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Status Remains Quo on Winfield; Witt Joins Yankees

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dave Winfield’s veto of the New York Yankees’ attempt to trade him to the Angels is “still headed toward arbitration,” his agent said Sunday.

Jeff Klein, who represents Winfield, said “not a thing” had occurred in talks with Winfield or Angel General Manager Mike Port that would avert having an arbitrator rule on whether Winfield’s refusal right as a 10-and-five player--a player with 10 years of major league service, five with the same club--supersedes his inclusion of the Angels among the teams to whom he would accept a trade.

Winfield refused to report to the Angels after they acquired him on Friday in exchange for pitcher Mike Witt. Winfield, a 12-time All-Star, is contending, with the backing of the Major League Players Assn., that his rights take precedence over the trade-agreement clause. The Player Relations Committee, which represents baseball owners, is contending that by continuing to provide a list each year, Winfield’s 10-and-five rights were overridden.

Don Fehr, executive director of the Players’ Assn., said Saturday that discussions had begun on scheduling an arbitration hearing, which could be held this week.

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Klein and Port chatted briefly Sunday. “It was a courtesy kind of conversation,” Klein said from his home in Westchester, N.Y. “We exchanged pleasantries. Everything’s the same.”

Players may take 72 hours to report to their new clubs after a trade. Winfield’s grace period expires this evening, as the Angels travel to Milwaukee to begin an eight-game, three-city road trip.

Witt reported to the Yankees Sunday.

Port is not worried that he has not yet directly spoken to Winfield, who is at his New Jersey home.

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“I understand where things are with Dave right now, and, given the circumstances, I wouldn’t do anything different if I were the player involved,” Port said.

“We don’t begrudge David his position. That’s why we have a court system and why baseball has a grievance procedure.”


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