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Batista: 31 HRs a year over last five

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Expos added some much needed power
to their lineup Friday, signing third baseman Tony Batista to a
one-year contract.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Batista, a two-time All-Star, hit .235 with a team-leading 26
home runs and 99 runs batted in last year with the Baltimore
Orioles. He averaged 31 home runs a season over the last five
years, including a career-high 41 for the Toronto Blue Jays in
2000.

Batista has 182 home runs and 571 RBIs in eight seasons with
Oakland, Arizona, Toronto and Baltimore.

He joins newly signed outfielder Carl Everett in the revamped
Expos lineup with the expected loss of All-Star Vladimir Guerrero
to free agency. Everett signed a two-year contract with Montreal on
Dec. 16.

The Expos also announced the signing of right-hander Jeremy
Fikac to a minor-league contract. The reliever was 0-1 with a 4.50
earned-run average in 14 games for Oakland last season.

Batista was the 105th player to agree to a contract among the
210 who filed for free agency after the World Series.