Players File For Free Agency

As Jose Canseco and seven others filed for free agency Thursday in the hours following the World Series, Mo Vaughn took his first step away from the Boston Red Sox, declining a $6.75 million option for 1999.

Vaughn, who appears ready to leave Boston, became one of approximately 150 players eligible to file for free agency by Nov. 5.

The list also includes New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams, San Diego pitcher Kevin Brown, World Series MVP Scott Brosius, Houston pitcher Randy Johnson, New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza, Baltimore second baseman Roberto Alomar and Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura.

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Boston and Vaughn had a mutual option for 1999, meaning both sides had to agree to exercise it. The Red Sox offered but Vaughn declined, making him eligible for this free agent class.

The Red Sox declined a $3.25 million option on infielder Tim Naehring, making him eligible to file.

Heading the eight players who filed Thursday was Canseco, who hit 47 homers and drove in 107 runs for Toronto in his best season since 1991.

Pitcher Todd Stottlemyre, obtained by Texas from St. Louis on July 31, also filed. The rest of Thursday group included Boston left-hander Butch Henry, Milwaukee outfielder Darrin Jackson, St. Louis outfielder Brian Jordan, Los Angeles catcher Tom Prince, Toronto right-hander Bob Tewksbury and Seattle right-hander Mike Timlin,

Toronto, meanwhile, exercised a $4.5 million option on infielder Tony Fernandez and declined a $3.5 million option on catcher Benito Santiago, who missed the first five months of the season following a January automobile accident.

Anaheim exercised a $1.6 million option on right-hander Omar Olivares.

Pitcher Kevin Ritz, who was injured for much of 1998 and pitched just nine innings and two games, exercised his $3 million option with the Colorado Rockies.

In a flurry of moves during the World Series, the Chicago Cubs exercised a $4.1 million option on first baseman Mark Grace and a $2 million option on second baseman Mickey Morandini, and the Cleveland Indians declined a $2 million option on right-hander Doug Jones and a $1.8 million option on second baseman Joey Cora. Jones gets a $500,000 buyout while Cora gets a $150,000 buyout.

San Francisco declined a $3.71 million otion on Orel Hershiser and will pay a $200,000 buyout, but the Giants exercised a $1.7 million option on third baseman Charlie Hayes.

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