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DODGERS NOTES

Claire Says He's Working on a Trade for Nomo

June 03, 1998|JASON REID

Fred Claire, executive vice president, said Tuesday he is speaking with several teams about deals regarding Hideo Nomo, who was dropped from the team's roster and designated for assignment Monday after requesting to be traded.

One unconfirmed report had Nomo going to the Baltimore Orioles for reliever Armando Benitez. However, Claire said he wasn't close to completing a trade.

"I would hope that we could move quickly," Claire said. "As always, we want to make the best trade from our standpoint.

"From Hideo's standpoint, the sooner the better, because he wants to get on with his career. I recognize that, but we'll still take the time to make the best deal that we need to make."

Claire said reports Tuesday about other pending deals are erroneous. They have seven days to complete a deal.

"No, we are not actively pursuing anything," he said. "The only trade discussions that we have, and quite frankly that I plan, are to trade Hideo Nomo. Any other trade discussions that you hear certainly will not be initiated by the Dodgers. We need to give our team a chance to settle down."

*

After batting practice, Claire informed players and coaches the Randy Johnson trade talks had collapsed. He was trying to rally the troops to perform better, and reinforce that he was calling the player-personnel shots.

"I wanted to make sure that they understood who is in charge of baseball responsibilities and operations, and that is Fred Claire," he said. "As far as any trade speculation is concerned, I am the man."

Claire isn't worried that some players' performances might be affected because their names were mentioned in Johnson trade reports.

"Let's not be naive, this is part of baseball," he said. "This has been going on for a long time, and the players understand that."

TONIGHT

DODGERS' RAMON MARTINEZ (6-2, 2.82 ERA) vs. CARDINALS' MARK PETKOVSEK (3-1, 4.19 ERA)

* Update--Martinez has been among the few Doder pitchers who haven't been mentioned in possible trades lately. And it's a good thing, because he's been, expectedly, the Dodgers' most consistent starter.

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