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ANDRUW JONES WINS RECORD $8.2 MILLION

Atlanta outfielder Andruw Jones won a record $8.2 million today in salary arbitration when a panel selected his request instead of the Braves' $6.4 million offer.

Jones' salary eclipses the previous arbitration high of $7.25 million set last year by New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera -- who had requested $9.25 million but lost his hearing.

Jones, who made $3.7 million last season, had his best year in 2000, hitting .303 with 36 homers, 104 RBIs and 21 steals and winning his third straight Gold Glove.

Around the majors

With Gary Sheffield demanding a new contract or a trade to the Yankees, Mets or Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers tried to accommodate the slugging outfielder. Mets General Manager Steve Phillips said Mon day he turned down a proposal from Dodgers GM Kevin Malone for a deal that would've included either Mike Piazza or Edgardo Alfonzo. Sheffield is signed to a $61 million, six-year deal that pays him $9.5 million each of the next two seasons.

Albert Belle passed his physical today and began working out with the Baltimore Orioles despite being hampered by an arthritic right hip. Passing the physical was an important step, but there are no assurances that Belle will be able to play effectively, if at all, when the regular season starts in April.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, who returned from reconstructive elbow surgery to go 8-7 with a 4.03 ERA last season, settled his case, agreeing to a $1.94 million, one-year contract.

Right-hander Ramiro Mendoza, sidelined the second half of last season with shoulder problems, might stay in Florida next month when the New York Yankees go north. Mendoza underwent shoulder surgery last Sept. 21.

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