Cash, players offered for Neagle Pirates want Benitez

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

other teams bidding, too

August 28, 1996|By Buster Olney and Jason LaCanfora | Buster Olney and Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

The Orioles have made an offer to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Denny Neagle that includes cash and players, according to a National League source. Orioles assistant general manager Kevin Malone would not confirm or deny this.

The Pirates are trying to make the deals because of their need for cash, and are considering offers for Neagle, third baseman Jeff King (another player who interests the Orioles), second baseman Carlos Garcia and shortstop Jay Bell.

The Orioles can offer up to $1 million in cash, and according to the NL source, they're dangling Jeffrey Hammonds for Neagle. The Pirates want Armando Benitez, and other players who could fit what Pittsburgh is looking for are right-hander Jimmy Haynes and left-hander Rick Krivda (who is a Pennsylvania native).

But the Orioles appear to be offering a less attractive package than the other teams reportedly bidding for Neagle, a boyhood Orioles fan who graduated from Arundel High. The Atlanta Braves, whose 20-game winner John Smoltz was out-dueled by Neagle (14-6) last night, are dangling pitcher Jason Schmidt, Double-A first baseman Ron Wright and minor-league infielder Robert Smith. The Pirates want pitchers Danny Graves and Alan Embree and outfielder Brian Giles from the Cleveland Indians, and the Boston Red Sox, who have a deeper farm system than the Orioles, are preparing an offer.

The Pirates apparently are close to making a decision. Two teams, one of which is believed to be the Orioles, have made their final offer, according to the source, who said five teams are in the running.

The Orioles also are discussing a possible deal for Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Kevin Seitzer, although one league source says the Orioles have only a small chance of acquiring the former All-Star. Milwaukee has asked for either Haynes or Hammonds for Seitzer, who has a 1997 option on his contract.

Parent, O's reunite

Catcher Mark Parent arrived in Baltimore after agreeing to terms with the Orioles on Monday, prompting the demotion of catcher Cesar Devarez to Triple-A.

Parent said he was very interested in returning to Baltimore, where he played in 1992 and 1993, and as soon as he was placed on waivers by the Detroit Tigers he had the Orioles in mind.

Parent said his agent contacted the Orioles and they finished the deal shortly after 2 p.m. Monday, when Parent cleared waivers.

"Baltimore really stepped it up," Parent said. "My people knew that was where I wanted to go."

Parent provides much-needed insurance at catcher, with starter Chris Hoiles having played nearly every game the past two weeks.

Manager Davey Johnson was very pleased with the acquisition, though he also was happy with the progress of Devarez. "[Parent] swings hard in case he hits it," Johnson said. "He's a pretty good receiver, strong arm. This helps us with an experienced catcher."

Parent's contract calls for the major-league minimum salary of $109,000, prorated to about $20,000 for the final month of the season. As part of his deal, Parent's housing will be paid for while staying in Baltimore and he will receive meal money while at home as well as on the road.

To make room for Parent on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated minor-league pitcher Brian Sackinsky for assignment.

Beanballs revisited

Oakland right-hander John Wasdin knocked down Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken with a high-and-tight pitch in the third inning Monday night after back-to-back home runs, and plate umpire John Shulock warned both teams against further beanballs.

Five innings later, Orioles right-hander Alan Mills knocked down Scott Brosius immediately after Tony Batista hit a homer, and Shulock went to the mound and told Mills the knockdowns would end there. But he didn't eject Mills, and the rest of the game passed without incident.

Mills' pitch, Shulock said yesterday, might've been high and tight, but he didn't feel it was necessary to eject the pitcher. To do so, he said, would've interfered with the flow of the game. "If Mills would've hit the guy," Shulock said, "I would've ejected him. Or if he threw a pitch behind his head, I would've ejected him, without a second thought.

"I've been around the game long enough to have a gut feeling in situations like that."

Mills said after the game the reason Shulock didn't eject him was because he understood it was "an eye for an eye."

"What I don't want," Shulock said, "is to have somebody seriously hurt in a game I'm umpiring."

Rhodes suffers setback

Reliever Arthur Rhodes hit a snag in his rehabilitation from a shoulder problem.

Rhodes originally was expected to be able to throw on the side next week, but he now is unlikely to throw for another two weeks.

"We're still waiting to hear from the doctor, but from what I understand, it may still be a couple of weeks before he does any throwing," said pitching coach Pat Dobson. "He did some exercises that bothered him and he had a little regression. Now he's getting back to where he was before, but we'll have to see where he is."

Mark Smith to try again

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