Originally created 11/19/02

Selig OKs Braves' deal for Hampton



ATLANTA -- Left-hander Mike Hampton's trade to the Atlanta Braves was approved Monday by commissioner Bud Selig.

The Braves called an afternoon news conference to discuss the deal, which casts doubt on whether the team will re-sign starters Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, both free agents.

Hampton was shipped to Atlanta after a brief stopover with the Florida Marlins. They acquired the pitcher and outfielder Juan Pierre from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for catcher Charles Johnson, outfielder Preston Wilson, left-handed reliever Vic Darensbourg and second base prospect Pablo Ozuna.

The Braves sent the Marlins reliever Tim Spooneybarger and a minor leaguer who has not been identified.

Atlanta is responsible for just $5.5 million of Hampton's salary over the next three years, which could increase payroll flexibility.

As part of the deals, Colorado pays Florida $6.5 million over the next three years, and the Marlins pay Atlanta $30 million over the next three seasons.

In addition, the Rockies remain responsible for the $19 million Hampton is owed from his $21 million signing bonus and for a $6 million buyout of his 2009 option, which was declined just before the trade.

Hampton was a bust in Denver's thin air. After a 9-2 start in 2001, he went 12-26 with a 6.62 ERA for the Rockies. The 30-year-old left-hander was 7-15 this year with a 6.15 ERA, the highest in the major leagues among qualifying pitchers.

The Braves made an offer to Glavine, a two-time Cy Young Award winner who has spent his entire 16-year career in Atlanta. But the left-hander could get a more lucrative deal from the New York Mets, who last week offered a three-year contract worth about $31 million.

Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner, has been with the Braves for 10 seasons but seems even less likely to return than Glavine. His agent, Scott Boras, isn't expected to begin serious talks with prospective teams until next month.

Two years ago, Colorado gave Hampton a $121 million, eight-year contract, a record for a pitcher, and the Rockies will wind up paying $49 million of the deal: the $21 million signing bonus, a $6 million salary in 2001, $8.5 million in 2002, the $6 million buyout of his 2009 option, a $1 million payment to the Hampton Foundation, plus payments to Florida of $2 million in 2003, $2 million in 2004 and $2.5 million in 2005.

Florida pays $30 million to Atlanta: $9 million in 2003, $10 million in 2004 and $11 million in 2005.

The Braves are responsible for $48.5 million over six years: $2 million in 2003, $2 million in 2004, $1.5 million in 2005, $13.5 million in 2006, $14.5 million in 2007 and $15 million in 2008.

Florida saves itself about $23 million with the deals, ridding itself of $54 million owed to Johnson and Wilson, but paying $23.5 million of Hampton's salary, taking on the $6.6 million owed Pierre and becoming responsible for the salary of Spooneybarger, who is likely to make just over $300,000 next year.

Wilson is owed $28 million ($6.5 million in 2003, $9 million in 2004 and $12.5 million in 2005), and Johnson is owed $26 million ($7 million in 2003, $9 million in 2004 and $10 million in 2005).

Pierre gets $900,000 next year, $2.3 million in 2004 and $3.4 million in 2005.