Pitcher Dave Stieb, 27, signed baseball's longest playing contract yesterday, tying him to the Toronto Blue Jays through 1995 and making him one of the highest-paid players in the game.
The agreement sealed in Dunedin, Fla., calls for an estimated $16.6 million in salary over 11 years, including a $700,000 signing bonus, plus about $10 million in a guaranteed annuity funded by deferred payments, according to Stieb's agent, Bob LaMonte.
The minimum the contract can produce is $12.6 million, and the right-hander, American League starter the last two All-Star Games, would get that even if he got hurt and never pitched another inning.
The salary runs $1 million a year for the next four years, including the bonus. In 1989, his salary goes to $1.5 million, then up $100,000 annually finally to $2.1 million, said the agent, who was punter Stieb's high school football coach in San Jose, Calif.
In 1982, Stieb lost a salary arbitration with the Blue Jays and angrily demanded to be traded. He signed a six-year deal in February 1983 that would have paid him $750,000 this year, $800,000 in 1986, then $850,000 and $900,000 . . .
The Cleveland Indians named Joe Klein, former Texas Rangers general manager, vice president of baseball operations. Klein goes from Kansas City Royals' special assistant to fill the duties of Phil Seghi, the general manager reduced to a consultant.