Cards Give Kile Pile Of Cash

Cardinals' Darryl Kile throws during the second inning against the Diamondbacks.
Darryl Kile, coming off his first 20-win season, agreed Thursday to a $23 million, three-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The deal with the NL Central division champions includes a team option for 2004 and performance bonuses and escalators that could make it worth up to $32.55 million for four seasons.

"We are extremely pleased to keep Darryl in a Cardinals uniform for a long time," said general manager Walt Jocketty, who acquired Kile from Colorado after the 1999 season. "Darryl was our top pitcher in 2000 and it is very exciting to build our pitching staff around a true professional and winner."

Kile (20-9) had a 3.91 ERA. He was second to Atlanta's Tom Glavine (21) in wins, tied for ninth in strikeouts (192), and sixth in innings pitched (232 1-3).

The inning count was the second-highest in Kile's 10-year career. He allowed a career-low 58 walks.

He struggled in the playoffs, allowing eight runs in the first inning of his three starts. Working on three days' rest for the first time all season, he gave up seven runs the first two innings of the Cardinals' Game 4 loss to the New York Mets on Sunday.

Kile, 31, has a career record of 112-104 with a 4.27 ERA. He was voted to his third All-Star team and was the first St. Louis pitcher in 15 years to win 20 games.

Kile gets a $5 million signing bonus, payable in yearly $1 million installments each Feb. 15. plus salaries of $5 million in 2001, and $5.5 million in each of the the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

The Cardinals have a $9 million option for 2004, with a $2 million buyout. If Kile pitches a combined 430 innings in 2002 and 2003, the option price would increase to $9.5 million (and the buyout price to $2.5 million) if he is either an All-Star of finishes among the top 10 in Cy Young Award voting. If he meets the innings requirement and finishes among the top five in Cy Young voting, the option price goes up to $10 million and the buyout to $3 million.

He also can earn yearly bonuses for pitching 210 innings ($75,000 in 2001, $100,000 in 2002, $125,000 in 2003 and $150,000 in 2004), 220 innings ($75,000 in 2001, $125,000 in 2001, $125,000 in 2003 and $200,000 in 2004) and 230 innings ($100,000 in 2001, $125,000 in 2002, $150,000 in 2003 and $200,000 in 2004).

The contract also includes a no-trade clause in 2001 and a limited no-trade clause after that.

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