O's renew contracts of 30 players

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

March 12, 1995|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,Sun Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Like every other team in baseball, the Orioles have renewed the contracts of all their unsigned players.

The paperwork was prepared Wednesday and Thursday, said general manager Roland Hemond, and mailed to the players yesterday. Hemond would not divulge specific figures for each of the 30 unsigned players, but did say that the contracts varied on an individual basis: Some were given raises, some were renewed at their 1994 salary level.

The union has taken the position that by renewing contracts under rules different from the previous labor agreement, the teams have violated terms of the deal and effectively made the players free agents.

Hammonds update

Orioles minor-league pitcher Brian Sackinsky worked out the last three weeks with outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds at Stanford, and says that Hammonds -- coming back from knee surgery -- doesn't even show a limp.

"He looked good -- real good," Sackinsky said, "I never saw him run, but he was swinging the bat pretty well. I asked him about his knee and he said it's coming along.

"He said if we had started spring training on time, he would've missed the first two or three weeks of games. But considering where we are now, [he said] he'll be able to go at it right away if we get back [from the strike]."

Hale looks hearty

Orioles manager Phil Regan is looking for a handful of players in the Triple-A and Double-A camp to augment his major-league roster once a labor agreement is signed, and one front-runner is left-hander Shane Hale.

In a game against the Orioles' top Class A prospects at Al Lang Stadium yesterday, Hale threw two strong innings, continuing a string of extraordinary performances in training camp. Regan is very interested.

"If this kid could get a little better breaking ball," Regan said, "he could be outstanding."

In a minor-league camp?

"In the big leagues," Regan said.

Hale could benefit from the Orioles' need for left-handers. If they sign Ted Higuera and John Franco, then Hale would be competing against Jamie Moyer and Brad Pennington for a spot in the bullpen. Moyer has an inherent advantage over Hale, because he's already under contract for $1.1 million, and so does Pennington, who is out of options. The Orioles also could re-sign free agent Jim Poole.

But Regan is intrigued by Hale, who finally seems to be recovering from the reconstructive elbow surgery he had in 1992.

Tomlin signs with Giants

Free-agent left-hander Randy Tomlin, who worked out with the Orioles twice, has signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants and will report to training camp tomorrow.

Syd Thrift, the Orioles' director of player development, speculated that Tomlin signed with another team because of Baltimore's interest in Higuera. "Those people read the paper, too," Thrift said.

The Giants said Tomlin, 28, whose best year was in 1992 when he was 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA for the Pittsburgh Pirates, will not participate in spring training games.

Tomlin has been bothered by arm problems the past two seasons. He went on the disabled list with left elbow tendinitis in May 1993 and had arthroscopic surgery on the elbow in August to remove a spur.

Rocky's outing sharp

The Triple-A and Double-A players beat the Single-A players, 6-2. Rocky Coppinger struck out two in two hitless innings.

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