SAN DIEGO — Atlanta Brave Manager Chuck Tanner said Friday that his club is interested in pitcher LaMarr Hoyt, who has cleared waivers and is free to sign with any team.
Hoyt, who was arrested twice for drug possession in 1986 and served 38 days in a federal prison, was waived by the Padres on June 17.
"Why wouldn't we be (interested)?" Tanner said. "We don't worry about what other people do. He's a human being with a lot of talent. We're interested because of his pitching ability."
Tanner said that he discussed Hoyt with General Manager Bobby Cox Friday morning and that they both thought it would be a good idea to talk to the Hoyt, 32, who won the Cy Young Award in 1983 while with the Chicago White Sox.
"It's something we'll have to follow up," Tanner said. "I don't know when he pitched last."
Tanner added that the Braves liked Hoyt's price tag. Any team signing Hoyt will have to pay him only approximately half of the minimum salary of $62,500. The Padres have agreed to pay Hoyt the balance of his $3.2 million guaranteed contract, minus his 60-day suspension.
When asked about Hoyt's past, Tanner said: "They (the Mets) brought Dwight Gooden back, and he's pretty good."
According to a wire service story Friday, Baltimore Oriole General Manager Hank Peters informed Hoyt's Baltimore-based agent, Ron Shapiro, that the Orioles are interested in talking to him about Hoyt. Shapiro could not be reached on Friday.
If Hoyt is not signed by Monday, the Major League Baseball Players' Assn. plans to file a grievance against the Padres for their release of Hoyt, according to MLBPA head Donald Fehr.
Fehr again said that the association was dissatisfied with the Padres' placing Hoyt on waivers June 17, the day after arbitrator George Nicolau ruled that Hoyt was improperly released Jan. 7. Fehr also said he has no doubt that the association would win its grievance, should it come to that.
"We're not going to do anything formally until after the weekend," Fehr said Friday. "If he's not signed by then, we have to look into something formally Monday."