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Canseco Signs With Devil Rays

Free agent Jose Canseco, who enjoyed a power resurgence this season with a career-high 46 home runs for the Toronto Blue Jays, signed Thursday with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The deal is discribed as an incentive-laden one-year contract.

The 34-year-old Canseco, free of nagging injuries for the first time since playing 111 games in the lockout-shortened 1994 season, hit .237 with 107 RBIs in 151 games in what appears to be his only season with the Blue Jays. Canseco finished third in the American League in homers behind Ken Griffey Jr and Albert Belle.

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Canseco, who spent time as an outfielder and designated hitter, will join his fourth team in as many seasons. Before 1998, Canseco had a second stint in Oakland, where he hit 23 homers and drove in 74 runs for the A's in 1997. He spent two seasons with the Boston Red Sox, hitting 28 homers in just 96 games in an injury-plagued 1996 campaign.

A 13-year veteran, Canseco came up through the A's organization and was American League Rookie of the Year in 1986, when he hit 33 homers and drove in 117 runs. He was baseball's first "40-40" player in 1988, hitting 42 homers and stealing 40 bases as he led Oakland to an American League title.

Canseco has 397 homers and 1,213 RBIs in 1,600 games.

If he remains healthy, Canseco's power in the heart of the lineup should be a huge help to the expansion Devil Rays, who were last in the major leagues with 620 runs scored and last in the American League with 111 homers in their inaugural season. First baseman Fred McGriff led Tampa offensively with 19 homers and 81 RBIs.

The Devil Rays finished last in the American League East with a 63-99 record, 51 games behind the World Series champion New York Yankees.

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