Darryl Strawberry and the New York Yankees postponed the team's deadline to exercise its $2.5 million option for the third time, moving it to next Wednesday.
"We continue to work diligently to finalize an agreement which will fit within the framework of the basic agreement," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday after the sides agreed to push back the decision once again.
New York has decided to bring Strawberry back for next season but is working out the mechanics. By not having him on the 40-man roster now, the Yankees are able to protect an extra player in next month's major-league draft.
In addition, the Yankees are concerned Strawberry will not be ready for Opening Day following surgery last month to remove a cancerous colon tumor. Strawberry is currently undergoing chemotherapy and New York wants to sign him to a minor-league contract. If he starts the season in the minors, it would enable the Yankees to lower their luxury tax payment in 1999.
The deadline, originally Nov. 1, was first pushed back to Nov. 11 and then to Nov. 20. The 36-year-old outfielder hit .247 this year with 24 homers and 57 RBIs, his best season since 1991.
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