Sweeney signs for two years
Kansas City, Mo. Even in the midst of intense contract negotiations this week, Kansas City Royals' first baseman Mike Sweeney, above, knew that when it was all done, he'd be a happy man. And that he'd be a Royal.
Sweeney and the Royals agreed Thursday to a $13 million, two-year contract, a signing that offers fans hope the small-market Royals might retain a core of talented young players despite baseball's wildly escalating salaries.
While outfielder Johnny Damon was traded to Oakland last week after he refused Kansas City's longterm offers, the Royals have under contract talented young players such as third baseman Joe Randa, pitcher Jose Rosado and All-Star outfielder Jermaine Dye.
Sweeney set a club record last season with 144 RBIs second in the American League and hit .333 with 29 home runs. He was selected to the American League All-Star team.
Sweeney, who made $2.45 million last year, gets $5 million this year and $8 million in 2002. He then becomes eligible for free agency.
A's, Damon agree on pact
Oakland, Calif. Outfielder Johnny Damon, acquired by Oakland from Kansas City last week, agreed Thursday to a $7.1 million, one-year contract with the Athletics. Damon, 27, made $4.1 million last season with the Royals, who traded him after he refused to negotiate a multiyear contract. He is eligible for free agency after this season.
Damon batted .327 last season with 16 homers and 88 RBIs. He has a .292 career average.
Edwards named Jets' coach
Hempstead, N.Y. Herman Edwards made his mark as a player in one game against the New York Giants. Now he has a chance to pull off another Miracle of the Meadowlands as coach of the New York Jets.
Until he was hired Thursday to replace Al Groh, Edwards was best known for returning Joe Pisarcik's fumble 26 yards for the winning touchdown in the Philadelphia Eagles' 19-17 win over the Giants in 1978. The play, with 31 seconds left in the game, was dubbed the Miracle of the Meadowlands.
Edwards is considered one of the brightest assistants in the game. He spent the past five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Tony Dungy's assistant head coach/defensive backs. Before that, he worked with the Chiefs under Marty Schottenheimer, and also played 10 seasons nine for the Eagles from 1977-85.