Orioles, Tettleton at odds over contract length

October 24, 1990|By Peter Schmuck

The Baltimore Orioles are reluctant to offer catcher Mickey Tettleton more than a one-year contract, which has increased the likelihood that he will not be back for the 1991 season.

Tettleton filed for free agency Monday, and agent Tony Attanasio said yesterday that the club's insistence on a one-year deal has left them no alternative but to field other offers. Tettleton apparently will give the Orioles the right of first refusal, but the club's apparent willingness to allow another team to set the market price leaves room to wonder if there is serious interest in re-signing him.

"I'm not sure they realize what they've got," Attanasio said. "People say he had a bad year, but if you compare him to the other catchers, his [run production] numbers aren't bad at all. If he hit 26 home runs every year, they'd have to pay him $4 million a year."

Still, the 1990 season could not have had a positive effect on Tettleton's market value. He went from 26 homers in 1989 to 15 last year, but set a major-league record for switch hitters with 160 strikeouts.

If he had come back with an impressive encore to 1989, the Orioles would have had little choice but to give him a multiyear deal, but his lack of production over the final two months of the season left room to justify a wait-and-see attitude.

"Their concept right now is, 'We don't know. Why not come back for one year and have a great year and then we'll see,' " Attanasio said. "That wouldn't make sense for Mickey. If he's there for one year and the manager plays him at first base sometimes and as the DH sometimes, he goes back into the market next year as a utility player. That diminishes his value."

The Orioles have made no public comments about the Tettleton negotiations, except to say that they will make an attempt to re-sign him.

Attanasio apparently has no complaints with the team's bargaining style. He applauded club president Larry Lucchino, general manager Roland Hemond and club counsel Lon Babby for their handling of the negotiations, but it will take more than mutual admiration to get Tettleton back with the Orioles.

"Mickey would like very much to go back," Attanasio said. "He has nothing but good feelings toward the Orioles organization.

AP All-Star team

Nationwide voting by sportswriters and broadcasters for the 1990 Associated Press baseball all-star team, with name, team and votes received:

First base Cecil Fielder, Detroit, 130; Eddie Murray, Los Angeles, 16; George Brett, Kansas City, 13; Mark McGwire, Oakland, 4; Rafael Palmeiro, Texas, 3; Dave Magadan, New York Mets, 2; Will Clark, San Francisco, 1; Fred McGriff, Toronto, 1.

Second base Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs, 165; Julio Franco, Texas, 1; Jose Lind, Pittsburgh, 1; Jose Oquendo, St. Louis, 1.

Third base Matt Williams, San Francisco, 93; Kelly Gruber, Toronto, 42; Wade Boggs, Boston, 15; Chris Sabo, Cincinnati, 7; Tim Wallach, Montreal, 4; Carney Lansford, Oakland, 2; Brook Jacoby, Cleveland, 1.

Shortstop

Barry Larkin, Cincinnati, 91; Alan Trammell, Detroit, 31; Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox, 30; Cal Ripken, Baltimore, 9; Shawon Dunston, Chicago Cubs, 2; Ozzie Smith, St. Louis, 2; Tony Fernandez, Toronto, 1; Kurt Stillwell, Kansas City, 1; Walt Weiss, Oakland, 1.

Catcher

Carlton Fisk, Chicago White Sox, 59; Sandy Alomar, Cleveland, Tony Pena, Boston, 28; Lance Parrish, California, 11; Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles, 6; Brian Harper, Minnesota, 5; Benito Santiago, San Diego, 5; B.J. Surhoff, Milwaukee, 3; Terry Steinbach, Oakland, 2; Craig Biggio, Houston, 1; Darren Daulton, Philadelphia, 1.

Outfield

Rickey Henderson, Oakland, 158; Barry Bonds, Pittsburgh, 157; Bobby Bonilla, Pittsburgh, 68; Darryl Strawberry, New York Mets, 29; Jose Canseco, Oakland, 25; Lenny Dykstra, Philadelphia, 19; Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle, 13; Ron Gant, Atlanta, 10; Andre Dawson, Chicago Cubs, 9; Willie McGee, St. Louis-Oakland, 6; Kevin Mitchell, San Francisco, 4; Ellis Burks, Boston, 2; Joe Carter, San Diego, 2; Dave Justice, Atlanta, 2; Kirby Puckett, Minnesota, 2; Andy Van Slyke, Pittsburgh, 2; Eric Davis, Cincinnati, 1; Dwight Evans, Boston, 1.

Designated hitter Dave Parker, Milwaukee, 78; George Brett, Kansas City, 33; Cecil Fielder, Detroit, 26; Jose Canseco, Oakland, 8; Harold Baines, Texas-Oakland, 6; Fred McGriff, Toronto, 3; Dwight Evans, Boston, 2; Kelly Gruber, Toronto, 2; Steve Balboni, New York Yankees, 1; Carlton Fisk, Chicago White Sox, 1; Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle, 1; Mark McGwire, Oakland, 1; Dave Henderson, Oakland, 1; Candy Maldonado, Cleveland, 1; Kirby Puckett, Minnesota, 1.

Right-handed pitcher Bob Welch, Oakland, 103; Roger Clemens, Boston, 38; Doug Drabek, Pittsburgh, 16; Dave Stewart, Oakland, 12; Ramon Martinez, Los Angeles, 1; Nolan Ryan, Texas, 1.

Left-handed pitcher Frank Viola, New York Mets, 126; Chuck Finley, California, 29; Zane Smith, Montreal-Pittsburgh, 3; John Tudor, St. Louis, 2; Tom Browning, Cincinnati, 1; Jimmy Key, Toronto, 1.

Relief pitcher Bobby Thigpen, Chicago White Sox, 104; Dennis Eckersley, Oakland, 63; Doug Jones, Cleveland, 1; John Franco, New York Mets, 1.

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