CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Reds general manager Jim Bowden today agreed to terms with RHP Danny Graves on a 3-year contract through the 2005 season, plus a mutual option for 2006. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Graves was eligible for salary arbitration and would have been a free agent following the 2003 season.
"Danny is at the core of the good, young group of players we have under control the first few years of Great American Ball Park," Bowden said, "These players are going to provide our fans with an exciting brand of baseball."
Graves, 29, last season for the Reds went 7-3 with a 3.19 ERA and a team-high 32 saves in 68 games. He made his first 64 apps in relief, then finished the season in the rotation and went 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 4 starts. Graves is expected to fill a spot in the front of the Reds' starting rotation in 2003.
An All-Star in 2000, Graves has contributed to 117 of the Reds' 229 victories the last 3 seasons (51 percent). His 129 career saves is a club record for a righthander, and his 121 saves the last 4 years is the eighth-highest total in the Major Leagues. In the last 6 seasons, Graves has thrown 469.2 innings in relief, third-highest total in baseball.
Bowden acquired Graves from the Indians on July 31, 1997 as part of a 6-player deal in which LHP John Smiley was sent to Cleveland.
Graves' contract will be finalized following a physical examination by Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek, scheduled for 11 a.m. on Monday. The Reds formally will announce the signing at a 4:30 p.m. press conference on Monday at the Great American Ball Park administration building. Graves will not be available to the media until that Monday press conference.
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