all the duration of my contract.
New York offered me that stability that Houston did not offer."