Darryl Strawberry, Kirk Gibson and Dave Righetti didn't wait long to escape their teams, filing for free-agency Monday as the baseball off-season began with a flurry. Vince Coleman of St. Louis also was among 18 players who filed Monday, raising the total to 21. Approximately 95 players who are eligible to file have until Nov. 4 to submit their names to the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Players may talk with other teams after filing but cannot discuss contract specifics with other clubs until Nov. 5.
Strawberry, who grew up in Los Angeles, has made no secret of his desire to play for the Dodgers. The New York Mets offered a three-year contract last July but Strawberry and his agent, Eric Goldschmidt, said they want a five-year deal that would approximate Jose Canseco's $23.5-million contract with Oakland.
Gibson has been injured much of the last two years and said during the season he would prefer to leave Los Angeles and go home to Detroit.
Righetti sent in his telegram two minutes after midnight on Sunday, five minutes faster than he filed two years ago.
"We did that for emphasis," said Bill Goodstein, the agent for the New York Yankees reliever.
No matter, the telegram got to the union office on Monday, a day after outfielder Rob Deer of Milwaukee and pitchers Joe Price of Baltimore and Jeff Robinson of the Yankees filed by telephone.
Also filing were Baltimore catcher Mickey Tettleton, Chicago White Sox outfielder Phil Bradley, Cincinnati second baseman Bill Doran, Cleveland outfielder Candy Maldonado, Houston first baseman-outfielder Franklin Stubbs and outfielder Glenn Wilson, Milwaukee pitcher Bill Krueger, Montreal pitcher Kevin Gross, New York Yankees pitcher Tim Leary, Oakland catcher Ron Hassey, Philadelphia catcher Darren Daulton, St. Louis pitcher Ken Dayley, San Diego pitcher Eric Show and Texas pitcher Charlie Hough.
Vincent lends support to Giants' move
SAN JOSE, Calif. _ Saying "Santa Clara Giants" has a nice ring to it, commissioner Fay Vincent on Monday lent his support to moving San Francisco's baseball franchise south to the Silicon Valley.
Vincent announced his support for the move in San Jose, calling the Giants a "ready-made franchise" for Santa Clara. He said it was the best option in a "dire" situation created by voters in San Francisco, where the Giants have played for 33 years.
Last fall, San Francisco voters narrowly defeated a measure to build the a new ballpark in the city.
Next month, voters in Santa Clara County will decide whether to build a $153-million stadium in the city of Santa Clara. A "yes" vote on three separate ballot measures in the county and various cities would guarantee the Giants' move from Candlestick Park to a new stadium about 40 miles to the south.
"I don't think there are many communities in the United States who get a chance at a team and turn it down. San Francisco seems to be the exception," Vincent said.