Jack Morris and the Detroit Tigers have just a few hours left to decide whether they still want each other.
Morris was among five "new-look" free agents who had until midnight EST to sign with new teams or stay with their present clubs."There's nothing I can say at this point," Richard Moss, Morris' agent, said Monday. Moss said that he was talking with other clubs besides the Tigers, so it was unclear where the winningest pitcher of the 1980s would wind up.
Morris, 35, was 15-18 last year. He made $2.1 million last season and has filed for salary arbitration, asking $3.35 million while the Tigers offered the same $2.1 million.
California outfielder Chili Davis and pitchers Juan Berenguer of Minnesota, Dave LaPoint of the New York Yankees and Mike LaCoss of San Francisco also were left from the original group of 15. The agents for Davis and LaPoint said Monday that their players had no offers and would likely retain their present contracts.
The first 10 new-look free agents, including Gary Gaetti, to agree to new deals signed for a total of $79.95 million over 29 years, an average of $2,756,896 a season.
Meanwhile, six players in salary arbitration agreed Monday to one-year contracts, leaving 116 remaining in arbitration. Hearings are scheduled to begin next Monday and run through Feb. 21.
Bip Roberts, San Diego's all-purpose player, quadrupled his salary when the Padres settled at $875,000, a raise of $680,000. Roberts batted .309 and scored 104 runs as a leadoff man and started at four different positions.
The new salary figure roughly split the difference between what Roberts had sought in arbitration ($950,000) and what the club had offered ($762,500).
Roberts tied Tony Gwynn for leading the team in batting. He hit 36 doubles with nine home runs and 44 RBIs and stole 46 bases. He started eight games at second base, 13 at shortstop, 46 at third and 68 in left field.
Oufielder John Kruk and Philadelphia agreed at $1,175,000, a raise of $495,000. Pitcher Eric Plunk and the New York Yankees agreed to $950,000, a raise of $435,500. Outfielder Dave Martinez and the Montreal Expos settled at $805,000, a raise of $395,000.
First baseman Todd Benzinger and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to $705,000, a raise of $380,000, while infielder Rene Gonzales and the Toronto Blue Jays settled at $306,250, a $100,000 raise.