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THE WINTER MEETIN

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NL East

Chicago Cubs

Wish list: Even after adding free-agent RHP Mike Morgan, the starting rotation still needs help, with Danny Jackson and Mike Harkey coming off injuries.

Tradable: OF Jerome Walton and OF Dwight Smith are mosfrequently mentioned, but the Cubs may have to go deeper to get a front-line starter.

Outlook: With new GM Larry Himes and assistant Syd Thrifcalling the shots, the Cubs are expected to be active. They tried the free-agent route without success last year, will be inclined to trade this time around.

Montreal Expos

Wish list: Other than making sure Olympic Stadium remains upright, the Expos need a first baseman to replace Andres Galarraga and reportedly are interested in the Orioles' Randy Milligan. They also are looking for a French-Canadian player to spark some interest.

Tradable: 2B Delino DeShields has been on, off and possiblback on the block. Middle reliever Barry Jones has exercised his option to demand a trade and will be accommodated.

Outlook: Struggling to stay respectable, the Expos brought bacformer hero Gary Carter, but the aging catcher won't completely fill the void if free agent Mike Fitzgerald leaves, as expected. The Expos' best hope for improvement is a strong minor-league system.

New York Mets

Wish list: The Mets have followed the same path as the Dodgers -- going from pitching-rich to pitching-poor. They need a dependable starter to go with Dwight Gooden and David Cone. The defense also needs improvement.

Tradable: With Eddie Murray and Bobby Bonilla in the bank, thMets are actively shopping OF Kevin McReynolds and 1B Dave Magadan.

Outlook: The Mets almost certainly will be among the mosactive teams in the trade market. They are talking to free-agent RHP Rick Sutcliffe, but need more help than he can provide. New manager Jeff Torborg would like to sign Carlton Fisk, but the Mets are committed to Todd Hundley as their catcher next year. Atlanta Braves

Wish list: Since they can't get another chance for Lonnie Smith to run the bases in the World Series, the Braves' biggest hope is to hold the ground they gained a year ago. They could use an outfielder and, despite the success of Greg Olson, probably still will be looking for a catcher.

Tradable: The Braves have a host of young pitchers and couldeal from strength in that department but are unlikely to tinker with their strongest asset. They aren't likely to deal any of their front-line players.

Outlook: Sid Bream and Terry Pendleton solidified the infield year ago, and the Braves could be players in the free-agent market again this winter. After waiting for the young pitching staff to mature, however, they will probably make only minor adjustments -- especially if they re-sign free-agent OF Otis Nixon.

Cincinnati Reds

Wish list: They got a jump start by adding Greg Swindell and Tim Belcher in an effort to build a dominant pitching staff. They'll probably look for an outfielder to replace Eric Davis and would like to improve team speed.

Tradable: Eric Davis was the most attractive. OF Reggie Sanderhad been mentioned, but might be off the block with Davis gone. LHP Randy Myers is almost certain to go, probably to San Diego for Bip Roberts.

Outlook: With other teams looking for a pitcher who can provid200 innings, the Reds have 4 (Tim Belcher, Greg Swindell, Jose Rijo and Tom Browning) who have averaged 230 the past 4 years. Roberts could give manager Lou Piniella the leadoff hitter he wants.

Houston Astros

Wish list: The top priority is a short man in the bullpen. Ex-Oriole Curt Schilling was given the role last year, but couldn't keep it. They're looking for an experienced middle reliever who might be able to become a closer. They also need a right-handed-hitting outfielder.

Tradable: RHP Mark Portugal, who might help a contender, anOF Eric Anthony.

Outlook: Astros GM Bill Wood says, "We probably won't bgrabbing headlines, but hope to do something." However, it won't be with expensive free agents.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Wish list: All of a sudden, the Dodgers are like most teams in baseball -- looking for pitching. With Mike Morgan and Tim Belcher gone, they have 2 holes in their rotation. They also need a first baseman to replace Eddie Murray. Free agent Danny Tartabull, who had some infield experience in the minors, is mentioned as a possibility.

