Free-agent pitcher Mark Davis vowed Tuesday to leave the Padres and sign with another team if he is not soon presented with a guaranteed five-year contract, according to his agents.
"I've been very, very patient with San Diego," said agent Randy Hendricks, "but now my patience has run out. And so has Mark's. We've given them every chance, and they refuse to take the opportunity.
"If they think I'm bluffing, watch us. Watch what happens. He'll be out of there so fast it'll make their heads spin.
"We already have a five-year guaranteed contract offer from one team, and we'll get others. The Padres have to make a five-year offer and they'd be wise to make it in the next few days.
"Mark's very adamant about a five-year contract, just as I am."
The Padres have a standing four-year, $12 million offer to Davis, and refuse to budge. Padre owner Joan Kroc insists that it will be her last offer, and will not give anyone a five-year contract.
"Well, then they can say good-bye to Mark then," Hendricks said. "He'll be history.
"We've been more than fair during this whole thing. Our patience in this entire thing shows his affinity for San Diego. We've given them every possible chance. And if they don't sign him, they only have themselves to blame."
Jack McKeon, vice president/baseball operations, said: "Well, we think we've been more than fair with Mark. We've made a very generous offer. Now it's up to Mark to decide if he wants to play for us. If he doesn't, we'll go another direction."
The Padres have already made a two-year, $2.5 million offer to free-agent left-handed reliever Craig Lefferts of the San Francisco Giants, and McKeon said that negotiations will continue. The Padres still want Lefferts even if they can retain Davis, but understandably, their interest in him will intensify if Davis departs.
Davis, 29, meanwhile has received five-year offers from at least three different teams--the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Kansas City Royals--but the New York Yankees are believed to be the only team which has guaranteed all five years.
"We've had a lot of creative offers," Hendricks said. "The only thing I can say about them is that we have different criteria with each of the teams, and may have different prices for some of the teams.
"There's one team out there that if they make us the offer we're looking for, Mark's theirs. We'll march right up to the podium and announce it.
"And when he's standing up there holding another uniform, all we can say is that we gave them (the Padres) every chance."
There were no further negotiations or talks between Hendricks and McKeon on Tuesday, but to break the stalemate, Randy Hendricks had an innovative idea that he passed to Kroc.
"She was saying how she's opposed to giving five-year contracts because they've been burned in the past with them," Hendricks said. "So I told her, 'Ok, why don't we make it six years then."
The last five-year contracts provided to players in the Padre organization occurred in 1983 with Steve Garvey and 1984 with Goose Gossage. Neither player completed their contracts, but of course, each were past their prime when they signed with the Padres.
"I told her that just happened to guys with names who started with 'G,' "Hendricks said. "She's got to be open-minded to guys whose names start with 'D.'
"That's when I found out that at least she has a good sense of humor. She laughed pretty good about that one."
Hendricks hopes she can retain that same sense of humor if Davis just so happens to sign with another team.