Cubs' deadline for contract with Sandberg passes

March 03, 1991

Ryne Sandberg's deadline for a contract extension passed yesterday without a new deal with the Chicago Cubs.

"You will not hear about my contract again, and I will work even harder toward bringing a World Series to Chicago," Sandberg said.

The second baseman, who led the National League with 40 home runs last season, is signed for 1991 at $2.2 million, and the Cubs have a 1992 option at $2.1 million. He had sought a three-year, $15 million extension while the team offered about $1 million less. Sandberg had set the deadline, saying he did not want contract talks to disrupt him during the season.

* BREWERS: Left-hander Teddy Higuera, counted on to be the No. 1 starter in the rotation, won't be able to throw for five days because of a sore shoulder. Higuera, 11-10 last year while battling a variety of injuries, was to pitch batting practice yesterday, but was held back after reporting discomfort in the shoulder.

A physician examined Higuera and decided it was best not to throw, although the problem was not thought to be serious.

Higuera, 32, signed a four-year, $13 million contract during the off-season. He has won just 20 games in the last two seasons while dealing with injuries and back surgery.

* GIANTS: Matt Williams, who led the National League in RBI last season, agreed to a $2.6 million, two-year contract. The 25-year-old third baseman, who drove in 122 runs last season, will have the largest contract ever for a player not yet eligible for salary arbitration.

He will receive $600,000 this season and $2 million in 1992, when he would have been eligible. He had a base salary of $190,000 last year and earned $25,000 more for making the All-Star team.

"I'm very happy with the contract," Williams said after a four-hour workout. "If I go out and have the same type of year as 1990, I might have made more money in a year. But who cares? That's not a big deal. Security is primary to me."

* MARINERS: Manager Jim Lefebvre says Tino Martinez will be given every opportunity to win Pete O'Brien's starting first-base job despite O'Brien's lucrative contract.

If Martinez can't do it in spring training, though, he may be headed back to the Class AAA Calgary Cannons. "He's too good a player to sit," Lefebvre said. "He's got to play every day somewhere."

O'Brien, 33, is in the second year of a four-year, $7.6 million contract. Martinez, 23, was a hitting star for the U.S. team that won the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

* DODGERS: Ramon Martinez (20-6, 2.92 ERA) agreed to end his holdout after settling on a one-year contract for $485,000. Martinez had been asking for about $500,000, and the Dodgers were offering approximately $400,000.

* REDS: Reliever Rob Dibble agreed on a one-year contract worth approximately $500,000. Dibble had threatened to leave camp if he didn't get a contract that satisfied him.

hTC * ROYALS: Dan Schatzeder, a left-handed reliever signed as a free agent at the winter meetings, threw batting practice for the first time. Schatzeder pitched for the New York Mets and Houston Astros last year.

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