SAN DIEGO — Unless something changes dramatically, Steve Garvey has played his last game with the San Diego Padres and will play his 18th and final major league season with another team.
Padre President Chub Feeney said Thursday that he has informed Garvey, whose five-year, $1.45-million-a-year deal expires Oct. 4, that he would not be offered a 1988 contract. Garvey responded that he would no longer consider playing for the Padres as an option.
"We will be happy to bring him to spring training to see if he can make the team, but we can give him no contract,' Feeney said.
Garvey was out of town on business, but he issued a statement that said: "Obviously, Chub is doing what is in the best interest of the ballclub, but I've got to do what's best for myself. I've got to pursue the options best for me. At the present time, it doesn't look like those options include the San Diego Padres."
Feeney, who met with Garvey Monday, said he has given his 38-year-old first baseman four choices and is waiting for a response. The choices:
--Retire, and allow the Padres to hold a day in his honor.
--Show up in Yuma next spring like other "walk-ons" who are trying to make the team.
--Declare himself a free agent.
Garvey said he hasn't made up his mind yet, sources said he wants to play one more season and will likely exercise the release option so he can join another team as soon as possible.
The only way he could return to the Padres is if no team signs him. Even then, if he has been released, according to baseball rules, he can't join the Padres until 60 days after the start of the 1988 season. If he has declared himself a free agent, he can't join them until May 1.
And according to Feeney, he is not even assured a job if he comes to spring training as a nonroster, unsigned player.
"We told him that John Kruk is our first baseman, and that he would have to fill another role," Feeney said.
Garvey has been missing from the lineup since May 30, when he was disabled with a torn biceps tendon near his left shoulder, an injury that required surgery. This season, Garvey was paid $1.25 million dollars for playing in 27 games and hitting .211 with 1 homer and 9 RBIs.