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Rays: no late payments

By Times staff and wire reports
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 19, 2002

The Associated Press, citing management and player sources, reported Thursday that the Rays were more than two weeks late making almost $1-million in deferred payments to former players Steve Trachsel and Gerald Williams.

"That statement is not correct and they have been paid in full," Rays senior vice president John Higgins said Thursday night.

The AP reported that Trachsel, who pitches for the Mets, was due $428,571 on June 30 but received the money from Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

"The check was cut on the 28th of June," Rays managing general partner Vince Naimoli told the AP. "If Mr. Trachsel and his agent want to produce the check, you'll see it was cut on the 28th of June."

Williams, who is playing for Triple-A Louisville, received his payment of $526,875 on Tuesday.

Both players are represented by agents Sam and Seth Levinson.

"I was told by the agent that it was an administrative foul-up," union lawyer Gene Orza told the AP. "My understanding is the club said the checks went out at the appropriate time, but somehow they came back and that the delay was not occasioned by them not having the money on time."

HAMILTON UPDATE: As of late Thursday, Rays director of player personnel Cam Bonifay had not received a report on the exploratory arthroscopic surgery performed on outfield prospect Josh Hamilton's left shoulder.

The 21-year-old, whom the Rays chose with the No. 1 pick in the 1999 draft, had an MRI exam Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala. The MRI did not show severe damage, but Rays medical director James Andrews was to perform the surgery to determine the extent of the injury.

-- Times staff writer Kevin Kelly contributed to this report.

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