Joe Klein, the Indians' vice president, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he has turned down a Dodger offer and will not trade center fielder Brett Butler to Los Angeles.
The Indians, who have scouted almost all of Pena's starts this spring, were presented with the names of six Dodgers that could be packaged in a trade for Butler. Among those offered, according to Klein, were the three pitchers vying for the Dodgers' fifth starting spot--Pena, Jerry Reuss and Tim Leary--and reliever Tom Niedenfuer.
Al Campanis, the Dodgers' vice president, said before the Dodgers' 6-2 loss to the Houston Astros that he was aware of Klein's comments. But Campanis said he is not completely ruling out acquiring Butler.
"I don't think he means it's completely off, but they are thinking of keeping their team intact for a while," Campanis said. "That's all I've heard. But like I said, we might go into the season with the players we have.
"There hasn't been that much discussion (with Cleveland), just like with the (Gary) Redus thing. We decided to wait and hold back, and (Philadelphia) decided to trade him (to the Chicago White Sox)."
Campanis confirmed that he sent a list six players from which Klein could choose.
"That's true, but it wasn't because (Klein) didn't like those players, he just wants to wait to see how things go," he said.
While Campanis says he is satisfied with his current lineup, he said he still is talking to teams about acquiring a center fielder.
"We're talking, but there's nothing that might happen within a week or two," Campanis said.
Pena, meanwhile, pitched five scoreless innings, giving up four singles. Pena didn't particularly overpower the Astros, striking out one and walking one.
Overall, however, Pena continued to pitch better than Leary or Reuss, his competition for the fifth starting spot. Even if there is no trade, the Dodgers still seem to favor Leary over Pena for the fifth spot.
"All three guys are throwing the ball well," catcher Mike Scioscia said. "It's a can't-lose decision. I'll just feel bad for the other two guys."
The Dodgers announced their Freeway Series pitching assignments. Fernando Valenzuela and Alejandro Pena will split Friday night's opener against the Angels at Anaheim Stadium; Bob Welch will pitch there Saturday, and Tim Leary will start Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Because the Dodgers want Valenzuela as their opening-day pitcher on April 6, he probably will only pitch three innings against the Angels. . . . Ken Landreaux doubled in the sixth inning off Mike Scott but limped going into second base. Landreaux was replaced by pinch-runner Gilberto Reyes. Landreaux has been nursing a strained hamstring for several days. . . . Pedro Guerrero missed his second straight game with a sore left hip. Guerrero said earlier in the week that he originally suffered the injury lifting weights about 10 days ago. . . . . Bill Madlock continues to be bothered by a sore right shoulder. Madlock made the trip Saturday, but Tracy Woodson started at third base. Woodson's chances of making the team as a backup (or even a starter if Madlock's shoulder problem persists) seem to be better than Jeff Hamilton's, because Woodson can play either third or first base. Woodson went 2 for 4 Saturday, including a double in the ninth inning. . . . A weeklong bout with the flu apparently didn't drain Mike Marshall's power at the plate. Marshall hit a home run to center field off Rob Mallicot in the eighth inning. The ball sailed over a 40-foot screen that is 410 feet from home plate. . . . Brian Holton replaced Pena in the sixth inning and gave up a home run to the first hitter he faced--Kevin Bass. In 2 innings, Holton gave up 3 runs and 5 hits.