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Wells may pay book fine

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees and David Wells are negotiating a deal in which the pitcher would be fined $100,000 for the controversial statements in his autobiography.

The team and Wells have not yet agreed to the penalty, a high-ranking baseball management official said Monday on the condition of anonymity. The money would go to charity, and the Yankees and the 39-year-old left-hander were still negotiating statements that would be issued if the fine is finalized.

The amount of the fine under discussion was first reported Monday by The New York Times, which said the money would go to the Boys and Girls Club. However, the management official said the charities that would get the money had not yet been determined.

Wells' agent, Gregg Clifton, and lawyers from the players' association and the commissioner's office have been part of the talks, which were conducted by telephone during the weekend. As part of the deal, Wells would agree not to have the union contest the penalty.

The management official said it was unclear if a deal would be finalized later Monday.

Wells, hit hard in his first two exhibition starts, was scheduled to pitch for the Yankees on Monday against Cleveland at Winter Haven, Fla. He sprained his left ankle last Wednesday but said that shouldn't keep him from his scheduled start.

Copies of Wells' book, "Perfect I'm Not! Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches & Baseball," began arriving in New York area bookstores Friday. In galleys of the book, Wells claimed he was "half-drunk" when he pitched a perfect game in 1998, discussed steroid and amphetamine use in the major leagues and made unfavorable statements about some teammates.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday that the team wouldn't release or attempt to trade Wells because of the book. The pitcher has said he wouldn't waive the no-trade clause in his contract.