Orioles, Burnitz reach agreement on two-year deal
A team source, speaking on the condition of anonymity since the deal has not been finalized, said Wednesday night that the deal will pay the former Chicago Cubs right fielder between $10 million and $12 million.
The 36-year-old Burnitz hit .258 with 24 homers and 87 RBI with the Cubs last season. The 13-year veteran would fill the hole in left field left by the departure of Eric Byrnes, who was not offered a contract for 2006.
In other news, the Orioles are on the brink of abandoning their effort to trade disgruntled shortstop Miguel Tejada, who has expressed a desire to leave Baltimore because the team has not done enough to improve itself during the offseason.
"There is absolutely no deal we find acceptable to trade this very special player to another team,'' an Orioles official said.
Tejada is entering the third year of a $72 million, six-year contract. He hit .304 with 26 homers and 98 RBI in 2004, but that wasn't good enough to prevent the Orioles from logging their eighth consecutive losing season.
Burnitz has played for four teams in three years. The left-handed hitter has 299 career home runs, but he's also struck out 1,302 times.
Burnitz played in 160 games last season with the Cubs. In 2004 with Colorado, he had 37 homers and 110 RBI in 150 games.
He brings to the Orioles some sorely needed power, and can play any outfield position. He has hit at least 30 homers in six of his last seven seasons.
Selected by the Mets with the 17th overall pick in the 1990 draft, Burnitz broke into the majors with New York in 1993. He played in the 1999 All-Star game as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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