YUMA, Ariz. — Angel General Manager Mike Port had two telephone conversations with Kirk McCaskill on Saturday. They could be the last between the two parties for a while.
"Things remain status quo," said Port, who renewed McCaskill's contract for a reported $220,000 Friday and has called that renewal final. "We are not negotiating in a contractual sense. . . . The renewal was it--for the year."
With nothing to negotiate, Port said no further talks have been scheduled.
"We have Kirk's number and he has ours, " he said, "but at this point, nothing specific is planned."
Marvin Demoff, McCaskill's agent, disagreed with Port's assessment that things remain the same between ballclub and pitcher.
"If anything, things have deteriorated," Demoff said. "Kirk is very, very upset and he's digging in his heels.
"In the last 24 hours, there has been a real strange set of events. . . .Today, there was a window open, to get something done, and that has been closed."
Demoff said McCaskill received a letter from Port informing him that the Angels would begin fining him $1,000 a day on Monday, and that McCaskill owed the Angels $290 in spring training expenses.
"Port said the Angels overpaid Kirk $290," Demoff said. "That's like rubbing salt in the wound. And you wonder how people become polarized. To Kirk, that was a bit much."
Demoff said that McCaskill is prepared to sit out a long time, possibly the entire season.
McCaskill walked out of camp Thursday after receiving an ultimatum from Port. Previously, the Angels' best offer had been a one-year contract worth $225,000. Thursday, Port gave McCaskill an option: Sign now and the Angels would throw in an additional $7,000 or renew him at $5,000 less than their best offer.
Friday, the Angels renewed McCaskill's contract, and Saturday, Port confirmed that "the renewal figure was less than the club's last offer."
McCaskill wants to reopen negotiations. In 1986, the Angels renewed McCaskill for $130,000 in early March but continued contract talks for another month. The pitcher eventually signed for $142,000 during the Freeway Series.
Port, however, says he will no longer negotiate. He set Friday as the deadline for all "financial planning," as he puts it, and said all contract renewals are final.
Don Sutton pitched the first three innings of the Angels' 8-3 exhibition victory over the San Diego Padres Saturday. Sutton allowed two runs on four hits but said that, at 41: "That's as good a first game as I can have. I got through the Rice Krispies stage. Nothing went snap, crackle or pop." Sutton allowed two runs in the third inning when Garry Templeton doubled home one run and scored on a single by Tony Gwynn.