ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Juan Gonazlez (pictured, right) officially returned to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
Nearly a month after the two sides agreed on a $24 million, two-year deal, the Rangers said the contract had been finalized.
Gonzalez spent the first 11 seasons of his career in Texas, winning the AL MVP award in 1996 and 1998. He was traded to Detroit in a nine-player deal after the 1999 season, struggled in his one season with the Tigers and then rebounded to hit .325 with 35 homers and 140 RBIs last year in Cleveland.
The Rangers announced Jan. 8 that they had reached an understanding of the terms with Gonzalez. The outfielder completed a physical that included a series of tests Jan. 23-24, and the final terms were worked out in the last few days with Gonzalez and his agent, Jeff Moorad.
The contract included a $2 million signing bonus with salaries of $10 million in 2002 and $12 million next season, with $10.5 million deferred.
Gonzalez is the Rangers' career leader in runs (791), homers (340), RBIs (1,075) and extra-base hits (641).
In his 13 major league seasons, Gonazlez has played in 1,503 games. His career average is .297 with 397 homers and 1,282 RBIs. Texas has 40 players on its major league roster with the addition of Gonzalez.
The club must still make a roster move to make room for free agent right-handed pitcher Ismael Valdes, who last week agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract, a deal not yet finalized.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)