Player -- John Franco, LHP

The attraction -- Closer who could work well in tandem with developing reliever Armando Benitez. He had 30 saves last year.

The down side -- Has suffered from some recent arm troubles, and he's 34.

Player -- Larry Walker, OF

The attraction -- He's a masher who could hit fifth, and when he's healthy, he is one of the best outfielders in baseball. Colorado also is in pursuit.

The down side -- Had a bad shoulder last year, as well as some off-field trouble.

Player -- Jim Gott, RHP

The attraction -- Orioles are looking for some experienced help in their middle relief, and generally speaking, he's he filled this role well for the Dodgers.

The down side -- Whether it had a was age (35) or injury, terrible '94 season -- a 5.94 ERA.

Player -- Kevin Brown, RHP

The attraction -- The best of last fall's free-agent class, he won 21 games for Texas in 1992 and would be a solid No. 3 starter behind McDonald and Mussina.

The down side -- Rangers management had real questions about his makeup, and he had a terrible season last year (7-9, 4.82 ERA).

Player -- Marquis Grissom, OF

The attraction -- Lots. He's the best center fielder in the National League, and the best leadoff hitter, stealing 265 bases over the past five seasons.

The down side -- Assuming the Expos decide they want to dump his salary, Orioles would have to give up one or more of their top young players to trade for him.

Player -- Ken Hill, RHP

The attraction -- Had an outstanding '94 season (16-5, 3.32 ERA) and certainly would augment Phil Regan's rotation. Only reason he's available is that the Expos are trying to cut payroll and the Orioles could get him in a package deal with Grissom.

The down side -- Again, the Orioles would have to trade prospects to get him, and it may just be better to sign a free agent like Brown.

Player -- Andy Van Slyke, OF

The attraction -- He's a great defensive player who can play all three outfield spots, and he's been a solid run producer in the past. Also, a great clubhouse guy.

The down side -- Many who've watched him in the NL think he's finished as a productive player. Maybe a Plan C if O's can't get Walker or Grissom.

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