MONTREAL — Tim Raines has told Montreal Expos General Manager David Dombrowski that he would not object to a trade to one of five grass-field National League teams.
Raines, as a player with 10 years of big-league service and the last five with the same club, has the right to veto any deal the Expos might make involving him. He met with Dombrowski in West Palm Beach, Fla., over the weekend.
"I didn't ask for a trade, but I told Dave that if someone asked for me and the deal was good for me and the club, then I wouldn't stand in the way," Raines said.
Raines listed the Dodgers, San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves as teams he would agree to join--all of which play on grass fields. And he added that he would consider going to certain other clubs with legitimate championship aspirations.
He asked Dombrowski for a week to ponder whether he would exercise his veto rights if the Expos had the chance to trade him this winter.
Raines has frequently been mentioned in speculation about the Expos' off-season moves. Although he had a strong finish in September--batting better than .300 after being moved to his customary leadoff spot--his production has leveled off from the four straight seasons of 70-plus stolen bases and .300-plus averages he had from 1984 to 1987.
"If I'm back in Montreal next season, I'll be the leadoff batter," Raines said. "I know that, and that's more important to me than where I go, or if I go, in a trade."
Dombrowski, who was on his way to the World Series, was not immediately available to comment on his meeting with Raines.