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Newz Forum: BASEBALL: Aaron Boone to sign with Indians

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posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 02:33 PM
CLEVELAND (AP) - Free agent third baseman Aaron Boone has reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract with the Cleveland Indians, The Associated Press learned Friday.

Boone, whose 11th-inning homer in Game 7 of the ALCS last season put the New York Yankees in the World Series, hasn't played since injuring his knee during a basketball game in January. The Indians, who outbid several other teams for Boone, plan to announce the signing this weekend if Boone passes his physical, according to two baseball sources who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The 31-year-old Boone, a career .270 hitter who spent seven seasons with Cincinnati, was already in Cleveland undergoing medical tests and could be ready to play in a few weeks, the sources said.

That's just in time to help the surging Indians (35-36), who have won nine of 14 and entered the weekend four games out of first place in the AL Central.

Boone went from hero-to-goat in a New York minute.

Just two months after beating the Boston Red Sox with his homer off Tim Wakefield, Boone tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the pickup basketball game.

Boone's injury led the Yankees to pursue and eventually sign All-Star Alex Rodriguez.

Boone had surgery before being released in February by the Yankees. He agreed in December to a one-year $5.75 million deal with New York, but the contract prohibited him from playing basketball. So, the Yankees only had to give Boone 30 days termination pay - $917,553.

The Indians will benefit from Boone's versatility. He can play third base, second base and shortstop. With shortstop Omar Vizquel in the final year of his contract, Boone gives Cleveland some depth and options for 2005.

Boone batted .254 with six homers and 31 RBIs last year for New York, which acquired him from the Reds last July for left-handers Brandon Claussen and Charlie Manning.

Overall, Boone hit .287 with 24 homers and 96 RBIs last season and was named an NL All-Star.

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