Facebook Twitter



Free-agent pitchers Bruce Hurst and Andy Hawkins spent the winter meetings dialing for dollars and ended up with the right numbers.

Hurst signed a three-year, $5.25-million contract with San Diego and Hawkins left the Padres to sign a three-year, $3.6-million deal with the New York Yankees.Hurst had been the focus of a bidding battle among San Diego, California and Boston.

For the Red Sox last season, the left-hander was 18-6 with a 3.66 earned run average.

The Angels and Red Sox offered $5.5 million to Hurst over three years. A week ago, Hurst had turned down the St. Louis Cardinals' bid of $5.1 million.

"For me and my family, San Diego was the place we wanted to go," Hurst said in explaining his reason for taking a smaller offer.

"We made every effort to sign Bruce Hurst. He took less money," Red Sox general manager Lou Gorman said.

Although the winter meetings officially ended Wednesday, the trades kept coming.

The Boston Red Sox dealt shortstop Spike Owen and minor league pitcher Dan Gakeler to the Montreal Expos for right-hander John Dopson and infielder Luis Rivera.

The Philadelphia Phillies traded former All-Star outfielder Phil Bradley to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Ken Howell and Gordon Dillard, who spent most of the season in the minors.

Los Angeles sent Howell to Baltimore on Sunday in the Eddie Murray trade.

"We just acquired him and didn't plan on trading him," Orioles general manager Rollie Hemond said. "It was rather difficult to call him tonight to tell him. Naturally he was quite surprised.

"We've been looking for right-handed hitting," Hemond said. (Bradley's) a fine defensive outfielder and has speed. He has the talent we were looking for."

In Thursday's third deal, outfielder Mike Aldrete was traded by San Francisco to Montreal for outfielder Tracy Jones.

New York Mets vice president Joe McIlvaine said he talked with five teams Thursday and had made an offer to one. McIlvaine said he also had some unexpected offers, one involving a three-way deal. "It's meaty," he said.

It's also unlikely to happen today, according to sources.

The Mets have talked with Atlanta about Dale Murphy, with Cleveland about Joe Carter and with San Diego about John Kruk and Greg Harris. They also have expressed interest in Kansas City's Danny Tartabull.

The Mets on the move could be infielder Howard Johnson, reliever Roger McDowell, center fielder Len Dykstra and shortstop Kevin Elster.

"Teams know we have two second baseman, two shortstops, two third baseman," McIlvaine said. "Sometimes things fall in your lap."

The Padres, who obtained Jack Clark and Walt Terrell earlier in the offseason, could not compete with the Yankees' big bucks for Hawkins. He made $453,000 and was offered salary arbitration by the Padres, but chose New York.

"The lure of playing for the New York Yankees is one that most players feel," Hawkins said. "We're very pleased with the way things turned out."

The Yankees had pledged financial restraint this winter, but are spending like the days of Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson. Second baseman Steve Sax left the Dodgers and signed a three-year, $4-million contract and Dave LaPoint got $2.575 million for three years.

"We think we're getting value received for dollars spent," Yankees general manager Bob Quinn said.

Hawkins, 29 next month, was 14-11 with a 3.35 ERA. His 33 starts and 218 innings were more than any starter pitched for the Yankees last season.

"He's a 35-start, 200-inning guy," Yankees manager Dallas Green said.

Hawkins said he had "no regrets whatsoever" about leaving San Diego.