Kenny Rogers returned to the team with which he had his greatest success, agreeing with the Rangers yesterday on a $22.5 million, three-year contract.
The 35-year-old left-hander spent his first seven major league seasons with the Rangers. On July 28, 1994, he pitched one of only 16 perfect games in major league history, beating the Angels, 4-0.
Rogers was 5-1 with a 4.03 ERA for the Mets in the final two months of last season after going 5-3 with a 4.30 ERA for the Athletics.
However, he ended the Mets' season by walking Andruw Jones with the bases loaded in the 11th inning of Game 6 of the NLCS, giving Atlanta a 10-9 victory and a berth in the World Series.
Texas, swept by the Yankees in the opening round of the playoffs for the second straight year, was looking for pitching following the departures of Aaron Sele (33 starts) and John Burkett (25 starts), who became free agents.
Sele refused the Rangers' offer of salary arbitration but is eligible to negotiate with them through Jan. 8. Burkett is ineligible to sign with Texas until May 1.
NEW DEAL FOR BECKER: OF Rich Becker, cut loose by Oakland earlier in the month, agreed to a $500,000, one-year contract with the Athletics. Becker, who is getting a $25,000 raise, was acquired from Milwaukee on Aug. 18 and hit .264 in 40 games for Oakland.