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Gwynn Plays Matchmaker for Raines, Padres

February 14, 1987|TOM FRIEND | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — After a telephone call this week from Tony Gwynn, Padre President Ballard Smith called Tim Raines' agent to re-open negotiations.

It was Smith's first attempt to contact Reich since Reich turned down a two-year, $2.2 million Padre offer three weeks ago.

Gwynn had spoken with Raines earlier in the week and found that Raines still wants to play in San Diego. So the Padres' right fielder called on behalf of Raines, a free-agent outfielder. "Well, Tony Gwynn is going to be in the Hall of Fame someday," Smith said Friday, "and when Gwynn calls, I guess you've got to listen."

Smith called Raines' agent, Tom Reich, Friday. Reich was out of the office for the day, and Smith left a message.

Reich did not return the call.

"Obviously, when you hear that a player says he'd like to play for you, you're going to pursue it, especially when it's Tim Raines," Smith said. "The indication is that Raines is saying he realizes he might have to take less than he was offered at Montreal ($4.8 million over three years). Based on that, we have interest. Eventually, I'll talk to Tom Reich and find out if it's true or not."

Earlier this month, it was reported that several Los Angeles Dodger players had met with Fred Claire, the club's executive vice president, and similarly voiced support for signing Raines. The Dodger management has expressed no interest in signing Raines.

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