The Orioles avoided an arbitration hearing with outfielder Mike Devereaux today by signing him to a one-year, $1 million contract, the club announced.
Devereaux was seeking a $1.075 million contract in arbitration. The Orioles had offered $875,000.
Devereaux batted .260 last year with 19 homers and 59 RBIs. He appeared in 149 games, mostly as a leadoff hitter, and led the Orioles with 16 stolen bases and 10 triples. He also had a team-high 115 strikeouts.
His triple against Detroit on the final day of the season made him only the second Oriole ever to reach double figures in doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases. Phil Bradley was the first, in 1989.
Despite logging a .208 batting average in April, he had a .272 average through July 13. But he hit only .248 the rest of the season.
Devereaux had been part of a scheduled arbitration doubleheader for the Orioles, who also had a hearing scheduled today in Chicago with first baseman Randy Milligan.
Club counsel Lon Babby and assistant GM Frank Robinson were in Chicago today to represent the club in the Milligan case. Milligan is asking for a $1.4 million contract for the 1992 season. The club has countered at $900,000.
The Orioles went to an arbitration hearing for the first time in 12 years last Wednesday and quickly realized why they had stayed away so long. Arbitrator Anthony Sinicropi ruled in favor of pitcher Bob Milacki and awarded him a salary of $1.18 million.
Meanwhile, hot-stove leaguers were pondering today whether or not yesterday's trade between the Orioles and San Diego Padres is one that helps both teams.
But Craig Worthington is convinced it will help the two players affected the most -- himself and former teammate Leo Gomez.
The two have been tracking each other through the Orioles' system for the last five years -- Worthington leading the way, and Gomez following in his footsteps. At each stop -- Hagerstown, Rochester and, finally, Baltimore -- Gomez was compared to Worthington, and, in the end, vice versa.
"There wasn't anyplace else to go [after they arrived in the big leagues]," said Worthington. "We're both third basemen, we both put up some numbers."
Inevitably the competition, always friendly but nevertheless apparent to both, took its toll. "I always felt like I was looking over my shoulder," said Worthington. "And I think the same was true with Leo when I got hurt. I don't think he was ever really comfortable."
When the Orioles traded Worthington to the Padres yesterday for righthanded pitcher Jim Lewis and outfielder Steve Martin, it provided him with a sense of relief. "It was time to move on," he said. "It was time for them to make a decision and they did.
"I have no bad feelings about the Orioles at all," said Worthington, who will be returning home to southern California. "I think it is a good move for me -- and for Leo. I think it will help out both of us.
"There was never any bad blood between us," Worthington said of his relationship with Gomez. "There was competition, but never any bad blood."
Worthington is looking forward to playing in San Diego, though he was given no immediate idea about the Padres' plans. "I talked to [general manager] Joe McIlvaine and hejust told me they were happy to have me and when to report.
"Frank [Orioles assistant general manager Frank Robinson, who negotiated his first trade] called me first and told me I had been traded," said Worthington. "He said the Orioles were happy to have had me and wished me luck."
Of the two players obtained for Worthington and minor-league lefthander Tom Martin, Lewis has the best chance to make an immediate impact.
He was 6-3 with three saves and a 3.38 earned run average in 48 relief appearances at Las Vegas last year and had no record (4.15 ERA) in 12 games with the Padres. He is on the major-league roster and is scheduled to report to Sarasota, Fla., with the rest of the Orioles' pitchers and catchers on Thursday.
Martin is another addition in the Orioles' effort to increase the overall speed in the organization. He hit .268 with seven home runs, 58 runs batted in and 42 stolen bases for High Desert in the Single-A California State League last year.
The 1991 statistics of the players involved in yesterday's trade between the Orioles and the San Diego Padres:
TO THE ORIOLES Jim Lewis Club .. .. .. W-L ..ERA .. SV .. IP.. .. H .. BB .. SO
Las Vegas .. 6-3 .. 3.38 .. 3 .. 85.1 .. 93 .. 34 .. 76
San Diego .. 0-0 .. 4.15 .. 0 .. 13.0 .. 14 .. 11 .. 10
Steve Martin Club .. .. .. Avg .. R ..2B .. 3B .. HR .. RBI .. SB
High Desert .268 .. 82 ..13 .. 6 .. ..7 .. 58 .. ..42
TO SAN DIEGO Craig Worthington Club .. .. .. Avg. .. R .. 2B .. 3B .. HR .. RBI ..SB
Orioles .. ...225 .. 11 .. 3 .. ..0 .. 4 .. ..12.. 0
Rochester .. .298 .. 10 .. 4 .. ..0 .. 2 .. .. 9 .. 0
Tom Martin Club .. .. .. W-L .. .. ERA .. .. SV .. IP .. H .. BB .. SO
Kane Co. .. ..4-10 .. ..3.64 .. ..6 ...99.0 ..92 ..56 .. 106