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Leibrandt will take Braves' $8 million


Charlie Leibrandt, granted new-look free agency Dec. 7 as part of the collusion settlement, decided yesterday to stay in Atlanta and agreed to a three-year, $8 million contract with the Braves.

Atlanta has an option for 1994 that, if exercised, would make the deal worth $10 million. Leibrandt can make up to $350,000 more each year in performance bonuses.

Leibrandt, a 34-year-old left-hander who made $1 million last season, was 9-11 for Atlanta in 1990 with a 3.16 ERA. He pitched five shutouts after missing nearly the first two months of the season because of a shoulder injury.

* WHITE SOX: Charlie Hough, a 42-year-old knuckleball pitcher, agreed on a one-year contract worth $900,000.

Hough has a 186-169 record and 3.63 ERA in 18 major-league seasons. He was 12-12 with a 4.07 ERA in 1990 for the Texas Rangers.

Hough will make $800,000 in 1991, and the team has a 1992 option for $800,000 with a $100,000 buyout. He can earn up to $300,000 in performance bonuses each year, and any bonuses he makes next season will be added to his 1992 salary.

Hough is the second-oldest pitcher in the majors behind Nolan Ryan, his former Texas teammate, who is 43.

* PIRATES: Catcher Don Slaught, 32, who became the third free agent to return to Pittsburgh by accepting salary arbitration Wednesday, agreed to a three-year contract yesterday worth about $3 million.

The Pirates and Slaught have been near a deal for nearly two weeks, but negotiations over incentive clauses held up a final agreement.

* ANGELS: California is offering third baseman Gary Gaetti, 32, a new-look free agent, a four-year contract worth $10 million to $12 million, three newspapers reported.

"Obviously, we would like Gary Gaetti," Angels president Richard Brown told the Press-Enterprise of Riverside County, Calif., Wednesday. "We would love to sign him."

The Orange County Register reported that Gaetti's offer was about $12 million, the Riverside County paper said it was $11 million and the Los Angeles Times said it was about $10 million -- each offer covering four seasons.

Meanwhile, infielder Johnny Ray, 33, who had asked to be traded or released by California at the end of the season, was given his release and signed a two-year contract with the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese League.

Ray was under contract to the Angels for 1991 at $1.4 million, but the club will no longer be obligated, a spokesman said. The terms of his contract with the Swallows were not announced.

Ray, who batted .277 in 105 games and missed more than three weeks in midsummer with a strained shoulder, said he believed he had fallen out of favor with manager Doug Rader.

New-look free agents

The nine remaining new-look free agents from 1987. They have until Jan. 29 to sign with new teams or remain with the current clubs under their present contracts:

AMERICAN LEAGUE Boston -- Larry Andersen, RHP.

California -- Chili Davis, OF.

Detroit -- Mike Heath, C; Jack Morris, RHP.

Minnesota -- Juan Berenguer, RHP; Gary Gaetti, 3B.

New York -- Dave LaPoint, LHP; Mike Witt, RHP.

NATIONAL LEAGUE San Francisco -- Mike LaCoss, RHP.

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