Neagle's grievance against Rockies pending

Updated: February 7, 2005, 10:50 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Former 20-game winner Denny Neagle agreed Monday on a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who also avoided arbitration with left-hander Trever Miller by signing him to a $1.1 million, one-year deal.

Denny Neagle

Neagle, who hasn't pitched in the majors since July 2003 because of elbow and shoulder surgeries and whose contract was terminated by the Colorado Rockies in December after he was cited for soliciting a prostitute, will make the minimum $316,000 if added to the major league roster.

The left-hander, who won 20 games with Atlanta, has pleaded not guilty to the solicitation charge, which stems from an allegation he offered a woman $40 for sex. He's involved in a grievance with the Rockies over termination of his contract.

In December 2000, Neagle and the Rockies agreed on a $51 million, five-year which called for him to be paid $10 million this year. In addition, the deal contains a $12.5 million team option for 2006 with a $9 million buyout, meaning he would be owed $19 million by the Rockies if he wins the grievance.

Neagle, 2-4 with a 7.90 ERA in seven starts for the Rockies in 2003, has an invitation to spring training as part of his deal.

Miller agreed to a deal worth $275,000 less than the $1.375 million he sought in arbitration. The Devil Rays offered $850,000.

The deal is still a significant increase over the $750,000 he made last season when he went 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 60 appearances with the Rays. Miller also could collect $50,000 in performance bonuses.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press