Reds, Sullivan Agree to 3-Yr. Deal

Wednesday, February 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CINCINNATI (AP) — Instead of going to arbitration, reliever Scott Sullivan agreed to a $6.95 million, three-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

Sullivan gets $1.7 million this year, $2.2 million in 2002 and $2.8 million in 2003. The Reds have a $3.1 million option for 2004 with a $250,000 buyout.

The 29-year-old right-hander went 3-6 with a 3.47 earned run average in 106 1-3 innings last season, when he made $1.1 million. He made a team-high 79 appearances.

``It's a good deal for both sides,'' he said. ``It gives the Reds some concrete numbers to work with, and it gives my family peace of mind.''

In arbitration figures exchanged with the club last month, Sullivan asked for $2.1 million this season and the Reds offered $1.7 million.

Sullivan became only the second pitcher to lead the majors in relief innings for three consecutive seasons (1998-2000), joining Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm (1952-54, New York Giants). Sullivan's 419 1-3 innings pitched the past four seasons — which included 322 innings within the past three seasons — led all major-league relievers.

Five Reds remain in salary arbitration, including first baseman Sean Casey, scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in Phoenix. Casey asked for $3 million and the Reds countered at $2.6 million.

Cincinnati also avoided salary arbitration with outfielder Alex Ochoa, who agreed to a two-year, $4.35 million deal last month.

Closer Danny Graves, starter Osvaldo Fernandez, second baseman Pokey Reese and outfielder Dmitri Young are still scheduled for hearings