A day after the Dodgers and Mike Piazza met regarding the catcher's 1994 contract, Piazza did not attend the workout at Dodger Stadium for the first time this winter. Even though the workouts are voluntary, Piazza's absence is considered an indication that negotiations could lead to a spring-training holdout.
Dennis Gilbert, Piazza's agent, said both sides are using "different comparables."
"I don't think Mike wants to set new records or chart new waters with a contract, although his numbers entitle him to do it," Gilbert said.
Piazza batted .318 in 149 games with 35 home runs and 112 runs batted in, and was unanimously voted the 1993 National League rookie of the year. The Dodgers are using 1992 rookie of the year Eric Karros as a gauge, and have offered Piazza a little more than the $435,000 Karros received after his rookie year. Karros batted .257 in 149 games with 20 home runs and 88 RBIs.
But Gilbert is comparing Piazza to Frank Thomas, the Chicago White Sox first baseman who received a multiyear contract worth more than $4 million after 1991, his first full season. Thomas hit .318 in 158 games with 32 home runs and 109 RBIs.