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Reds let troubled Nash go

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2003


SARASOTA -- The Reds voided their minor-league contract with outfielder Greg "Toe" Nash on Saturday, ending his attempt to get back into baseball after serving prison time.

General manager Jim Bowden said the contract was voided for "legal reasons," but declined to comment further. Nash recently was arrested after getting into a fight in Donaldsonville, La., according to his father, Charles Payton.

"He is in our facility and the two charges are probation violation and second-degree battery," said Lt. Todd Weber at the Ascension Parish jail in Donaldsonville, about 65 miles northeast of New Orleans.

Nash's father told the Associated Press that Nash was arrested about three weeks ago.

The Rays released Nash in September, a day after he was released from jail after serving time for having sex with a 15-year-old. The 21-year-old has been arrested numerous times on charges including domestic violence, battery, robbery and marijuana possession.

DIAMONDBACKS: Luis Gonzalez arrived in Tucson, Ariz., feeling stronger than ever and fully recovered from shoulder surgery. The leftfielder, an All-Star the past three seasons, separated his left shoulder on Sept. 23. Gonzalez, outfielder Danny Bautista and infielder Craig Counsell were allowed to report early for spring training because they were coming off injuries. But Gonzalez said there are no restrictions on his workouts: "I've been doing everything full throttle. It's almost like nothing happened."

GIANTS: Pitcher Livan Hernandez, who faces felony charges for aggravated assault and battery on the elderly, says a warehouse owner baited him into a confrontation last month in Miami. Hernandez, who is accused of swinging a golf club at the man, said he believes he was set up because police, television crews and other media arrived within minutes of the altercation.

METS: Right-hander David Cone said he experienced normal soreness after working off the mound for the first time in more than a year: "I woke up and said, 'Okay, I remember, this isn't going to be easy.' " ... Infielders Ty Wigginton and Craig Brazell signed one-year contracts. Wigginton will compete with Jay Bell for the starting third-base job.

ORIOLES: Outfielder Melvin Mora avoided salary arbitration by signing a one-year contract that guarantees him $1.725-million.

PADRES: Closer Trevor Hoffman has decided to take more time for rehabilitation instead of having surgery. Hoffman said increased strength in his right shoulder in recent days convinced him to give his recovery more time: "Based off the progress I've had lately, I'm pretty optimistic." Hoffman has not been able to throw since Oct. 16 after surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear and fraying of his labrum.

RED SOX: Kevin Millar was obtained in a cash deal with the Marlins after the Japanese team he agreed to sign with last month released him from his contract. The Marlins received an undisclosed payment for the first baseman-outfielder. ... Pedro Martinez is confident the team will pick up his $17.5-million option for 2004 but said that will be his last season in Boston if the team waits until November to do it: "You want to take that gamble if you were the owner of this team? I don't think so." Martinez made it clear he wants an extension so he can finish his career in Boston and that he has a good relationship with the team, but said if a deal isn't worked out he will leave.

ROCKIES: Right-handers Jose Jimenez and Rich Garces missed scheduled physical exams in Tucson, Ariz., and the club was trying to determine where they were. Jimenez of the Dominican Republic and Garces, from Venezuela, might be having visa problems.

YANKEES: Pitcher David Wells missed a workout in Tampa with flu-like symptoms. Wells had been scheduled to throw off a bullpen mound for the second time. ... Reliever Steve Karsay had his first full bullpen session since back surgery in November.

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