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Cubs Give Beck Two-Year Deal

Reliever Rod Beck, who saved 51 games last season for the Chicago Cubs, agreed Monday to a $9.5 million, two-year contract with a club option for 2001.

Because he finished 53 games this season, Beck had a $5.5 million player option, a $2 million raise. If he had declined the option, he would have become eligible for free agency.

His new deal calls for salaries of $5.5 million in 1999 and $3.5 million in 2000. The Cubs' option for 2001 is for $4.5 million with a $500,000 buyout.

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    Forum: Where does Beck rank among closers?

  • Beck became just the fifth reliever in major-league history to reach 50 saves. He was 3-4 with a 3.02 ERA in a NL-high 81 games, helping the Cubs make the playoffs for the first time since 1989.

    Beck, 30, signed with Cubs as a free agent last Jan. 15 after spending the first seven seasons with San Francisco. He has converted 85.6 percent of his save chances (250 of 292). In 497 relief outings, he is 24-32 with 250 saves and a 2.98 ERA.

    "It's not a break-the-bank kind of contract," Beck said. "I probably didn't get market value, but I'm happy with it. It gives me some security."

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