Padres Land Carter : Trade: Joe Carter comes to San Diego in exchange for Sandy Alomar, Chris James and minor leaguer Carlos Baerga, as Jack McKeon moves a step closer to his dream outfield.
The Padres acquired the rights to center fielder Joe Carter from the Cleveland Indians on Monday night, sources said, in exchange for catcher Sandy Alomar, left fielder Chris James and minor-league third baseman Carlos Baerga.
The deal was consummated at about 10 p.m. PST Monday, according to sources close to the negotiations, but will not be finalized or announced until the Padres sign Carter to a contract extension.
When contacted, Jack McKeon, vice president/baseball operations, would neither confirm nor deny that the trade already has been made.
“We haven’t finalized anything yet,” McKeon said. “It depends on whether we can sign him. There’s different packages if we sign him and don’t sign him.”
Jim Turner, Carter’s agent, said: “I think it (a trade involving Carter) is coming down shortly, but no one has said anything to me, and you’d think I’d be one of the first to know.”
The commissioner’s office is expected to provide the Padres 72 hours to negotiate with Carter and sign him to an extension. Carter earned $1.63 million in 1989, and is eligible for arbitration in 1990, his last season before being eligible for free agency.
Although Carter said that his first choice is to play with the Kansas City Royals, Turner said of the Padres: “I know he would like to talk to them. There’s a guy named Gwynn who excites him.”
Carter telephoned Padre right fielder Tony Gwynn last week and asked him about playing in San Diego, and from their conversation, Carter indicated that he would rather wait to sign a contract extension. He also expressed the same sentiments to second baseman Frank White of the Kansas City Royals.
“He told me that he didn’t want to sign an extension with anybody right now,” White said. “The marketplace is changing so much, he didn’t want to do anything prematurely. He sounded enthused about playing for the Angels or Padres, especially the Angels, but he still didn’t want to do anything yet.”
Gwynn said: “I was telling Joe all about San Diego, really selling him on the place. I told him everything is perfect down here, it’s a great place to play in a great city.
“Then he asked me about the cost of housing.
“I said, ‘Well, ok, maybe not everything’s perfect.’
“But I told him I’m sure they’re going to give him the red carpet treatment. I know Joe, and his family priority is very important to him, He’s got to be convinced his family is in good shape.”
Certainly, it appears, the Padres will be faring quite nicely with Carter in the outfield.
Carter, 29, has averaged 30 home runs and 108 RBIs the past four seasons. He has played center field, left field and first base, and probably will play center field for the Padres.
Alomar, 23, recipient of The Sporting News’ Minor League Player of the Year award the past two seasons, batted .306 with 13 homers and 101 RBIs this past season for triple-A Las Vegas.
James, 27, whom the Padres acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in midseason, batted .264 with 11 homers and 46 RBIs in 87 games with the Padres.
The Padres’ acquisition comes at the expense of the Angels, who had offered outfielder Devon White and second baseman Johnny Ray for Carter, but was forced to withdraw when the negotiations for free-agent center fielder Robin Yount stalled.
The Indians were swamped with plenty of other offers for Carter, but all were rejected when the Padres included James in the trade. Besides the Angels’ offer, the other ones considered by the Indians were:
* Kansas City Royals: Danny Tartabull and reliever Jose DeJesus.
* St. Louis Cardinals: Center fielder Willie McGee and left fielder Vince Coleman.
* Toronto Blue Jays: Second baseman Manny Lee, outfielder Junior Felix and reliever Duane Ward.
The Padres and Indians began negotiations in earnest a week ago, but could not come to an agreement on the players who would be included with Alomar until Monday.
The Indians, according to sources close to the negotiations, originally demanded that right-handed pitcher Greg Harris be included in the trade. But when McKeon refused, the Indians asked for James and a prospect.
McKeon now is expected to make a bid to complete his dream outfield by acquiring right fielder Tartabull. In that case, the Padres would play Tartabull in right, Gwynn in center and Carter in left.
“I’m still trying to do something,” McKeon said, “I just don’t know when, or who I’ll do it with.”
McKeon also had a 45-minute meeting Monday morning with Alan and Randy Hendricks, the agents of free-agent reliever Mark Davis. McKeon refused to budge from his four-year, $12 million offer, and the Hendricks brothers continued negotiations with several teams.
“I’m optimistic unless somebody comes in and totally blows us out of the water,” McKeon said. “But we’re still staying at four years. This is our offer. Take it or leave it.”
Davis is seeking a five-year guaranteed contract, and according to Randy Hendricks, already has received five-year offers from three teams. Yet, it’s believed that the New York Yankees are the only team that has guaranteed all five years of the contract.
* The Yankees: a five-year guaranteed contract for $16 million.
* The Phillies: a four-year guarantee with a one-year option for $17 million.
* The Royals: a three-year guarantee with two one-year options for $14 million.
The Royals are planning to adjust their offer to Davis today, according to Royal General Manager John Schuerholz, but he would not reveal the offer.
“The market has been established already,” Alan Hendricks said. “Teams know what it’s going to cost to get him.
“The best way I can put it is that there are leaders and there are followers.
“Why do you think the Angels have Mark Langston?”
McKeon also telephoned the agents for Yount and reliever Craig Lefferts Monday, but no new contracts were proposed. The Padres have already offered Yount a three-year, $9 million contract and Lefferts a two-year, $2.5 million contract.
In other news, the Padres lost two players to the major-league draft and picked up another.
They drafted right-handed pitcher Mike Dunne, 27, from the Seattle Mariners. Dunne was The Sporting News National League Rookie Pitcher of the Year in 1987 when he went 13-6 with a 3.03 ERA in 23 starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates. But he developed shoulder problems, and since has gone 12-21 in two-plus seasons with the Pirates and Mariners.
The Mariners did not bother protecting him after he underwent rotator-cuff surgery in October, which is expected to sideline him for six to eight months.
“He’s hurt now, but we think he’ll be ok,” said Tom Romenesko, Padre director of player development. “We think it’s a legitimate risk.”
The Padres, however, took a risk by failing to protect outfielder Shane Mack of their triple-A team in Las Vegas and third baseman David Hollins of Las Vegas, and each were claimed. The Minnesota Twins took Mack with the 11th pick in the first round, and the Philadelphia Phillies drafted Hollins with the fourth pick in the second draft.
“Shane Mack is going to be a good player, but we didn’t think he’d necessarily blossom with us,” Romenesko said. “He had that elbow surgery, and just isn’t ready. With Hollins, he was a guy we really talked about a lot, but the consensus seemed to be that we didn’t think anybody would take him. Obviously, we were wrong.”
Teams are required to pay $50,000 for each drafted player, and they must keep that player on their 24-man roster the entire season. If they fail to do so, they must offer that player back to his original team, in which they’ll receive $25,000.
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