The San Francisco Giants may have jilted Brett Butler in a negotiating difference over money, but they continue to spend it almost with indifference.
Free-agent relief star Dave Righetti became the latest to benefit when he agreed to leave the New York Yankees and return to his Bay Area roots for a $10-million guarantee over four years.
In another major development, it was learned late Tuesday night that free-agent second baseman Bill Doran, the subject of the Dodgers' interest, had agreed to re-sign with the Cincinnati Reds for three years and an estimated $7.4 million.
The Giants rejected Butler's bid for a four-year, $15-million contract that would have matched those of Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell, but they have also committed $33 million during the current free-agent season by signing Bud Black, Willie McGee and now Righetti.
Have they overextended financially?
"In the final analysis we haven't," club President Al Rosen said. "You have to give us a chance to play it all out."
Rosen alluded to the likelihood that he may soon be dumping some major salaries, including that of reliever Steve Bedrosian, who is rumored headed to the Minnesota Twins. Righetti and Jeff Brantley would then form a left-right closing tandem for the Giants.
The Righetti announcement stole the headlines from a trade in which the Chicago White Sox acquired outfielder Cory Snyder and minor league infielder Lindsay Foster from the Cleveland Indians for pitchers Eric King and former Dodger Shawn Hillegas.
The transaction apparently killed a deal in which the White Sox would have received Tim Raines from the Montreal Expos for outfielder Ivan Calderon. It also might have thrust the Angels into the Raines' picture.
Angel General Manager Mike Port confirmed Tuesday night that he had begun preliminary talks with the Expos for Raines, who has approved a trade to only two American League teams--the White Sox and Angels.
Port said, however, that it is not a pressing issue likely to prevent him from leaving baseball's winter meetings today.
The Indians' decision to swap Snyder, a product of Canyon Country Canyon whose offensive production has slid to the point that he hit only 14 home runs and drove in 55 runs last year, stemmed, in part, from frustration.
"He simply did not want to take any instruction," Cleveland Manager John McNamara said. "He's the type hitter who should be using the whole field, but he's always trying to pull it."
The White Sox feel that Walt Hrniak, their noted batting coach, can cure Snyder's ills, pointing to the fact that Snyder got off to a strong start last season after visiting Hrniak during the winter.
Chicago Manager Jeff Torborg said he will employ Snyder as a swing man at all three outfield positions and, in some situations, at first base or third base against left-handers.
King, who went to Royal High in Simi Valley and was 12-4 this year, will continue as a starter with Cleveland, and Hillegas will be used in middle relief. McNamara said that rookie Turner Ward is likely to replace Snyder in right.
Righetti, who converted 36 of 39 save opportunities in his 10th season with the Yankees, has a career total of 224.
Rosen was the Yankee general manager who acquired Righetti from the Texas Rangers in 1978.
"I don't think he's the Righetti I knew when I first traded for him," Rosen said. "He isn't as overpowering now, but there's only one Nolan Ryan. I do think he's a better pitcher now."
Agent Bill Goodstein, who had talked with the Angels and Dodgers about Righetti, said his desire to return to the San Jose area of his youth was an important consideration. He also said that he always seemed to be negotiating with a different Yankee executive, as if the confusion familiar under George Steinbrenner still exists.
"They always said Lou was a member of the family, but they treated him as if he was the mother in law," Goodstein said.
Said Righetti by phone: "I cried. I cried out of happiness and I cried out of sadness of leaving. I'm looking for a new beginning, but I won't forget all the people from my Yankee days."
Fred Claire, executive vice president of the Dodgers, said his unwillingness to give Righetti or any pitcher more than a three-year contract eventually killed their negotiations.
Claire confirmed that he has talked with the agent for free-agent relief pitcher Juan Agosto and said they may talk again, but he again downgraded the possibility of a bid for Butler or a major free-agent investment on top of those he has already made.
The Yankees, who recently signed free agent Steve Farr as insurance if Dave Righetti left, did keep second baseman Steve Sax by signing him to a four-year extension for $12.4 million.
In other moves, the Giants traded reserve infielder Ernest Riles to the Oakland Athletics for outfield prospect Darren Lewis.
The free-agent spending spree continued with the Boston Red Sox signing pitcher Matt Young for three years at $6.35 million; the Milwaukee Brewers signing pitcher Edwin Nunez to a two-year, $1.5-million contract, and the Toronto Blue Jays re-signing infielder Rance Mulliniks for two years at $3 million.
The Angels appear to have found the left-handed reliever they have sought. Angel President Richard Brown and Senior Vice President Dan O'Brien said the club will make at least one move within a week involving the signing of a left-hander; neither would be specific, except to say they're not signing a Type A free agent. It's believed the pitcher is either Don Carman, a Type B free agent who could be signed without compensation to the Phillies if he's not offered arbitration by Friday, or Bill Krueger, who can be signed without compensating Milwaukee. . . . Brown indicated that the Angels will consider pursuing third baseman Gary Gaetti should Gaetti be granted new-look free agency.
As expected, the Angels announced the acquisition of outfielder Dave Gallagher from the Baltimore Orioles for two minor league pitchers. "There's an outside chance of possibly losing Max (Venable), and defensively we need to protect ourselves in the outfield," Manager Doug Rader said.
Times staff writer Helene Elliott contributed to this story.