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Hampton to leave Braves for Astros
The Associated Press
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HOUSTON - Mike Hampton, who has spent six injury-marred years with the Atlanta Braves, is set to return to the Houston Astros, reaching a preliminary agreement on a $2 million, one-year contract.

His deal would contain an additional $2 million in performance bonuses, a person familiar with the agreement said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been finalized. The oft-injured 36-year-old left-hander must pass a physical for the agreement to be finalized.

Hampton's deal with the Astros was reported earlier by KRIV-TV,, and the Houston Chronicle.

Astros general manager Ed Wade declined comment. Hampton's agent, Mark Rodgers, did not return a phone message left at his office.

Hampton pitched for the Astros from 1994-99, winning 15 games in 1997 and 22 in 1999. He then was traded to the Mets, and left New York after the 2000 season to sign a $121 million, eight-year contract with Colorado. It proved to be one on the worst free-agent signings ever, with Hampton going 56-52 with a 4.81 in just 147 starts for the Rockies and Braves, who acquired him after the 2002 season.

Hampton missed the 2006 season recovering from elbow surgery and opened the 2007 season on the disabled list with a left oblique injury. He then learned he had a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow, leading to another season-ending surgery.

Hampton was 13-9 with a 4.28 ERA with Atlanta in 2004, his last full season. He went 3-4 with a 4.85 ERA in 13 starts in 2008, including the season finale in Houston. In 14 seasons, Hampton has a 141-105 career record.

His record for Atlanta was 35-24.

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