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Sunday, September 28, 2003



Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Six days after Barry Larkin turned down a take-it-or-leave it offer, the Cincinnati Reds re-signed their captain for 2004.


Barry Larkin


Cincinnati Reds






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Larkin and Reds chief operating officer John Allen met during Sunday's season-ending 2-1 loss to Montreal, and they agreed to a $700,000, one-year contract that allows the shortstop to earn an additional $300,000 in performance bonuses.


"I've said all along that I wanted to be a member of the Cincinnati Reds," said Larkin, who has spent his entire 18-year major league career with Cincinnati.


Larkin, completing a $27 million, three-year deal, turned down a $500,000 offer last Monday, which appeared to signal the end of his career with his hometown team.


"We're very happy that he's going to be with the organization on the playing field," Allen said. "Both sides knew what we wanted, and at the end of the day we ended up with what we wanted."


Larkin, upset more with the way the situation was handled than with the actual figures, called Allen on Saturday night.


On Sunday, Allen called Larkin out of the dugout during the game and they started talking. Chief financial officer Carl Lindner Jr. also was on hand.


"It was always Barry's position that he wanted to finish in Cincinnati," said Larkin's agent, Eric Goldschmidt. "He reached out to them, and they increased their offer from $500,000 to $700,000. For Barry, that was all he needed."


"They moved," said Larkin, who hopes to join the team's management after next year. "They negotiated. My desire to be here, to help groom the next shortstop, to move up into the front office, to stay rooted to Cincinnati -- that was all part of it."


Larkin and Allen both credited Expos manager Frank Robinson with helping them get back together. Robinson, a Hall of Fame outfielder, spent his first 10 seasons with the Reds before leaving in a controversial trade that many still consider the worst in franchise history.


"He urged me to do something," said Larkin, who met with Robinson on Saturday. "He said he didn't want to see me in another uniform."

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