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Baseball Winter Meetings : Rumors and Talk Fill a Day of Inactivity

December 07, 1987|MIKE TULLY | United Press International

DALLAS — The winter baseball meetings produced more talk than trades Sunday despite an early weekend deal that raised hopes of brisk activity.

So slow was the pace that the Oakland A's agreed to terms with free agent cather Ron Hassey, 34, who has two bad knees and a .278 lifetime average.

Rumors involved Reds outfielder Dave Parker, Mets pitcher Jesse Orosco, Mariners outfielder Phil Bradley and Indians third baseman Brook Jacoby.

Nothing materialized, however, although Bradley is reportedly going to Philadelphia for Glenn Wilson and minor league pitcher Mike Jackson. The deal awaits the approval of Mariners Chairman George Argyros.

Saturday night, the Angels made the first trade of the meetings by sending center fielder Gary Pettis to the Detroit Tigers for pitcher Dan Petry.

The deal raised the feeling this could become the most active meeting in years. But, activity suddenly stopped, though executives insisted conversations continued.

"There'll be some trading," Boston General Manager Lou Gorman said. "I'll be disappointed if we don't make some deals. We've done enough talking to make 40 trades."

"The Philadelphia club isn't waiting," added Woody Woodward, one of several general managers attending in new positions. "We've already spent weeks getting ready. If there's something to be done, we're going to do it."

The Reds appear willing to trade Parker, with the Yankees and Oakland mentioned as possible takers. Parker's name has come up often but his big contract and defensive shortcomings are limitations.

The Mets are interested in moving Orosco, and a club such as Boston could use a left-handed reliever. Jacoby could solve Toronto's third-base problem. The Blue Jays have pitching to offer in return.

The Angels may not be finished, either. General Manager Mike Port said he would pursue other deals for pitching and predicted several clubs would be willing to talk. Detroit's Bill Lajoie agreed.

"There were 17 teams on Aug. 15 with a chance to win," Lajoie said. "Only four did. The other 13 want to make up the difference."

Some trades may hinge on today's developments. Teams have until midnight tonight to either offer arbitration to their free agents or lose negotiating rights to them until May 1. Once they make that decision, clubs may have a better idea of their needs.

Other clubs may wait until today's major league draft to make moves. In the draft, a team can claim an unprotected player for $50,000 but may not send him to the minors without offering him back to his original club for half the price.

Toronto General Manager Pat Gillick said the Blue Jays, drafting 25th, would drop a player to make their annual selection. George Bell, Manny Lee and Jose Nunez have all come to Toronto from the draft.

Only eight trades took place last year in Hollywood, Fla., and no meeting has moved more than 40 players since the Cardinals' Whitey Herzog made three major moves in 1980.

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