OAKLAND, Calif. -- Trade talks at the World Series always fall under the category of "very preliminary," but the Orioles' interest in Boston's Mike Greenwell and Philadelphia's Von Hayes might be an early indication of their desire to improve this offseason.
Sources this weekend confirmed inquiries by the Orioles about both players, either of whom could fill the club's need for a run-producing outfielder. General manager Roland Hemond never reveals specifics, but he acknowledged talks with Boston and Philadelphia, among other clubs.
"It's the usual World Series stuff -- laying the foundation," Hemond said. "Teams are willing to talk, but not willing to move. I know that's the routine. You have to go through it. But if you don't have conversations now, later on nothing can happen."
Hemond said he expects to continue telephone conversations with clubs prior to the general managers' meetings early next month in Scottsdale, Ariz. Trades usually are not completed until the winter meetings, scheduled for the first week of December in Los Angeles.
What are the chances of the Orioles landing either Greenwell or Hayes? It's far too early to tell. The Red Sox might not even be serious about dealing Greenwell, unless it's for a front-line starting pitcher. The Phillies apparently are seeking the same in return for Hayes.
No doubt clubs are asking the Orioles about Ben McDonald, but the second-year righthander is untouchable. The other young starters are not, but it's doubtful a pitcher like Pete Harnisch could bring a Greenwell or Hayes unless packaged with several other players.
"It's so early, you can't be overwhelmingly optimistic," Hemond said. "You know what clubs do. They talk with you, and they talk with other clubs to find out who might be available. It's so premature, there's no way to determine or judge it."
Greenwell, 27, batted .297 with 14 homers and 73 RBIs this season after a horrendous start. He earned $1.225 million, and is eligible for free agency in 1992. The Orioles reportedly tried to acquire him last June for Phil Bradley, who later was traded for Ron Kittle.
Hayes, 32, batted .261 with 17 homers, 73 RBIs and 16 stolen bases for Philadelphia. He earned $2 million in the first year of a complex three-year, $6.4 million contract that also includes two option years valued at $4.4 million.
* NASTY FEUD: Cincinnati reliever Rob Dibble couldn't simply celebrate his club's World Series victory Saturday night. No, he had to take a shot at Dave Stewart for hitting Billy Hatcher with an 0-2 pitch in the first inning. Hatcher suffered a bruised wrist and later left the game.
"I felt that was a --------- thing to do, hit some guy because he's hot," Dibble said. "Of course I think it was intentional. He put his guys in jeopardy. He's lucky he's not in the National League. If he would have ruined Billy's career, I guarantee somebody would have gotten him sometime down the line."
Predictably, Stewart went nuts when informed of Dibble's remarks. He had just lost the deciding game of the World Series 2-1 after taking a shutout into the eighth. A 10-year veteran, he was in no mood to be chided by a second-year player.
"Tell him he's a punk, and tell him I said it," Stewart said. "Tell him I'll be here until 10 o'clock. If he wants to say something, I'll be in the hallway. He's an idiot. He don't know nothing about baseball . . . If he wants to come in the clubhouse, I'll kick his butt."
Stewart had an excellent point.
Only fools throw at hitters on 0-2.