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BASEBALL NOTES

Dodgers Don't See a Vaughn in Their Future

November 22, 1998|STEVE SPRINGER

Mo Vaughn, the free-agent first baseman from the Boston Red Sox, already has an offer in hand from the Angels. But he says he's waiting for the one he has been told is coming from the Dodgers.

He will apparently have a long wait.

Dodger General Manager Kevin Malone, who met with pitcher Randy Johnson on Saturday at Dodger Stadium to discuss an offer, said he has no immediate plans to go after Vaughn.

A source close to the team said the Dodgers see no reason to make a move at first, where Eric Karros is halfway through a four-year contract.

"I had heard they were going to make me an offer Friday," Vaughn told the Boston Globe, "but I haven't heard from my agents.

"I know they have been interested from the beginning, but they are trying to do some things with their roster."

Said Malone of a Vaughn offer: "I don't know anything about it. That's not true. We like Mo Vaughn and we've had discussions with his agent, but we have not indicated that we are ready to make an offer. He's a quality player, but we are not even close at this point to making him an offer."

Will they eventually get to that point?

"I guess it's a possibility," Malone said.

"We are not trying to twist anyone's arm," Vaughn said. "At some point, we'll make a decision. I'm sitting here at home waiting and working out, getting ready for the season."

If Vaughn wants to make a decision, he has before him a six-year deal from the Angels that will pay him at least $72 million, and could stretch to $80 million with incentive bonuses.

Johnson's asking price is three to four years at $36 million to $39 million.

He already has offers in that range from the Angels, the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.

While Malone wouldn't confirm any specific numbers, he said that he and Johnson and Johnson's agents have "discussed the parameters of a deal."

Barry Meister, one of Johnson's agents, said he expects the dominating left-hander to put his signature on a contract "within a week."

And what chance do the Dodgers have to be the ones getting that signature?

"We are optimistic," Malone said. "I think we'll get strong consideration."

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