Seeking to strengthen their bullpen, the New York Yankees held a tryout yesterday for Bill Landrum, a veteran reliever who led the Pittsburgh Pirates in saves the last three seasons but was released by Pittsburgh eight days ago.
After throwing for 15 minutes for an audience that included general manager Gene Michael, manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Mark Connor, Landrum, 33, underwent a medical examination and testing of his right knee. Landrum has had surgery on both knees.
The results of those tests weren't known to the Yankees last night. But Michael said that if the Yankees are satisfied the right-hander's push-off leg is sound, they will negotiate today with Bob Gilhooley, Landrum's agent.
Showalter said there is room for Landrum on an 11-man pitching staff and particularly so if Greg Cadaret leaves the bullpen and serves as the fifth starter. "He [Landrum] certainly has quality numbers," Showalter said. Landrum had 56 saves over the past three seasons but was at his best in 1989, when he had a 1.67 ERA and yielded only 60 hits in 81 innings.
Connor was impressed with what Landrum displayed during the tryout, saying, "He's got a good arm, a tight spin on his curveball."
* RANGERS: Second baseman Julio Franco left training camp and returned to Arlington, Texas, after a right knee problem flared up again, forcing him out of his exhibition game debut.
But Franco was scheduled to return to Florida camp by this weekend after an examination today by Dr. James Montgomery, a Dallas orthopedist, a team spokesman said.
It was not known when Franco, whose 1991 batting average of .341 led the majors, would resume playing.
* ROYALS: Kevin Seitzer, whose numbers took a fall each year since he batted .323 in 1987, was released on his 30th birthday.
The Royals asked unconditional release waivers on Seitzer, whom they once gave George Brett's position at third base.
The Royals apparently decided Seitzer's $1,625,000 salary was too much to pay for a utility infielder. By releasing him now, the Royals are obligated to give him $401,785 in termination pay. If Seitzer clears waivers by 2 p.m. Tuesday, he would become a free agent.
* RED SOX: Manager Butch Hobson just about made it official that Wade Boggs would be his leadoff hitter when the season begins, with Ellis Burks batting cleanup.
"The lineup you saw, with the exception of a couple of names, it looks like the kind of way we're going to go Opening Day, depending on the pitcher," said Hobson.
* BREWERS: Julio Machado, the reliever accused of murder in Venezuela, reached an out-of-court settlement with the parents of the woman he is charged with killing.
The agreement calls for Machado to pay the parents of Edicta Vasquez what amounts to about $38,000 in civil damages.
Machado faces charges of unintentional murder and illegal possession of a handgun in connection with the shooting of Vasquez on Dec. 8.
The pitcher has been released from prison to await trial. Machado has admitted shooting at the car Vasquez was riding in early on Dec. 8 after getting into an accident. Machado said he fired in self-defense, thinking he was about to be robbed.