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Henderson Makes a Deal Before Going to Blue Jays : Baseball: Outfielder finally waives no-trade clause in contract. Belcher traded to White Sox.

August 01, 1993|From Associated Press

Rickey Henderson, traded Saturday night by the Oakland Athletics to Toronto, said he's looking forward to helping the Blue Jays finish first in the American League East.

The trade was agreed to by Toronto, Oakland and the outfielder, who had a no-trade clause in his contract.

Henderson was not available for comment after the trade was officially agreed upon, but he expressed some reluctance to waive the no-trade clause beforehand, saying he hoped to get compensation for agreeing to the waiver.

"Everything is negotiable," Henderson said. "It's a business, you know. I'm just a businessman myself."

Sandy Alderson, the A's general manager, said it took three hours to hash out the compensation for Henderson, but declined to reveal what the player got, or what each team contributed, saying only, "there were cash considerations."

Henderson also got a guarantee from the Blue Jays that he will be allowed to become a free agent after the season. Toronto could have denied Henderson that chance by offering him salary arbitration at the end of the season.

"Rickey has had two very fine careers in Oakland, and he's going to Toronto for the remainder of this season," Alderson said. "We'll see what happens in the fall. We wish him well."

In other trades, the Chicago White Sox obtained starting pitcher Tim Belcher from the Cincinnati Reds, and the Kansas City Royals got middle reliever Stan Belinda from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Henderson, who signed a four-year, $12-million contract in 1990, seemed happy about the chance to leave Oakland, even before the trade was official.

"I've suffered for four years," said Henderson, who tried without success to get the A's to rework his contract. "They dogged me for four years."

In exchange for Henderson, Oakland receives right-handed pitcher Steve Karsay, who was Toronto's first-round pick in 1990, and a player to be named.

Alderson said Henderson has 72 hours to report to the Blue Jays, and he expects the flashy outfielder to join the team on Monday or Tuesday in New York, another of his former stomping grounds. Toronto starts a four-game series Monday against the Yankees.

The last time Henderson was in the final year of a contract, the Yankees traded him to Oakland on June 20, 1989, and he helped the A's win the World Series. The A's also reached the World Series the next season.

Henderson said he dropped his no-trade clause for the 1989 trade, and promised himself then, "I'd never do that again. I don't think it's fair."

Henderson, baseball's career stolen base leader with 1,073, is batting .327 with 47 runs batted in and 31 stolen bases.

At Toronto, he joins an already formidable lineup that features major league batting leader John Olerud, Paul Molitor, Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter.

The Blue Jays could start an outfield of Henderson in left, Devon White in center and Carter in right. Henderson would also be reunited with pitcher Dave Stewart, his close friend and former Oakland teammate.

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The AL West-leading White Sox obtained the right-handed Belcher for minor league pitchers Johnny Ruffin and Jeff Pierce.

Belcher, 31, will report to the White Sox on Monday in Arlington, Tex., where they open an important three-game series with the Rangers. Belcher will start either Tuesday or Thursday, Chicago Manager Gene Lamont said.

Belcher is 9-6 with a 4.47 earned-run average in 22 starts and has failed to make it past the fifth inning in five of his last six starts. He pitched four innings Friday night, giving up seven hits and six runs over four innings in an 11-9 loss to San Diego.

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The Royals, weak all year at middle relief, got Belinda (3-1, 19 saves) for minor league right-handed pitchers Jon Lieber and Dan Miceli.

"This is the one we wanted," said General Manager Herk Robinson. "It's our intention to use Stan Belinda as a set-up guy to get us to Jeff Montgomery (31 saves). If anything should happen to Jeff, heaven forbid, he could step in as the closer."

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