MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins have reached a tentative agreement with pitcher Brad Radke that would make the former 20-game winner the highest-paid player in franchise history, according to reports published Saturday.
The four-year contract extension is reportedly valued at $36 million. Ron Simon, Radke's agent, told the Star Tribune that minor details still needed to be resolved.
''Yes, we are making progress,'' Simon said. ''There's a chance that we could agree to a deal Monday, but there's a chance that we couldn't, too.''
The deal would put Radke under contract through 2004 at an annual average of about $9 million, more than Kirby Puckett's highest salary of $7 million from 1996, possibly signaling the end of the cost-slashing that reduced the club's payroll to a major league-low $16.5 million this year.
Radke would have been eligible for free agency at the end of this season. He is already the highest-paid Twin with a $3.5 million salary this year.
Radke is 5-9 this season with a 4.07 ERA.
The Twins' new chief executive officer, Chris Clouser, is scheduled to meet with Radke's agent Monday to complete the details. Clouser said only that the two sides were talking, and planned to meet shortly.
Radke, who returned Friday from a one-day trip home to Florida to be with his hospitalized son, seemed optimistic.
The key to the agreement is Clouser's ability to work around the opt-out clause demanded by Radke's agent, Ron Simon. The clause would have given Radke a deadline soon after next season to demand a trade if he believes the club hasn't improved enough toward becoming competitive.
The club's inability to trade him at that point would result in his free agency. That clause had been called a deal-breaker by both sides and led to the breakdown in negotiations in February.
Radke wouldn't give details but said Friday he and Simon have backed off the original language of the clause.
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