The Pirates have entertained several offers for second baseman
Tony Womack, including one from the Indians. Cleveland also
would get lefthanded reliever Ricardo Rincon in a deal that
would send outfielder Brian Giles and others to Pittsburgh....
The Indians had made the signing of free-agent second baseman
Roberto Alomar (right) their number 1 off-season priority but
have been turned off by Alomar's lack of eagerness to get a deal
done--even with the intervention of his brother, Sandy, the
Cleveland catcher. Roberto could wind up in St. Louis in what
has been a lukewarm market for an All-Star whose drive is
questioned by scouts....
Phillies ace Curt Schilling has agreed not to demand that his
contract be renegotiated if he's traded to one of two teams:
Cleveland or Atlanta....
The Blue Jays are shopping righthander Roger Clemens, who has
veto power over a trade. "For the first time they've come to us
telling us he's available," says one G.M. Toronto's asking
price, though, is likely to preclude a deal. The Blue Jays
opened talks with the Indians by asking for rightfielder Manny
Ramirez, whom Cleveland is trying to sign to an extension, and
asked the Astros for outfielders Derek Bell and Richard Hidalgo
and righthander Shane Reynolds....
As if the May trade in which the Dodgers got Bobby Bonilla, Jim
Eisenreich, Charles Johnson and Gary Sheffield from the Marlins
for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile wasn't disaster enough for Los
Angeles, Johnson, who batted just .217 after moving west, opted
not to go to the Arizona Fall League to work on his hitting as
the Dodgers had requested. "We wanted him there," says L.A.
senior vice president Tommy Lasorda. "Charles should be a much
better hitter. He's got power out the ears, but he doesn't walk
nearly enough, and he takes too many strikes." In three years as
a major league regular, Johnson's strikeouts have climbed from
91 to 109 to 129....
The Blue Jays would like to bring back 34-year-old free-agent DH
Jose Canseco (46 homers, 107 RBIs, .237 average) but only if
Canseco reduces his asking price. "Jose has to realistically
look at his value," says new Blue Jays assistant general manager
Dave Stewart, who was a teammate of Canseco's with the A's from
1987 through '92. "Sometimes a player puts himself in a market
where he doesn't belong." Canseco, whose '98 salary was
$650,000, reportedly wants a four-year, $28 million deal. Plus,
he wants to play in the field. "Somehow," Stewart said of
Canseco's desire to don a glove again, "I don't think that'll
The A's have begun discussions with soon-to-be-40 outfielder
Rickey Henderson (.236, major-league-high 66 stolen bases) about
re-upping for one more season, but Henderson is seeking a
multiyear contract. "You can probably make the argument that he
deserves it," says Oakland general manager Billy Beane. "But
with us, it comes down to economics. We want Rickey in Oakland.
But can we afford him?" The Rangers have also expressed interest.
--Tom Verducci and Jeff Pearlman
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO [Roberto Alomar in game]