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Cyprus grad keeping options open

SAN FRANCISCO — Free-agent reliever Scott Eyre hasn't ruled out a return to the San Francisco Giants, though he is eager to test the market and find the best possible deal.

He realizes that could come elsewhere.

The Giants have offered Eyre, a graduate of Cyprus High in Magna, Utah, a two-year contract with a club option, but he's hoping for at least three years guaranteed. He said "a bunch" of teams have called expressing interest.

"I want to see what other teams are going to be offering," Eyre said Tuesday in a phone interview from his home in Bradenton, Fla. "It's hard to say what the market's going to be. I feel like I've pitched well enough to deserve to find out what I am worth. If the Giants make something nice, I'll consider it very heavily."

CUBS, PEREZ AGREE: Infielder Neifi Perez and the Chicago Cubs agreed Tuesday to a $5 million, two-year contract.

"I did my job last year, and I was hoping to stay in Chicago," Perez said during a conference call. "I'm so happy right now."

The 32-year-old Perez, who became a free agent Oct. 31, hit .274 with nine homers and 54 RBIs last season. He had 44 multihit games and hit in 14 straight from May 23 to June 5. Since signing with the Cubs as a minor league free agent in August 2004, Perez has hit .284 with 38 doubles, 11 homers and 60 RBIs in 177 games.

TRIAL BEGINS: Audio recordings of conversations between a community activist and the business manager for New York Yankees star Gary Sheffield and his wife reveal the activist's attempts to blackmail the couple over a sex video supposedly involving singer R. Kelly, prosecutors said.

But Derrick Mosley's defense attorney said the self-styled activist sincerely wanted to provide moral counsel to Sheffield's wife, gospel singer DeLeon Richards-Sheffield.

Mosley, who describes himself as a minister, is accused of plotting to extort money from the Yankees slugger and his wife by threatening to make public video tapes of Richards-Sheffield having sex with another man. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clarence Butler said Monday that Mosley claimed he had two videotapes that showed her and Kelly having sex before she married Sheffield.

Butler said Mosley's concern for Richards-Sheffield was an act.

"Ultimately, this defendant asked for $20,000," Butler said. "This was just a scheme on the part of this defendant to commit extortion."

PADRES' MOVES: The Padres exercised their 2006 option on right-handed reliever Akinori Otsuka on Tuesday, but declined their option on infielder-outfielder Eric Young.

Otsuka was 2-8 with one save and a 3.59 ERA in 66 appearances spanning 62 2-3 innings last season.

The 38-year-old Young hit .275 with two homers, nine doubles, seven steals and 22 runs in 56 games.

YANKEES' MOVES: The Yankees let Tino Martinez go Tuesday, declining their $3 million option on the popular first baseman.

Martinez returned to New York this year and hit .241 in part-time duty with 17 home runs and 49 RBIs. He was a staple in the Yankees' lineup from 1996-01, helping the team to four World Series championships and five AL pennants with his clutch hitting and reliable defense.

Always a fan favorite at Yankee Stadium, he was brought back to provide insurance at first base for slugger Jason Giambi, who was coming off a 2004 season wrecked by illness and injury. And Martinez did his job, going on an early home run tear while Giambi was still struggling, a big reason the Yankees were able to recover from an 11-19 start to win their eighth consecutive AL East title.