Allentown Morning Call - October 24, 1980

28 players plan to go free agent route


By The Associated Press


Eleven more players were added to the free-agent list yesterday, raising to 28 the number of players who have opted to take the step this year. But attention was still focused on Dave Winfield, the free agent who may not really want to be free anymore. 


One day after Winfield and 16 other players declared for free agency, Lee May of Baltimore, Larry Biittner of the Chicago Cubs, Marty Pattin of Kansas City and Juan Beniquez of Seattle made their intentions known. 


The Major League Baseball Players Association also filed the names of Dave Rader of Boston, Mick Kelleher and Lenny Randle of the Cubs, Jesse Jefferson of Pittsburgh, Pete LaCock of Kansas City, Mike Sadek of San Francisco and Jose Morales of Minnesota. Some 64 players are eligible to become free agents this year. 


Wednesday was the first day of free-agency declaration, but the submission of Winfield's name complicates the possibility that the slugging outfielder might be part of a trade prior to the Nov 13 re-entry draft The New York Yankees are one of several clubs said to be interested in a trade before the Nov. 10 deadline (three days before the draft), when the San Diego Padres can no longer sign Winfield. 


"The Yankees have an interest in Winfield," said Padres' president Ballard Smith. "The thing that needs to be emphasized is that this has been discussed with other clubs besides the Yankees." 


The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Padres and Yankees had already agreed to a trade. Yankee outfielder Joe Lefebvre would have been part of the deal, according to the San Diego Union. 


The Padres, whose contract talks with Winfield broke down months ago, are interested in a trade as a way of getting something for one of the top stars in baseball. The 29-year-old Winfield, a three-time All-Star, batted .276 with 20 homers and 87 runs batted in in 1980, an off-year for him. 


If Winfield goes through the free-agent draft and signs with a club, the Padres would only gain an amateur draft choice as compensation.


The trade scenario would be for the Yankees, or some other team, to agree to terms with Winfield. Then the Padres would sign Winfield to those terms and trade him to his new club. 


However, because Winfield has declared for free agency, he is forbidden by the rules to talk salary with any interested team. It appeared that Winfield, angry with the Padres because of the broken negotiations, instructed the Players Association to declare him a free agent on the first possible day. At that point, Winfield was seemingly unaware of the trade talks.


If he hadn't declared, Winfield could have talked salary with the Yankees. If that didn't work out, he then still would have had until Nov. 10 to opt for free agency. 


There still are ways for Winfield and the Yankees to reach an understanding, although they are more suspect now because of the limitations on talks once a player has declared for free agency. 


The Yankees could tell the Padres their offer and let San Diego sign Winfield on that basis and send him to New York in an agreed-upon trade. This type of negotiating has happened before, once when the Yankees reached an agreement with Baltimore on sharing Ken Holtzman's salary before the pitcher was dealt to New York. 


And it's also possible that Winfield might withdraw his name from the free-agent list. Would that be legal? "I don't know," said Marvin Miller, executive director of the Players Association. "Nobody's ever done it." 


One club executive, requesting anonymity, thinks Winfield's withdrawal, for the purpose of signing with one club, "could be a violation of the spirit of the free-agent rules. It would be done purely to thwart reentry," the source said.


Now that Winfield is a free agent, a trade possibly might be seen in a different light than before. 


Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who has voided deals because they were not "in the best interests of baseball, said he was aware of a possible deal between San Diego and the Yankees but had no comment. 


Since this situation had never come up before, it's uncertain whether Kuhn could prevent the teams from talking. But Al Frohman, Winfield's agent, seems to be waiting for a signal from Kuhn.

Series refunds


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ticket holders for the unplayed seventh game of the World Series are entitled to refunds, a spokesman for the champion Philadelphia Phillies has announced. 


To obtain refunds, fans may either mail the tickets to the Phillies at Box 7575, Philadelphia, Pa., 19101, or obtain refunds in person at two Phillies ticket locsltions.


Starting Monday, refunds will be made at the Veterans Stadium ticket office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or at the ticket office in the lobby of the Girard Bank, Broad and Chestnut Streets, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


The deadline for ticket refunds is Nov. 17.