Tradable: Forget about Kal Daniels moving to first base. That's smoke screen to protect his market value, which has diminished. They're unsure of their ability to keep him after this year, the Dodgers will listen to offers for LHP Bob Ojeda.

Outlook: The Dodgers remain poor defensively, and they mahave to rush Pedro Martinez, who won 18 games at 3 minor-league levels last year. Eric Davis gives them a needed right-handed hitter. This is the year Jose Offerman is handed the shortstop job. Baltimore Orioles

Wish list: The search continues for a 200-inning starter to help anchor the youthful rotation. The Orioles have been talking with several free agents, and will continue to do so this week. The club also would like to acquire a productive leadoff hitter, but probably will have to push unproven Luis Mercedes into that role next spring.

Tradable: The only real surplus is at first base, where the Oriolehave logjammed Glenn Davis, Randy Milligan and David Segui. This doesn't bode well for Milligan, who is a proven run-producer with no place to play full time. Relief P Mark Williamson also could draw some interest, despite a disappointing 1991 season. 2B Bill Ripken also is thought to be available. 3B Craig Worthington is available, but his market value has to be suspect.

Outlook: There are rumors that Milligan may soon be a MontreaExpo, but the Orioles don't figure to talk Montreal out of Delino DeShields. Chances are better of acquiring LHP Brian Barnes and IF Bret Barberie. Trade talks apparently are ongoing. Milwaukee Brewers RHP Chris Bosio has been a hot topic lately, but the Brewers apparently want too much. The Los Angeles Dodgers also appear interested in Milligan as a stopgap first baseman after the departure of Eddie Murray. Perhaps something could be worked out for OF Kal Daniels, who is almost certain to be traded in the next few weeks.

Boston Red Sox

Wish list: The Red Sox need a front-line starting pitcher, but they got burned in the free-agent market last year and remain wary of free-agent pitchers. They are willing to trade value for value, so a trade involving a quality starter is not out of the question.

Tradable: The Red Sox have made it clear that they will part witoffensive stars Mike Greenwell or Ellis Burks, if that's what it takes to get a front-line starting pitcher. 1B Carlos Quintana also is available.

Outlook: If anyone can make a big deal for pitching, it is Red SoGM Lou Gorman, who would rather not risk a repeat of last year's free-agent fiasco. The Red Sox want to talk about California Angels P Chuck Finley, but he isn't going anywhere. Gorman also has inquired about free agent Frank Viola, but is understandably gun-shy after free-agent acquisitions Matt Young and Danny Darwin combined to win 6 games last season. California Angels

Wish list: New senior VP Whitey Herzog seems intent on reshaping the Angels in his image, which means that he'll try to add some speed at the top of the lineup (Delino DeShields and Otis Nixon have been rumored) and add some more run production in the middle of it. The Angels also must try to re-sign 1B Wally Joyner and P Kirk McCaskill.

Tradable: The club will try to unload the players it was so quicto acquire last winter -- 2B Luis Sojo and OF Junior Felix -- and may trade veteran C Lance Parrish to make room in the starting lineup for promising John Orton.

Outlook: Having failed to sign Bobby Bonilla, the Angels mighturn their attention to Danny Tartabull, though new coach John Wathan (formerly Tartabull's manager) might advise against it. The club probably will make a play for DeShields or try to sign Nixon to fill the leadoff spot. Don't be surprised if free agent Dave Winfield re-enters the picture. Don't be fooled by rumors that Chuck Finley is available.

Chicago White Sox

Wish list: The White Sox need a starting pitcher, which explains why they exercised their option on 43-year-old knuckleballer Charlie Hough after a 9-10 season. They also would like to add some more offensive punch, since the outlook on OF Bo Jackson has not improved. The possible departure of C Carlton Fisk would further widen the run-production gap.

