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Padres Decide They Will Not Sign Raines to a One-Year Contract

March 17, 1987|TOM FRIEND

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Ballard Smith, president of the San Diego Padres, decided Monday not to sign free-agent outfielder Tim Raines to a one-year, $1.2-million contract.

"I have . . . decided to terminate all discussions with Mr. Raines and his representative," Smith said in a prepared statement. "After reviewing this latest proposal, it became clear to me that we are not going to reach an agreement to sign Tim Raines.

"I took this step based on our basic philosophy, which is that the long-term success of the franchise will be based on the players we develop through our excellent farm system."

Raines, the 1986 National League batting champion with the Montreal Expos, said in a telephone interview from his home in Florida: "This is kind of hard to understand. I was ready. Things were sounding so good. I couldn't have been happier. To have things going so good and all of a sudden, that's it? No more? It's hard to believe. And then it was for no reason. They (Smith) never really gave a reason."

When negotiations began in January, Tom Reich, Raines' agent, told the Padres that Raines--who made $1.5 million with Montreal in 1986--was a $2-million-a-year player. Later, he said Raines would sign for no less than $1.8 million a year. Later, he said he'd sign for no less than $1.5 million.

Last Friday, Bill Landman, Reich's assistant, called the Padres and said that Raines would sign a one-year deal for $1.2 million, plus various incentive clauses that could earn him as much as $1.5 million for the season.

Reich said that Smith told Landman: "We're going another way."

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