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Monday, December 30
 
Sanchez's one-year deal for $1.3 million finalized

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Rey Sanchez and the New York Mets finalized a $1.3 million, one-year contract Monday, making him the team's shortstop until Jose Reyes is ready for the majors.

Rey Sanchez
Shortstop
New York Mets
Profile
2002 SEASON STATISTICS
GM R HR RBI SB AVG
107 46 1 38 2 .286

Sanchez can make an additional $700,000 based on performance and playing time. How much he plays depends on how quickly Reyes develops.

The Mets expect the 20-year-old Reyes to be their long-term shortstop but probably will start him at Triple-A, while Sanchez replaces Rey Ordonez, who was traded to Tampa Bay.

"He brings some real experience and ability at shortstop and protects us until whenever Reyes is ready for the major leagues," Mets general manager Steve Phillips said. "He has the versatility to play several positions."

Phillips has been reworking the roster after last season's last-place finish. The team also signed free-agent pitchers Tom Glavine and Mike Stanton, and outfielder Cliff Floyd.

The Mets are the seventh team for the 35-year-old Sanchez, the fourth in the last two years. He hit .286 in 107 games while playing second base for Boston last season.

The signing returns Sanchez to shortstop, where he made just six errors in 149 games with Atlanta and Kansas City in 2001.

"You learn to play a position, you don't forget," he said. "Your legs at second base get slower. You don't have a lot of room to cover."

Sanchez said he would be happy to tutor Reyes.

"I'm here to help win," he said. "One of the reasons I took the job is to help Reyes out."

Phillips is still shopping for a third baseman to replace Edgardo Alfonzo, who signed with San Francisco. Free agents Bill Mueller and Jose Hernandez remain the top candidates.

"We're still considering our options on the market at third base," he said. "We're looking at the free agent market and trades. There are some things we're talking about."




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