It's Official: Hurst Signs With Padres

ATLANTA--Boston Red Sox pitcher Bruce Hurst chose geography over money yesterday when the free agent signed a three-year, $5.25 million deal with the San Diego Padres.

"For me and my family, San Diego was the place we wanted to go," Hurst said.

The signing ended an intense megabuck battle with California and Boston for one of baseball's best pitchers.

With the Red Sox last season, Hurst was 18-6 with a 3.66 earned-run average.

Hurst, who received a $400,000 signing bonus, will earn $1.6 million in 1989, $1.5 million in 1990 and $1.75 million in 1991.


He will get a $100,000 bonus for winning the Cy Young Award, $100,000 for the MVP Award, $50,000 for the playoff MVP, $75,000 for the World Series MVP and $25,000 for being selected to the All-Star Game.

"Bruce is a quality pitcher and will only have a positive influence on the Padres," San Diego field manager and general manager Jack McKeon said.

The Angels and Red Sox had each offered Hurst $5.5 million for three years.

"We made every effort to sign Bruce Hurst," Boston vice president Lou Gorman said. "His family and the health of his mother was a major, major factor."

Hurst, whose mother lives in Utah, said being closer to his family was a factor but not an overriding one.

The deal was agreed to early yesterday morning when the Padres changed the lockout language part of the contract in the event of a strike in 1990. Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expires after next season.

The Padres had wanted an arbitrator to decide if Hurst would be paid in the event of a strike but agreed to a "defensive lockout."

Under the language in Hurst's contract, a player gets paid during a lockout unless the lockout is in response to a strike or a strike threat.

"It was an interesting process and I'm glad it's over," Hurst said. "I'm uncomfortable with having our salaries published. Some of the guys on [Boston] were treated a little harsh because of the money they made."

The Padres got Hurst on the same day they lost another pitcher. Free agent Andy Hawkins left San Diego and signed with the New York Yankees, with both announcements coming within minutes of each other.

Hurst is the third major acquisition for the Padres in the off-season. They traded with the Yankees for Jack Clark and acquired Walt Terrell in a deal with Detroit.

"I've been in the organization for 13 years," Hurst said. "It's difficult--I'm fairly loyal to Boston."