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Marlins stadium in jeopardy

wire services
Published December 21, 2003

MIAMI - The Marlins' plans to build a ballpark appear to be dead, the Sun-Sentinel reported. City officials said they can't donate land or money, and a proposed sales tax increase is having trouble gaining support.

The Marlins are trying to rally support to build a $325-million stadium. The cost would be $450-million without a land donation.

Last month, Miami-Dade commissioners pledged $73-million in taxes if the Marlins would kick in $137-million and a full financing package was in place by March 15.

Meanwhile, Armando Benitez agreed to a $3.5-million, one-year deal.

Rays expected to cut two loose

ST. PETERSBURG - The Devil Rays were expected to part ways with second baseman Marlon Anderson and third baseman Jared Sandberg on Saturday.

The team did not make an announcement, but it anticipated not tendering an offer to either before Saturday's midnight deadline to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Without offers, they become free agents. The Rays have added infielders Rey Sanchez, Geoff Blum and Eduardo Perez, making Anderson and Sandberg expendable.

Meantime, the Rays were expected to make offers to Aubrey Huff and Jeremi Gonzalez. Huff, the team's MVP last season and their designated hitter for next season, and Gonzalez, one of the team's top starting pitchers, might elect to go to arbitration. Hearings are set for early February, and the Rays will try to sign both before then.

MARINERS: Third baseman Jeff Cirillo blocked a trade to the Mets, saying he would rather come off the bench for Seattle than take his chances with another team. Seattle would have gotten outfielder Roger Cedeno.

RODRIGUEZ DEAL: Alex Rodriguez's agent blamed the Red Sox and Rangers for the collapse of the deal that would have sent the shortstop to Boston. "Alex has done everything he can to show his good faith by committing $13-million," Scott Boras said. "You would think mutual concessions by both teams would allow this deal to happen."

- Times staff writer Tom Jones contributed to this report.

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