Tradable: There are some very attractive left-handers in thWhite Sox bullpen, but reliever Scott Radinsky is considered untouchable. Ken Patterson (3-0, 2.83) should draw a lot of interest. Right-handed stopper Bobby Thigpen is not out of the question, but it would take a blockbuster deal.

Outlook: The White Sox had hoped to sign Bobby Bonilla, bufailing that, they could make a late play for OF Danny Tartabull. They also could package Patterson with a couple of prospects to acquire offensive help.

Kansas City Royals

Wish list: The Royals are interested in first-base help and added run production in the outfield after a second straight disappointing season. The situation figures to be intensified by the departure of Danny Tartabull. The club could also use a leadoff hitter and a productive second baseman, which explains recent interest in free agent Mariano Duncan.

Tradable: Starting P Kevin Appier is coming off a pair of decenseasons and his market value is very high. He'll be the name the Royals hear from a dozen pitching-hungry teams, but GM Herk Robinson is reluctant to give up young pitching. Mike Boddicker and Luis Aquino are another story, however. Both are considered very available, and both might be attractive to the Orioles.

Outlook: The Royals will have to be overwhelmed to part wittheir best young pitchers -- Appier and Tom Gordon -- but they may try to move Kevin Seitzer, Todd Benzinger and Bill Pecota. It would be no surprise if they showed some interest in Orioles 1B

Randy Milligan and Seattle 2B Harold Reynolds.

Minnesota Twins

Wish list: The Twins won't need any outside help if they can keep last year's world championship team together, but that will be no easy task. Eight members of that team filed for free agency, so GM Andy MacPhail has his work cut out for him. He needs to re-sign Jack Morris, Brian Harper and Mike Pagliarulo to make sure the Twins stay competitive in the AL West. Then he needs to sign Kirby Puckett to a contract extension. If he does try to pull off a trade, it will be for a left-handed reliever.

Tradable: The club has lost too many players to free agency thave a surplus in any area. The Twins might have to raid their minor-league system to make a trade.

Outlook: Morris, Harper and Pagliarulo will return and all will bwell in baseball's winningest small market.

Oakland Athletics

Wish list: The A's don't really need more bodies, they just need healthier ones. Their winter dealings depend largely on which of their free agents re-sign, but they could use a setup man to replace aging Rick Honeycutt.

Tradable: Oakland seems willing to part with C Terry Steinbacha solid offensive player with diminishing defensive skills. But if he goes, the A's will need to replace him, probably from outside the organization. The best young catcher in the organization is Scott Hemond, but the club seems likely to convert him into a middle infielder to take advantage of his uncatcherlike speed.

Outlook: The A's will be too busy trying to re-sign Ron Darlinand Mike Gallego to spend much time worrying about less pressing matters. They still have the personnel to be front-runners in the American League West, and there is no room on their $38 million payroll for anyone else.

Seattle Mariners

Wish list: The Mariners would like to acquire a solid run producer who hits from the right side and a starting pitcher to fill in while Brian Holman recovers from shoulder surgery.

Tradable: 2B Harold Reynolds would be available in the righdeal, but he's entering the final year of his contract. That could keep his market value below what the Mariners would like to get back.

Outlook: Mariners VP Woody Woodward has put the club'player personnel situation on hold, with Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan putting the club up for sale Friday night for $100 million. The team will be offered to local buyers first, as required by its Kingdome lease. The sale offer will be held open until March 27, 1992.

Texas Rangers

Wish list: Like almost everyone else, the Rangers are looking to improve their starting rotation but would settle for any kind of pitching depth. In a perfect world, they would also acquire a shortstop and trade for a center fielder so that Juan Gonzalez can move over to left.

Tradable: To get a quality starting pitcher, the Rangers mighgive up 2B Julio Franco, but they seem more likely to keep their explosive offense intact. Promising power hitter Kevin Reimer might be available in a deal for an above-average starter.

Outlook: Contract negotiations with OF Ruben Sierra are thclub's preoccupation at the moment. They need to get him locked into a long-term deal before they will have a clear idea of how they want to build around him.

Peter Schmuck

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