SPORTS PEOPLE

Rangers will give Sierra final chance


Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 12:09 a.m.

DALLAS - Outfielder Ruben Sierra agreed Monday to a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers, getting the chance for another comeback with his former team.

Sierra was invited to spring training as a non-roster player. He is guaranteed $90,000, and if added to the major league roster would get a $600,000, one-year contract and the chance to earn $200,000 more in performance bonuses.

If the former All-Star isn't added to the roster by the March 30 opener at Anaheim, he can request his release.

``He left a lot of money on the table from other places, but Texas is where his heart was,'' said Sierra's agent, Chuck Berry.

Sierra, 37, was disappointed a year ago when the Rangers didn't offer him a new contract, even after he hit .293 with 23 homers and 67 RBIs in 94 games during the 2001 season.

``It's a second home to me. I grew up there and wanted to come back,'' Sierra said by phone Monday from his home in the Dominican Republic. ``I hope I can finish my career in Texas.''

Last season, Sierra hit .270 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs in 122 games for Seattle. He started 53 games in left, 44 as the designated hitter, and one in right before being used primarily in a reserve role the final two months of the season because of a strained left quadriceps muscle.

Sierra said he's healthy and working hard to get ready for spring training.

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