Baines ends speculation, re-signs with A's

Orioles notebook

December 19, 1992|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

Veteran outfielder Harold Baines has accepted the offer of salary arbitration from the Oakland Athletics, ending speculation that he might sign with the Orioles.

Baines, who grew up and lives on the Eastern Shore, had expressed interest in signing with the Orioles last week, but his status as a Type-A free agent probably kept the club from taking a serious interest in him.

If he had declined arbitration and failed to sign with the A's by Jan. 8, he would have become a non-compensation free agent and could have been signed without losing a first-round choice in the June amateur draft.

The Orioles choose 20th in this year's draft, so they would give up any chance of drafting one of the top college players if they signed a Type-A player.

Baines took the safe route. The A's offered him arbitration Dec. 7, so he tested the free-agent market for 11 days and took the opportunity to sign a one-year contract with the salary to be determined by an arbitrator in February. He still can negotiate a salary before that time, but he figures to get a raise over the $1.58 million he received last year. This past season he hit .253 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI.

He was the fifth veteran free agent in which the Orioles have expressed at least a passing interest. They signed second baseman Harold Reynolds last week, but apparently did not come close to signing Baines, Andre Dawson, Lou Whitaker or Dave Winfield.

Minor-league signings

The Orioles signed minor-league free agents Wayne Edwards and Don Schulze, signed catcher Mark Parent and out-righted catcher Cesar Devarez to Triple-A Rochester.

Edwards, 29, a left-hander, pitched for the Chicago White Sox from 1989 to 1991 and was 4-6 with a 4.48 ERA last season for the Toronto Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y.

Schulze, 30, a right-hander, pitched in the major leagues from 1983 to 1989 with the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, San Diego Padres and New York Yankees. He has played in Japan the past three seasons.

Parent, who signed a one-year contract worth $215,000 when he's in the majors and $70,000 when he's in the minor leagues, hit .235 for the Orioles in 34 at-bats and batted .287 with 17 home runs and 69 RBI for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

Devarez hit .210 with two home runs in 319 at-bats for the Double-A Hagerstown Suns.

The moves reduced the Orioles' roster to 34 players.

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