Angelos won't rush Sabo deal

June 08, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chris Sabo wants to be traded, but he isn't necessarily going to get what he wants.

"If a proposal comes along that helps the ballclub achieve its goals, it's obviously something that has to be considered," Orioles owner Peter Angelos said. "On the other hand, we consider Sabo a very outstanding baseball player. We don't think you trade him for the sake of trading him, or because there's a temporary unhappiness or disagreement."

The Philadelphia Phillies have an interest in Sabo and the Orioles are interested in right-handed reliever Paul Quantrill, but the Phillies would like the Orioles to assume part of the remainder of Sabo's $2 million salary.

As a matter of policy under Angelos, the Orioles do not pay players while they are playing for other teams.

"Philadelphia may have interest, but they're talking a different language than we're talking," Angelos said.

Orioles manager Johnny Oates preached patience yesterday and Sabo chose to remain silent.

"I've said plenty," Sabo said. "I've said more in the last few days than I usually say in a whole season."

Oates said Sabo brought up the possibility of playing the outfield him and Oates was agreeable. Sabo might be used in left field this weekend at Fenway Park, Oates said.

The Orioles took batting practice indoors, thanks to early rain, so Sabo did not have the chance to shag fly balls for what would have been the second day in a row.

"He showed he could go catch the ball," Oates said of Sabo's first batting practice trial in the outfield. "But it's a different game once you are under the lights, playing in front of a crowd, with the game on the line and a guy running the bases.

"The outfield is tougher to play than most people think. You can play safety outfield, play back and let everything bounce in front of you, that's not tough. But playing the outfield is not as easy as people think."

At Fenway Park, the left fielder has less ground to cover than anywhere else.

"But you still have got to read that wall," Oates said. "It takes experience, but none of our guys have a whole lot of experience there."

Oates maintains Sabo is not a problem in the clubhouse.

"I don't think his frame of mind has changed," Oates said. "He still wants to play every day. But he's not causing any problems for me.

"I understand where he's coming from. He looked for a job for a long time last winter, found one, and wants to play. He also wants to take care of himself for next year and I understand that. It's very understandable."

Oates said Sabo has not told him he is ready to play third base yet, but said he has told him he is available to be used as the designated hitter, as a pinch runner and a pinch hitter.

Sabo never has refused to do anything, Oates reiterated.

"If Leo [Gomez] was struggling, I might push it a little, but he's not, so it's not an issue," Oates said of third base. "Chris'll get comfortable and get to the point where he feels he can play there, and he'll come to me then.

"The last five days there have been two times he has been ready to pinch run. He had his helmet on and was gung-ho and ready to do that. And he was ready to pinch hit."

Oates said Sabo never has declined to do anything.

"He has done every single thing I have asked him to do," Oates said. "Believe me, there is going to come a time when he's an everyday player for us. I don't know where it's going to be, but that time will come."

bTC Angelos hasn't given up on Sabo, either.

"I'm in no hurry to trade Sabo," he said. "We think as much of him now as we did when we signed him. Nothing has changed."

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