New York After beating the rest of baseball on the field, the New York Yankees beat everyone to Mike Mussina.
"It just came down to who really seemed to want me on their team the most," Mussina said Thursday after agreeing to an $88.5 million, six-year contract.
The deal gives the three-time defending World Series champions a starting rotation that includes Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Orlando Hernandez and Mussina. With just 13 players signed, New York's payroll is $77.5 million.
"It probably isn't fair," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "But, again, George Steinbrenner has had winners here in New York and he probably thinks about how to keep doing it."
Mussina, who turns 32 on Dec. 8, compiled a 147-81 record with a 3.53 ERA in 10 seasons with Baltimore. He gets a $12 million signing bonus payable over six years, $8 million in 2000, $9 million in 2001, $10 million in 2003, $14 million in 2004 and $17 million in each of the final three years. New York has a $17 million option for 2007 with a $1.5 million buyout, and Mussina gets a complete no-trade clause.