Meetings yield talk, no action

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The general managers meetings concluded yesterday without a trade.

The Orioles, seeking to add an outfielder and a starting pitcher, talked with several clubs about several players, the most intriguing being Montreal Expos outfielder Marquis Grissom.


A Gold Glove center fielder, Grissom hit .288 with 11 home runs, 96 runs and 36 stolen bases in strike-shortened 1994. The Expos in the past have expressed interest in reliever Armando Benitez and right fielder Alex Ochoa.

"We didn't have any advanced talks," Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said. Once it was determined that the general managers would not attend baseball's winter meetings, which take place in Dallas early next month, clubs increased the pace of trade talks. But uncertainty over what economic rules will govern the game if and when owners and players reach a labor settlement kept any trades from happening at this week's meetings.


Grissom, for example, may or may not become a free agent depending on what economic system is in place.

The Atlanta Braves, offering first baseman Ryan Klesko and a pitching prospect, had the most serious talks with the Expos regarding Grissom.

The Orioles are more likely to acquire talent through the free-agent market than through trades. They've scheduled physicals for outfielder Jay Buhner and right-hander Bill Swift and have an interest in left-hander Danny Jackson.

The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies also are pursuing Swift. The Seattle Mariners are trying to keep Buhner, and the Red Sox also have interest in him.

The Orioles also talked to the Houston Astros about right-hander Doug Drabek and outfielder Luis Gonzalez. Hemond and old friend Doug Melvin, general manager of the Texas Rangers, talked about "several players," according to Hemond. Jose Canseco's name came up briefly, but most talk at the meetings regarding Canseco centered on a three-way deal that did not involve the Orioles.

Three-way deals seldom come to fruition, but that didn't discourage the Rangers, Astros and Red Sox from discussing a possible trade that would land Canseco in Boston. It was uncertain whom Boston would give up, but speculation centered on Texas having an interest in Astros outfielder Steve Finley and left-hander Greg Swindell.

The Astros have talked to several clubs about Swindell, who will make $4.5 million in 1995.

Elsewhere, the California Angels tried to deal Spike Owen, who requested a trade because the Angels do not plan to use him on an everyday basis. The Chicago Cubs didn't find any takers for veteran right-hander Mike Morgan, but the Angels did receive feelers about outfielder Chad Curtis.