Padres Sign Hammaker, Former Giant All-Star

Pitcher Atlee Hammaker, the National League starter in the 1983 All-Star game, has signed a contract with the Padres for the remainder of the season with a club option for 1991, the Padres announced Tuesday.

The Padres also announced they had sent right-handed pitcher John Davis down to triple-A Las Vegas and recalled outfielder Gerald Clark.

Hammaker, a left-hander, had been a free agent since his release Aug. 11 by San Francisco. The Padres were one of three or four teams after his services, said Jack McKeon, the Padres' vice president/baseball operations. The New York Mets, in town for a three-game series, and Cincinnati, the National League West leader, were among those also said to be interested.

Hammaker, 59-62 lifetime with a 3.58 earned run average, was 4-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 25 games this season. A starter early in his career, Hammaker began relieving at the start of 1988. He has been used in a mixed role ever since and started just six games this season.

Asked how he would be used with the Padres, McKeon said, "That's up to the manager (Greg Riddoch)."

Hammaker is expected to join the team Friday in Montreal.

The Padres have to pay Hammaker only the league minimum salary ($100,000) this year (prorated through the end of the season) and next season. The Giants must pay the remainder of his contract, estimated to be between $800,000 and $900,000 a year.

"The guy was out there, and we like left-handers," McKeon said. "We had nothing to lose."

Hammaker first made it to the majors in 1981 with Kansas City. He was traded to the Giants the following spring and pitched well enough in the first half of 1983 to be selected the All-Star starter. But he had injury problems in the second half and finished 10-9 with a league-leading 2.25 ERA.

In 9 1/3 innings in six appearances, Davis was 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA.

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