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Stillwell Rejects Padres' Pay Proposal

January 22, 1992|BOB NIGHTENGALE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN DIEGO — The Padres, hoping to resolve their second base woes with the acquisition of Kurt Stillwell, learned Tuesday that they might be starting their search all over again.

Stillwell, who last week appeared antsy to sign a contract with the Padres, said Tuesday he could not accept the Padres' offer and had begun looking elsewhere.

"We have four offers, including a team coming in today," agent Scott Boras said, "and frankly, the Padres' offer is the worst of the four."

The Padres, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, have proposed to Stillwell a two-year, $3.5-million guaranteed contract with an option year in 1994 for $2.3 million. Stillwell seeks a two-year, $4.8-million contract.

Joe McIlvaine, Padre general manger, told Boras on Tuesday that they were unwilling to agree to Stillwell's proposal, after having already increased their initial proposal of $3 million. Besides, sources said, the Padres hardly are comfortably paying Stillwell more money this season than right fielder Tony Gwynn ($2 million) or shortstop Tony Fernandez ($2.1 million).

"Joe indicated to me that they just don't have the money to pay that kind of salary to Kurt," Boras said. "They say the owners can't afford it. I'm not saying the Padres are out of it, but they certainly have to re-evaluate."

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