Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rocket Re-Launch: Clemens Set to Join Astros

Updated: May 31, 2006, 12:06 PM ET news services

NEW YORK -- The Houston Astros called a news conference Wednesday to announce that Roger Clemens is rejoining the team.

A source familiar with the negotiations said the Astros and Clemens have agreed on a one-year (or four-month) contract,'s Jayson Stark reported.

Clemens' annual salary will be a prorated $22,000,022 -- meaning that when he returns to the Astros (around June 22), he'll make slightly under $13 million the rest of the year.

He is signing a minor-league contract for now, so he can make three minor-league tuneup starts without being formally optioned to the minors. His prorated minor-league salary is $322,000 per year.

Clemens is scheduled to make three minor-league starts: June 6 for Lexington (pitching to his son, Koby), June 11 for Double-A Corpus Christi and June 16 for Triple-A Round Rock.

Randy Hendricks, Clemens' agent, reiterated Wednesday that earlier reports of a deal were premature. Hendricks said Astros GM Tim Purpura went to Hendricks' house last night and met with Hendricks and his brother, Alan. Owner Drayton McLane also took part in the talks by phone, Hendricks said, and they worked out the terms "after midnight."

The Astros were 27-26 and 6½ games behind the NL Central-leading Cardinals after Tuesday night's 6-3 victory over St. Louis.

Clemens pitched for the Astros last season and helped them reach the World Series for the first time. Houston, the New York Yankees, Boston and Texas all tried to lure Clemens to pitch this season.

Clemens last pitched competitively in the World Baseball Classic, where he beat South Africa for the United States in the first round and lost to Mexico 2-1 in the second on March 16.

Clemens retired after the 2003 season, then changed his mind and joined his hometown Astros after former Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte left New York to sign with Houston.

In Detroit, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre heard the report Tuesday that Clemens was returning to Houston.

"I'm not at all surprised," he said. "I didn't think that him coming back here was ever going to happen. Houston's just such a perfect fit for him -- he lives there and Andy's on the team. That's why he came back before, and the circumstances haven't changed."

Texas owner Tom Hicks was told last week by the Hendricks brothers that the Rangers were out of consideration, GM Jon Daniels said.

"Tom got the call on Friday that we were no longer in the running for his services," Daniels said Tuesday. "The way we looked at it was, it would be an honor to be associated with him but we've continued to focus on the 25 guys here. It would have been nice, but we weren't planning on it from the get-go."

Clemens won his seventh Cy Young Award in 2004, going 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA. He went 13-8 with a 1.87 ERA last year, winning the major league ERA title for the first time since 1990.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Looks like he's had enough time to cycle off.