Padres Expected to Sign Carter to Three-Year Contract Today

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Center fielder Joe Carter will sign a three-year contract today with the Padres, sources said, that will finalize the Cleveland Indians' trade with the Padres.

The Padres have agreed to send catcher Sandy Alomar Jr., left fielder Chris James and minor league third baseman Carlos Baerga to the Indians for Carter.

Although Carter and the Padres have yet to finalize terms of the contract, which is expected to be in the $3-million-a-year-range, each side agreed to a three-year contract that will keep Carter in a Padre uniform through the 1992 season.

"He's pretty excited about the trade," said Kansas City Royal second baseman Frank White, who visited Tuesday with Carter. "He said the Padres wanted to sign him to a four-year deal, but he wanted three years. Really, he's excited about everything.

"The only bad thing about the trade, he said, was where the Padres spend their spring training.

"He hates Yuma."

Ah, even paradise has its flaws.

The Padres have a 7 p.m. (PST) deadline today to sign Carter. If they fail, the deal would be restructured, or possibly terminated.

"I can't see that happening, I'm very optimistic we'll get this thing done," said Jack McKeon, vice president baseball operations. "There's just a lot of details that need to be discussed, and that takes time. If we can get the dollar figure and contract provisions taken takes care of, I'm sure we'll get it done.

"Let's just say I'm very confident."

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