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Matsui Contract Gives Mets Additional Options

Prior to wrapping up Kazuo Matsui last week, the Mets made several compromises with the prized Japanese shortstop. General manager Jim Duquette was able to maneuver and get some extra payroll for 2004. The twenty-eight-year-old will earn $20.1 million over the three years of his contract and gain an additional $900,000 in incentives, but the star will make just $5 million next season. That has helped give the team the ability to grab a center fielder and possibly fill a few more holes.

According to Duquette, the back-loaded deal allowed the organization to sign another free agent to a deal very similar to the one that was issued to Matsui. That was free agent Gold Glove outfielder Mike Cameron, who got three years and $19.5 million after...

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