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Old 07-24-2002, 02:30 PM  
spe725 spe725 is offline
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Byrd says he'll take less in multiyear deal to stay in KC

This was in the Star today. I think the Royals should jump all over this and sign him up long term. Not only can he show young pitchers how to win and win games himself, but he can show young players how to WANT to stay in KC.
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Posted on Wed, Jul. 24, 2002

Byrd says he'll take less in multiyear deal to stay in KC
By DICK KAEGEL
The Kansas City Star

DETROIT - Pitcher Paul Byrd plans to propose a multiyear deal to the Royals that would keep him with the club beyond this season.

And, to do it, he'd take considerably less than his presumed value on the free-agent market next winter.

"If my market value is, say, around $6 million, I'd take a third off of that and start there," Byrd said.

That would mean about $4 million a year.

"That's less than (pitcher Jeff) Suppan is making this year," Byrd said. "Put some light incentives on it on a three-year deal and go from there.

"I feel like that's a better-than-fair deal. Couple that with I'm playing for less this year, I feel that would be attractive to them and it'd be a win-win (situation) for everybody."

Byrd and Suppan, both having successful seasons, are attractive candidates for a possible trade to contending teams for the stretch run. There is one week remaining before the July 31 deadline for trading players without first obtaining waivers on them.

Bo McKinnis, Byrd's agent, is awaiting a return call from Royals general manager Allard Baird to discuss the contract.

"I have not (heard from him), but we're definitely interested," McKinnis said. "Paul just loves being in the Kansas City area."

Baird is under instructions from club owner David Glass to trim payroll from the current $47 million.

Byrd has a base salary of $850,000 this year, but incentives for games started could drive his total take to $2.2 million. Suppan is making $4.15 million this season and is eligible for salary arbitration for one more year.

"We're always interested in maintaining high-quality players in our system but we have financial concerns to consider," Baird said from Kansas City.

Baird also said he's continuing to have trade conversations with other clubs.

"But there is nothing warm at this point on any deal," he said.

Byrd, with a 13-6 record, has a chance to become the Royals' first 20-game winner since Bret Saberhagen in 1989.

"If I win 20, considering the free-agent market, it'd make it a pretty good deal for the Royals and getting to stay in Kansas City is good for me," Byrd said.

Byrd and his wife, Kym, consider Kansas City an excellent environment for raising their two sons.

"I've grown fond of the fans and my teammates and the living situation in Kansas City," he said.

"Like (comedian) Jeff Foxworthy says, `If she ain't happy, you ain't happy.' "

An attractive alternative would be playing in Atlanta, where Byrd has his permanent home, but the Braves have not approached the Royals about obtaining Byrd.

McKinnis, who is in Detroit visiting Byrd, hopes to be in contact with Baird soon.

"He's going to talk to him," Byrd said. "I think we're going to propose a deal, and I feel if they really want to sign me, want me back, really want to go after me in this off-season they can sign me to a multiyear deal now.

"And if they get what they expect to get out of revenue sharing, well, they were going to sign me anyway and I'm going to play for less."

It's been suggested by Royals officials that even if Byrd were to be traded, they might pursue him as a free agent this winter.

The Royals have been wary about multiyear contracts because they were unsure what a new collective-bargaining agreement with the players' union would bring the club in revenue-sharing income.

McKinnis said Byrd's willingness to take less than his market value indicates his sincerity about reaching a deal.

"I certainly support him," McKinnis said. "When he gets to this stage in life, it's a family decision as well as a career decision.... I just hope the Royals are able to put something together."
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Old 07-24-2002, 06:15 PM   #2
keg in kc keg in kc is offline
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I think the Royals have almost no choice but to keep him now; it'll be PR suicide if they do. He's got a legitimate chance for 20 wins (if the offense can wake up again) and now this...

Too bad Suppan has gone into the crapper, because I think they have to trade one of them, and I think it's got to be him, but he's go virtually no trade value right now.
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