The Dodgers optioned third baseman Tracy Woodson and outfielder Chris Gwynn to their Albuquerque, N.M., farm club Monday, creating two vacancies on their 40-player roster and increasing speculation that they may be close to another trade or free-agent signing.
Executive Vice President Fred Claire said only that he “wanted the (roster) flexibility if we become involved in something where we need the space.” He said Woodson and Gwynn would be given a chance to make the team in spring training.
Claire also confirmed that he has remained in contact with Jim Bronner, the agent for Minnesota Twins free-agent third baseman Gary Gaetti, but that they did not talk Monday because Bronner was traveling.
The Twins have reportedly offered Gaetti a two-year, $2.4-million contract, but Gaetti is said to want three years at $4.5 million. The Twins have to re-sign Gaetti by Friday or he can not rejoin them until May 1. The Dodgers are one of six clubs Gaetti has expressed interest in joining.
Thirteen Dodgers are among 148 major league players eligible to file for salary arbitration beginning today. The deadline for filing is Jan. 15.
Dodgers eligible include Orel Hershiser, whose salary was cut from $1 million to $800,000 in arbitration last year, Dave Anderson, Mariano Duncan, Brad Havens, Danny Heep, Jay Howell, Ken Howell, Tim Leary, Mike Marshall, Len Matuszek, Alejandro Pena, John Shelby and Franklin Stubbs.
The only eligible Angels are shortstop Dick Schofield, who won a salary of $475,000 in arbitration last year, and catcher Bob Boone.
To be eligible, a player must have at least three years of major league service and could not have been eligible for free agency this year. The arbitration process calls for the player to submit a figure and the club to submit another, with an arbitrator choosing one or the other. The hearings will be held in early February.
Don Mattingly, New York Yankees first baseman, set an arbitration record when he received a $1.975 million salary last year. Mattingly is eligible again, though he is believed to have agreed to a three-year, $6.7-million contract now being put into legal form.
Among those also eligible for arbitration are Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs, Eric Davis of the Cincinnati Reds, Vince Coleman and Terry Pendleton of the St. Louis Cardinals, Ted Higuera of the Milwaukee Brewers, Kirby Puckett of the Minnesota Twins and Dwight Gooden, Kevin McReynolds, Sid Fernandez and Roger McDowell of the New York Mets.