Rangers sign former Orioles pitcher Robinson


Jeff Robinson, who was 4-9 with a 5.18 ERA with the Baltimore Orioles last season, signed a Class AAA contract with the Texas Rangers yesterday.

Robinson, 30, was released Nov. 18. He had been acquired for catcher Mickey Tettleton the previous winter.

Robinson started the 1991 season in the rotation, but won only one game in his last 11 starts and was optioned to the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings on July 30 in the pitching shake-up that brought Mike Mussina to the majors.

Robinson failed to finish the fifth inning eight times in 19 starts. Robinson blasted the club for the demotion, then went 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA in eight games for the Red Wings and did not pitch after Aug. 21 because of a hip injury.

The Rangers also signed Jeff Sellers, a 27-year-old right-hander who has had arm problems for three seasons. Sellers was 0-1 with a 4.84 ERA last season in six games for the Class AAA Columbus Clippers.

* ANGELS: General manager Whitey Herzog, whose annoyance with agent Dennis Gilbert had led him to say last month that he would negotiate with free-agent outfielder Danny Tartabull "only if he had another agent," has scheduled a Tuesday meeting with Gilbert.

That sets the stage for a reconciliation between the two, whose friendship was fractured when Herzog declared that Gilbert falsely told him free agent Bobby Bonilla wanted to play for the Angels.

The Angels' hopes were boosted yesterday when the White Sox ended their pursuit of Tartabull.

White Sox general manager Ron Schueler said his club was unwilling to give Tartabull a five-year deal.

Tartabull, who hit .316 for the Royals last season with 31 home runs and 100 RBI, is set to interview Monday with the Rangers. The Yankees also have expressed interest recently.

Meanwhile, the Angels and pitcher Don Robinson, 34, agreed to a $900,000, one-year deal. California guaranteed just half of Robinson's base salary, but the right-hander can make an additional $900,000 in performance bonuses.

L He's expected to compete for a job in the starting rotation.

* YANKEES: Just when it appeared that New York had worked a deal to send veteran second baseman Steve Sax and the bulk of his $12.4 million contract to the White Sox for pitcher Melido Perez, the trade appears to have fizzled.

Hours after saying that the deal was set and awaiting only the approval of the Yankees' hierarchy, Schueler announced a sudden turnaround last night.

"The deal is dead," Schueler said, speaking of the Yankees' attempt to have a second major-leaguer included in the deal. "It's over."

Yankees general manager Gene Michael has spent much of the off-season trying to move Sax, the team's only .300 hitter last season, to make room at second base for Pat Kelly, who was promoted to the Yankees in May and who at 24 is seven years younger than Sax.

* PIRATES: The club and catcher Mike LaValliere agreed to a $6.3 million, three-year contract.

LaValliere, who made $1,035,000 last season, gets a $600,000 signing bonus, $1.65 million in 1992, $2.15 million in 1993 and $1.9 million in 1994. He can make an additional $120,000 a year in performance bonuses.

* TWINS: Infielder Luis Quinones, released by the Reds after the season, agreed to a minor-league contract.

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