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Garvey Must Prove to Padres He's Worth a Big-Money Offer

July 24, 1987|BILL PLASCHKE | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — In preliminary talks, the San Diego Padres have told first baseman Steve Garvey that they are not prepared to offer him a "big-money contract," but will be willing to invite him to their 1988 spring training camp on a make-good basis.

At Padre President Charles (Chub) Feeney's request, he and Garvey met Monday for the first time. Garvey, in the final year of a five-year, $1.45-million-per-year contract, is out for the season after undergoing biceps tendon surgery on his left shoulder on May 30. Feeney was named Padre president June 10.

"I asked Steve what his plans were, and he said he'd like to play again," Feeney said. "But he will not have played for a year. I have no doubt he'll be ready, but until I see him play, I'm not ready to sign him to a big-money contract.

"I told him he could come to spring training and see what happens. We have to see him play."

Feeney said he will evaluate the situation again in early September. Garvey said he's looking forward to the meeting.

"It's their organizational policy not to wait until they are through with the season to make these kinds of decisions," Garvey said. "Under the circumstances, it's justified. By then, doctors can better tell management of my progress. I know I can play again. My rehabilitation is coming along ahead of schedule. Hopefully, we can show them something.

"I want to get together with them around the first of September and see where we stand. I want to play here. I want to get back and help the club any way I can."

Feeney said he called the meeting because he was unsure of Garvey's situation.

"I didn't know if he wanted to retire--he said he didn't," Feeney said. "Steve has been a great player, and a great asset to San Diego. But he's also obviously been well-paid for his services."

Garvey, who will be 39 by Opening Day 1988, was at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium before Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs.

"The shoulder still aches from time to time, but not nearly as it did a few weeks ago," he said. "I'm still working on my range of motion, with non-stress kind of exercises. After an hour a day with my therapist, I'm sweating, whipped, pinned."

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