The trade that would send Padre second baseman Alan Wiggins to the Baltimore Orioles for one or two minor leaguers only has to be approved by Commissioner Peter V. Ueberroth and the National League and American League presidents, sources said Wednesday.
"Yeah, probably the commissioner would have to OK it," said Ballard Smith, Padre president.
Sources said Ueberroth is involved only because of Wiggins' past involvement in drugs, and that the commissioner is expected to approve the deal.
On Tuesday, the trade had been delayed because Oriole lawyers had to discuss the deal with Oriole front office personnel. On Wednesday, however, sources said the Oriole front office was satisfied with the new contract language, which states that Baltimore will pick up Wiggins' entire 4-year, $2.8-million contract, but has the right to release him if he suffers a drug-related relapse.
In the event of a relapse, Wiggins would forfeit one-third of his remaining guaranteed contract. But, if the relapse happens in his first year with Baltimore, the Padres still would be responsible for approximately 50% of his remaining contract. In the second year, San Diego would be responsible for just 25%, and only 10% by the third year. San Diego would not be responsible after the third year.
Also on Wednesday, United Press International reported that the Orioles had given the Padres a list of minor leaguers to choose from and that San Diego would get either Roy Lee Jackson, a 31-year-old right-handed reliever, or 24-year-old Joe Kucharski, a right-handed starter. Both players play for Rochester, Baltimore's Triple-A affiliate.
Jackson, in 15 games, has given up 26 hits in 27 innings, striking out 25. He has two saves, a 1-1 record and a 3.20 earned-run average. Kucharski has four complete games, a 4-5 record and a 3.21 ERA.
Still, Jack McKeon, Padre general manager, said Wednesday afternoon that he talked to the Orioles about potential players for the first time Wednesday.
"We haven't completed a deal, but at least we're getting prepared if we do," McKeon said. "We're getting close, but until they say so, there's no deal.
" . . . Trader Jack is going to pull off the deal. He just doesn't know when. I'll tell you . . . It's been a tough one."
Hank Peters, Baltimore general manager, was unavailable for comment.