Reds send Dodgers Davis, Gross for pitchers Belcher, Wetteland hvB

November 28, 1991

The Cincinnati Reds traded outfielder Eric Davis to the Los Angeles Dodgers last night as part of a four-player deal that sent right-hander Tim Belcher to the Reds.

The trade reunites Davis with boyhood friend Darryl Strawberry in the Dodgers' outfield and solidifies the Reds' starting rotation. Cincinnati also got reliever John Wetteland and sent reliever Kip Gross to the Dodgers.

Davis, 29, played in only 89 games last season, hitting .235 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs.

He has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. He fell out of favor with Reds manager Lou Piniella when he decided to sit out most of the second half of the season because of what Davis called chronic fatigue resulting from his kidney injury in the 1990 World Series.

Belcher, 30, was 10-9 with a 2.62 ERA last season.

* The Seattle Mariners have been appraised at $100 million, which likely improves chances that owner Jeff Smulyan will keep his team in the city, King County Executive Tim Hill said.

"I'm convinced now that Jeff Smulyan will keep the team here," Hill said. "There is a recognition based on the fact that it is a Seattle price and based on the work the Sarkowsky committee has done."

The committee headed by former Seattle Seahawks part-owner Herman Sarkowsky has been working to build business support for the team.

"We think the numbers are pretty fair," Smulyan said. "We have no complaints with the appraisal at all."

Smulyan bought the team from George Argyros two years ago for $76 million. The $100 million figure was based on what the team would be worth if sold in Seattle and not if shipped off to Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla., or other cities that have expressed interest.

Smulyan said delivery of a Seattle appraisal alone was "fine with us. People were reading too much into our asking for the [appraisal] anyway."

Smulyan said his intent in getting an appraisal was not to sell the team, but to set a value for offering a minority interest or refinancing bank loans. Security Pacific Bank has told Smulyan to refinance the $39.5 million he owes by February or find a buyer.

* PHILLIES: Philadelphia's offer to free-agent slugger Bobby Bonilla is slightly more than the recent proposal by the New York Mets but less than the California Angels have offered, according to a source close to the negotiations.

When Bonilla was in the area 10 days ago, club president Bill Giles and general manager Lee Thomas started the bidding at $25 million for five years, the source said yesterday. The Mets' offer, which agent Dennis Gilbert received by mail earlier this week, was for $24.5 million. Bonilla visited California last weekend and the Angels upped the ante to $27.5 million.

Bonilla is scheduled to meet with the White Sox in Chicago on Monday and also will talk to the Cubs while he's in town. After that he is expected to talk to the Pirates, his team for the past 5 1/2 years, before making his final decision. The Pirates' last offer was $18.5 million for four years with a club option for $4 million in 1996.

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