- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 17, 2001

Brady Anderson's 14-year career with the Baltimore Orioles officially ended yesterday when the team, citing a shortage of available roster spots, gave the slumping outfielder his outright release.

The Orioles had been expected to release the 37-year-old Anderson, who batted just .202 with eight homers and 45 RBI last season, though the move came a few days sooner than anticipated. Vice president of baseball operations Syd Thrift hoped to find another team willing to trade for Anderson before Tuesday, when Baltimore's 40-man roster must be set, but the veteran commanded little interest.

"This is a very difficult thing for us, because there is no question that Brady has epitomized what being an Oriole is all about," Thrift said. "He has given us 100 percent every day and has supported what we're trying to do with this team on the field."

Anderson has one year remaining on a five-year, $31 million contract with the Orioles and will earn $4 million in 2002. He could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he is expected to try to extend his playing career with another team and could sign as a free agent for the league minimum.

"I feel confident that he'll continue his baseball career elsewhere," Thrift said. "We just felt the direction we're going did not guarantee a position for Brady on next year's team, and to bring him back to compete for a spot would be unfair to him."

Anderson made his Orioles debut in 1988, is the club's all-time leader in stolen bases and ranks in the top six in career games, at-bats, runs, total bases, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, extra-base hits and walks. He enjoyed a breakthrough season in 1996, hitting a franchise-record 50 home runs with 110 RBI and a .297 average, but his offensive numbers steadily declined afterward.

He lost his everyday status and his role as Baltimore's leadoff hitter last season and knew where he stood.

"It's been a brutal struggle for me this year; this could be my last game here," Anderson said on the final night of the season before striking out with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and retiring icon Cal Ripken waiting in the on-deck circle. "I've never been the type to worry about what my fate is going to be. I'll accept it as it comes."

In an effort to further trim their 40-man roster by Tuesday, the Orioles traded minor league third baseman Ivanon Coffie to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named and outrighted pitchers Leslie Brea and Jay Spurgeon to Class AAA Rochester.

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