Angels Interested in Gaetti; Dodgers Talk to Backman

From Staff Reports

The Angels informed Gary Gaetti’s agent Monday that they have interest in the Minnesota Twins’ third baseman, but no offer has been made.

Jim Bronner, who represents the new-look free agent, said he had received a call at his Chicago office from Dan O’Brien, the club’s senior vice president, who conveyed the Angels’ interest.

Angel General Manager Mike Port said Monday that Gaetti is a “viable alternative” at a position where the club requires increased production.

Gaetti, guaranteed $4.3 million in a three-year contract that expired at the end of the 1990 season, was one of 15 players granted free agency as part of the collusion settlement. They have until Jan. 29 to sign with a new team, after which they can return to their former teams under terms of existing or new contracts.


The Dodgers’ continued uncertainty over their infield situation has led them to pursue Pittsburgh free agent Wally Backman, his agent confirmed.

“Yes, a possibility exists there,” said Dick Moss, who represents Backman and has already discussed him with the Dodgers. “The Dodgers have always liked Wally.”

Backman, 31, hit .292 for the Pirates last season while making 68 starts at third base and 14 starts at second base. He could provide the Dodgers with veteran stability in the middle of the infield.

In other Dodger news, left-handed pitcher Dennis Cook will undergo surgery today for a tear in his right shoulder. Also, pitcher Ramon Martinez, who left a group of major league players during a tour of Japan when he experienced discomfort in his right elbow, was examined by Dr. Frank Jobe and told there is nothing seriously wrong with the elbow.