Baseball Union Opposes Shift

The players’ association cast another cloud over realignment, saying Thursday it was unlikely to approve any plan that would shift the American League West Coast teams to the National League.

Owners have set an Oct. 15 deadline to decide realignment, but several have said the date almost definitely will be pushed back. Most plans under consideration would shift Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle to the N.L.

“The players believe you shouldn’t destroy the integrity of the existing leagues without compelling reasons,” Fehr said, going on to say no compelling reasons have been given.

“There are a bunch of players, a significant number, who like living and playing in California. They couldn’t do that in the American League,” he said. “If you have a superstar player and he wants national exposure, he couldn’t get that in the American League.”

Padres want Martinez

After getting the worst pitching performance in team history, the San Diego Padres are interested in trading for Montreal Expos ace Pedro Martinez.

Martinez, a strong contender for the N.L. Cy Young Award after leading the major leagues with a 1.90 ERA, is trade bait because the Expos are in another cost-cutting mode.

“I’d say we have quite a bit of interest,” Padres general manager Kevin Towers said.

Expos GM Jim Beattie said he’s spoken with probably three-quarters of the major league teams about Martinez, including the Padres.

“We are looking to end up probably trading Pedro,” Beattie said by telephone. “We’re going to cut our payroll way back.”

Martinez topped the Expos’ payroll with a $3.5 million salary in 1997.

Group bails on bid to buy Royals

A group headed by businessman Frank Oddo dropped out of the race to buy the Kansas City Royals, leaving former player George Brett and businessman Jerry Green as the remaining leaders of groups publicly interested in buying the franchise.

Mariners complete trade with Twins

The Minnesota Twins acquired minor-league right-handed pitchers Joe Mays and Jeromy Palki as the players to be named in an August trade that sent outfielder Roberto Kelly to Seattle.

The Mariners say the organization’s AA Southern League team will play in Orlando, Fla., as the Orlando Rays during the 1998 season. The team has been in the Southern League since 1991. It spent last year in Memphis, Tenn.

Yankees pass on Raines

The New York Yankees decided to pass on their 1998 contract option for 38-year-old Tim Raines, paying the outfielder a $200,000 buyout.

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