Sports - Baseball

Contreras Arrives at Yankees' Complex
13 minutes ago
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TAMPA, Fla. - Cuban defector Jose Contreras took another step toward finalizing his contract with the New York Yankees (news) when he arrived Tuesday at the team's minor league complex.

Contreras, who agreed last month to a $32 million, four-year contract, arrived in a car driven by Gordon Blakeley, the Yankees vice president of international and professional scouting.

Contreras, holding a Yankees' cap in his right hand, departed about an hour later with New York player development head trainer Mark Littlefield to undergo a physical.

A right-hander who says he is 31, Contreras got the largest deal ever for a Cuban defector, topping the $14.5 million, four-year contract Cleveland gave pitcher Danys Baez three years ago.

Contreras left the Cuban team after an Oct. 1 game against the Dominican Republic at Saltillo, Mexico. He entered the United States at San Ysidro, Calif., and was detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in San Diego.

He was freed and went to Florida, then left the United States, where he would have been subject to baseball's amateur draft. He established residency in Nicaragua.

Contreras pitched for Cuba's national team for seven years. He was 117-50 with a 2.82 ERA in the Cuban League, according to the Yankees.