Orioles trade Worthington to Padres

February 17, 1992|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

The Orioles today traded third baseman Craig Worthington and minor-league pitcher Tom Martin to the San Diego Padres for two minor leaguers, pitcher Jim Lewis and outfielder Steve Martin.

Worthington, who was named Rookie Player of the Year by The Sporting News after a 1989 performance that included 15 home runs and 70 RBI, had slipped out of favor after a lackluster performance in 1990. He opened 1991 on the major league roster, but spent most of the season with the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings rehabilitating a hamstring strain.

"Lewis is a candidate for our pitching staff's relief corps," Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said, "and Martin is a promising outfielder with good speed. We've been trying to add speed to our organization."

Manager John Oates had indicated last week that Worthington, 26, would come to spring training with a chance to win back a regular job at third base, but no one seriously believed he would supplant Leo Gomez, who led American League rookies with 16 home runs last year.

Worthington was the subject of a series of trade rumors last winter, the most prominent involving California Angels outfielder Dante Bichette.

Bichette was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, and the chances of getting a major-league player in return for Worthington diminished as he dropped out of sight last year.

Lewis, 27, was 6-3 with a 3.38 ERA for the Class AAA Las Vegas Stars of the Pacific Coast League and had no record in 12 appearances at the major-league level. He was placed on the Orioles' 40-man major-league roster and will compete for a job in spring training. Steve Martin is a 24-year-old speedster who stole 42 bases at the Class A level last year.

Left-hander Tom Martin pitched for the Orioles' Class A Kane County Cougars. He was 4-10 with a 3.64 ERA.

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