Alex Rodriguez set another record for baseball's highest contract, finalizing his $275 million, 10-year agreement with the New York Yankees yesterday.

A-Rod set the previous mark with his $252 million, 10-year deal with Texas in December 2000. Traded to the Yankees in 2004, he opted out of that contract Oct. 28, during the final game of the World Series.

The three-time MVP said opting out was "a mistake that was handled extremely poorly."

"It was a huge debacle," he said, calling the timing during the World Series "distasteful and very inappropriate."

"I made mistakes. I've got to look in the mirror. If I had to do it again, I would have called Hank [Steinbrenner] from day one and negotiated myself," Rodriguez said.

Blue Jays.

Shortstop David Eckstein agreed to terms with Toronto on a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

Eckstein, who was the MVP of the Cardinals' World Series triumph in 2006, is expected to bat leadoff for the Blue Jays.


The team avoided salary arbitration with outfielder Chris Snelling. He agreed to a one-year, $450,000 contract plus bonuses


Righthander Brandon Duckworth agreed to a one-year, $600,000 contract with Kansas City. The former Phillie's contract includes $155,000 in incentives.


Lefthander Neal Cotts agreed to a one-year, $800,000 contract.


Reliever Jesus Colome and Washington agreed to a $1.25 million, one-year contract.


Righthander Justin Miller signed a $750,000, one-year contract.

Catcher Miguel Olivo was not tendered a contract and became a free agent.

Red Sox.

Boston did not tender a contract to reliever Brendan Donnelly on Wednesday, making him a free agent. The club said the move had no connection to Donnelly's being named in the Mitchell Report.


Pittsburgh offered contracts to all five of its arbitration-eligible players, including 2006 NL batting champion Freddy Sanchez.


Minnesota and shortstop Adam Everett agreed to undisclosed terms on a one-year contract, a day after he was non-tendered by the Houston Astros.


Righthanded relievers Grant Balfour and Gary Glover agreed to one-year contracts with Tampa Bay, avoiding arbitration.


Japanese reliever Kazuo Fukumori agreed to a contract. The 31-year-old righthander, who pitched for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles this season, could be a setup man or closer in Texas.


The Chicago History Museum won a collection of rare documents, letters and memos detailing the 1919 Black Sox scandal at auction, which ended yesterday.

The museum offered about $100,000 for the collection, topping 35 other bids, said suburban Chicago auction house Mastro Auctions.

The documents shed light on the White Sox players, then-owner Charles Comiskey, and the formative years of professional baseball, said Peter Alter, a curator at the Chicago History Museum.

Baseball Notes |

Largest Baseball Contracts

Baseball contracts worth $100 million or more. Figures were obtained by the Associated Press from player and management sources and include all guaranteed income but not income from potential incentive bonuses. There is no distinction for money deferred without interest.

Player, Club   Years   Total*

Alex Rodriguez, NYY   2008-17   $275

Derek Jeter, NYY   2001-10   $189

Manny Ramirez, Bos.   2001-08   $160

Todd Helton, Col.   2003-11   $141.5

Alfonso Soriano, Cubs   2007-14   $136

Barry Zito, S.F.   2007-13   $126

Vernon Wells, Tor.   2008-14   $126

Mike Hampton, Col.-Fla.-Atl.   2001-08   $121

Jason Giambi, NYY   2002-08   $120

Carlos Beltran, NYM   2005-11   $119

Ken Griffey Jr., Cin.   2000-08   $116.5

Kevin Brown, L.A.-NYY   1999-2005   $105

Carlos Lee, Hou.   2007-12   $100

Albert Pujols, StL.   2004-10   $100

*in millions.

- Associated Press