Yankees want deal with option year from Strawberry AMERICAN LEAGUE


CLEVELAND -- This is decision time for the New York Yankees on whether they intend to bring Darryl Strawberry back to New York. Talks between the team and the suspended outfielder have hit a snag because principal owner George Steinbrenner reportedly is seeking an option year on Strawberry.

Bill Goodstein, who represents Strawberry, was to speak with Steinbrenner last night, hoping to complete a deal that may be announced in Cleveland before the Yankees play the Indians tonight on ESPN.

Strawberry, under suspension until June 23 for a drug after-care violation, has a hearing tomorrow with arbitrator George Nicolau to determine if he is owed back pay from the San Francisco Giants. The players association says Strawberry was improperly released by San Francisco on Feb. 6 after he tested positive for cocaine.

Steinbrenner apparently is willing to sign Strawberry but is demanding the Yankees control his contract for 1996 as well. That way, the Yankees would not have to get in a bidding war if Strawberry were to have a strong season and became a free agent at year's end.

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