Philadelphia Daily News - December 10, 1980

Phils’ Trade Talk Left in Limbo


By Bill Conlin


DALLAS – On the third day of the winter baseball meetings, the Phillies found themselves stacked up in a holding pattern.


Their bid to deal for Brewers outfielder Sixto Lezcano has been stalled while Milwaukee GM Harry Dalton explores other opportunities to pick up pitching from the Astros and Mets.


'"We're waiting to hear back from them," Paul Owens said. "They're obviously talking to some other clubs."


With the Brewers still believed to be asking for shortstop Luis Aguayo, the Phillies may have pulled Dickie Noles out of the deal and substituted veteran reliever Ron Reed. Randy Lerch remains the lead player in the package, but they don't want to give up Noles if they must trade a prospect of Aguayo's worth.


The proposed deal still remains the pivot of anything the Phillies do here this week. It is the only one where they've made a hard offer.


PRELIMINARY TALKS with the Toronto Blue Jays resulted in the American League expansion club handing Owens a list which includes most of the Phillies' top minor league prospects, including shortstop Julio Franco, righthander Marty Bystrom, lefthander Mark Davis and outfielder Will Culmer.


Owens said the Phillies have some interest in Blue Jays pitchers Dave Steib (righthander, 12-15, 3.71 ERA) and Jim Clancy (righthander, 13-16, 3.30). But he's not going to rape his farm system to acquire a pitcher from a seventh-place team.


"We feel they're both starting quality pitchers, power pitchers," said farm director Jim Baumer. "But they gave us a list of our top minor league players, a lot of kids we're not interested in trading."


The Phillies are also in the preliminary stages with the Reds, who are interested in catcher Keith Moreland.


"A lot of clubs are interested in Moreland," The Pope said. "We don't know exactly what the Reds have in mind."


IF YOU'VE gathered that the Phillies are not close to a deal, go to the head of the class. On a day when the Cardinals obtained Bruce Sutter from the Cubs and the Pirates traded Bert Blyleven for a gaggle of Cleveland mid-level players, the world champions are still searching for the combination which will enable him to subtract Randy Lerch and Greg Luzinski while adding to his offensive posture and pitching depth.


It is also obvious that the Phillies have abandoned any attempt to re-sign free agent Del Unser.


"He never got back to me, so I take it he's going to play someplace else," Owens shrugged. Meanwhile, Jim Bunning, agent for free agent utility man Jim Dwyer, is said to be pushing his client to sign with the Phillies.


"We're talking about an Unser-type player who is younger and who wouldn't cost me much more money," Owens said. "Dwyer would cost me a longer contract, but that's the only real difference."



Owens also indicated that if he's blocked from making the deals he'd like to make here this week, the Phillies will intensify efforts to sign free agent reliever Stan Bahnsen.