Oakland Athletics general manager Sandy Alderson says the club lost from $5 million to $6 million in operating expenses last year and stands to lose more this year.
If payments for collusion damages are added to last year's losses, the total A's deficit for 1991 stands between $7 million and $10 million, Alderson said.
Alderson revealed those figures because some A's players want to extend their contracts this spring and the club is unwilling to do so.
* YANKEES: Relief pitcher Steve Howe, who previously refused to discuss the drug charges against him, spoke briefly about his case for the first time. Strongly maintaining his innocence, Howe said he has not fallen back into cocaine use and suggested he was unfairly targeted.
"Everything they're doing is wrong," Howe said of the prosecution's case. "Somebody has it in for me."
The charges against Howe are attempted possession of one gram of cocaine Dec. 19 in Kalispell, Mont., and possession of cocaine between Nov. 23 and Dec. 19. Howe has pleaded not guilty to each count.
"If the right thing is done," Howe said confidently, "there won't be a trial."
Meanwhile, Commissioner Fay Vincent has decided to give Daniel R. McCarthy another chance, ordering the Yankees managing general partner-designate to meet with him tomorrow. McCarthy had defied the commissioner last Friday, refusing to show up for a meeting because Vincent insisted on the presence of a court stenographer.
* RED SOX: Pitcher Roger Clemens isn't planning on reporting until next week. Clemens is scheduled to sign baseballs tonight at the Velvet Elvis bar in Houston, which stages monthly charity events.
Clemens doesn't have to report until March 4 under the collective bargaining agreement and prefers to work out at home until the exhibition season draws closer.
* CUBS: Ryne Sandberg and team officials, while closing in on contract extension, say they aren't close to completing his new deal. Sandberg's agent, Jim Turner, is thought to be looking for approximately $6 million per season for Sandberg.
* PHILLIES: Manager Jim Fregosi has indicated that if left-hander Kyle Abbott doesn't make the starting rotation, the pitcher would be used in the bullpen rather than sent down to Class AAA.
* DODGERS: Ramon Martinez participated in his first workout of spring training without a new deal. Martinez, who turns 24 next month, remains unsigned and again is not happy with the club's contract offer. However, he has said he has no desire to repeat his 1991 holdout.
MA * REDS: Hal Morris has been named the starting first baseman.