ROSEMONT, Ill. -- The Cory Snyder derby ended last night, and the Orioles finished up the track. Cleveland traded Snyder to the Chicago White Sox, reuniting the enigmatic outfielder with hitting coach Walt Hriniak.
The White Sox also received minor-league infielder Lindsay Foster in return for two pitchers who should help the Indians, righthanded starter Eric King and lefthanded reliever Shawn Hillegas.
The Orioles had interest in Snyder, but they never even met with Cleveland. Early in the day, an Indians source said, "If what they talked about before was what they'd talk about again, there's not any point."
The Indians obviously wanted quality pitching, but here's the real irony: The White Sox acquired Snyder to replace former Oriole Phil Bradley as their fourth outfielder and substitute at first and third base.
The trade figures to end the White Sox's pursuit of Tim Raines (reportedly for Ivan Calderon), but general manager Ron
Schueler said the trade did not mean he was on the verge of signing free-agent righthander Bob Welch.
Snyder, 28, hit 33 homers in 1987, but he batted .223 with 14 homers last season. The White Sox figure Hriniak might revive his career. Snyder spent last winter at his hitting school, and put together a monster April before falling back into his two-year funk.
"Walt really believed he could help Cory regain his form from a couple of years ago," White Sox manager Jeff Torborg said. "That's what a lot of thoughts are based on in making this trade."
* DOLLARS, DOLLARS, DOLLARS: San Francisco has now spent $33 million on free agents this offseason following the signing of lefthander Dave Righetti last night to a four-year, $10 -- million contract.
Are the Giants finished spending?
"Maybe forever," general manager Al Rosen said.
The addition of Righetti gives the Giants closers from both sides -- Jeff Brantley is the righthander -- and allowed the club the luxury of trading Steve Bedrosian. to the Minnesota Twins today.
Righetti, 32, went 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA and converted 36 of his 39 save opportunities for the last-place New York Yankees last season. But according to his agent, his contract talks with New York were chaotic.
The agent, Bill Goodstein, said the Yankees shifted negotiators no fewer than six times, culminating yesterday when vice president George Bradley replaced general manager Gene Michael as the club's representative.
"As I told George Bradley, it's nice to see the Yankees thought Dave Righetti was a member of the family," Goodstein said. "I just wish they hadn't treated him like a mother-in-law."
* PRICE GOUGING: The agent for free-agent lefthander Joe Price yesterday rejected an offer from the Orioles, who declined the $400,000 option year on the reliever's contract last month.
"They restructured the deal at a lower base that through incentives gives Joe the opportunity to earn more money than he would under the existing deal," agent Joe Bick said.
"My problem with that is that for a player who pitched as much as Joe, and has 10 years of major-league service, we felt the option-year salary was very much a bargain as it stood."
Bick said he has not closed off the possibility of Price returning to the Orioles, but will continue shopping the pitcher to other teams.
* BOSTON STRANGLERS: The Red Sox still are looking for pitching after signing lefthander Matt Young to a three-year, $6.35 million contract yesterday. Now they're reportedly preparing an offer to Welch.
This one might be a little far-fetched -- remember Roger Clemens' taunts about Welch's past drinking problem in the AL playoffs? The Red Sox might be better with Pete Harnisch. Clemens never insulted him.
The Orioles and Detroit were the runners-up for Young. "The Orioles were in the picture toward the end, but the dollars were at a different level," said Michael Maas, who represents Young along with Baltimore attorney Ron Shapiro.
* BAY BRIDGE TRADE: Brett Butler became San Francisco's No. 3 centerfielder yesterday when the Giants acquired outfielder Darren Lewis from Oakland for infielder Ernest Riles.
The A's signed outfielder Willie Wilson late Monday night, but Jose Canseco still might require back surgery, and the losses of Lewis and Willie McGee makes it imperative they re-sign Dave Henderson.
Lewis, 23, started last season at Double A, but joined the A's after Henderson suffered a knee injury. Riles, 30, is a lefthanded hitter who will give Oakland more balance off the bench.
* AROUND THE HORN: Atlanta is trying to acquire shortstop Shawon Dunston from the Chicago Cubs, reportedly for lefthander Tom Glavine and shortstop Jeff Blauser. The Braves' backup is a trade for Milwaukee's Gary Sheffield.
The New York Mets received a surprising jolt yesterday when St. Louis increased its offer to free-agent outfielder Vince Coleman to four years. The Cardinals' offer is believed to be $10 million, the Mets' $11 million. A decision could be reached today.
Milwaukee signed righthander Edwin Nunez to a two-year, $1.9 million contract. Nunez was 3-1 for a 2.24 ERA in middle-inning relief for Detroit last season. His acquisition could enable the Brewers to trade reliever Chuck Crim.
One more commentary on baseball's wacky state of affairs: The Yankees yesterday signed second baseman Steve Sax to a four-year, $12.4 million contract extension -- even though Sax isn't eligible for free agency until after the 1993 season.