Gary Carter's back. But actually, he wasn't even gone.
Carter, invited to spring training as a non-roster player by the Los Angeles Dodgers, was given a one-year contract Tuesday worth approximately $500,000."I wasn't really worried," the 16-year veteran said. "I was prepared either way. I felt with the work I did in the off-season and my experience, I was going to be a proven factor."
Carter, who will be used primarily as a pinch hitter and a reserve, is hitting .185 this spring with five hits in 27 at-bats, no homers and one RBI.
On the other side of Florida, outfielder Bobby Bonilla and Pittsburgh still were unhappy about their contract situation.
The Pirates proposed a four-year agreement to start in 1991 that would be worth slightly more than $4 million a year, and Bonilla's agent Dennis Gilbert called the offer "interesting," but said, "There's no way we can accept this proposal."
Meanwhile, Atlanta outfielder Lonnie Smith is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery today in Atlanta on his left knee, which has cartilage damage.
In Texas, the state Senate voted 28-3 to name state Highway 288 from the Brazoria County line to Freeport the Nolan Ryan Expressway.
In exhibition games:
Blue Jays 6, Rangers 2
At Dunedin, Fla., Pat Tabler hit a three-run homer in the second inning and four pitchers combined on a five-hitter for Toronto, which won for the second time in 11 games.
Orioles 9, Phillies 9, tie
At Clearwater, Fla., Dwight Evans hit a two-run homer, his first for Baltimore, and Dave LaPoint was pounded for five runs in four innings.
Red Sox 6, Reds 3
At Plant City, Fla., Mike Marshall went 4-for-4 and Mo Vaughn hit a two-run homer off Jose Rijo.
Pirates 7, White Sox 6
At Bradenton, Fla., Bobby Bonilla hit a two-run double and Jay Bell had a two-run triple as Pittsburgh survived four hits by ex-Pirate John Cangelosi.
Yankees 9, Dodgers 6
At Vero Beach, Fla., Torey Lovullo had three hits, scored twice and drove in two runs.
Mets 3, Twins 2
At Fort Myers, Fla., Mackey Sasser singled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the 10th inning. Darren Reed, trying for an outfield spot with the Mets, went 4-for-4.
Braves 3, Astros 2
At West Palm Beach, Fla., John Smoltz gave up three hits and two runs in six innings, and Mike Heath drove in two runs. Houston starter Bob Sebra gave up two hits and a run in 2 1-3 innings.
Tigers 3, Royals 0
At Haines City, Fla., Bill Gullickson pitched six strong innings and Lou Whitaker homered. Whitaker's first-inning home run was the only run allowed by loser Mark Gubicza (1-1).
Giants 5, Padres 1
At Yuma, Ariz., Matt Williams hit a three-run homer and Kevin Mitchell added a two-run shot for San Francisco. Left-hander Bud Black allowed six hits and one run in 4 1-3 innings.
Angels 16, Cubs 4
At Palm Springs, Calif., Junior Felix homered, doubled, singled twice and drove in six runs. Lance Parrish went 4-for-4, lifting his average to .350, and Wally Joyner doubled twice.