Representatives of the California Angels and Wally Joyner agreed Friday that they continue to disagree in their attempt to avoid arbitration through the signing of a two-year contract.
Michael Watkins, who represents Joyner in conjunction with attorney Barry Axelrod, confirmed Friday night that Joyner had rejected a two-year offer that could have paid him more than the $965,000 he is asking in arbitration and more yet in 1990, the second year of the contract.The exact offer was $965,000 plus incentives in 1989 and $1.275 million plus incentives in 1990.
The Angels had gone public with Joyner's rejection Friday afternoon.
General Manager Mike Port pointed out that the club did not release the figures. The 1990 figures emerged during an appearance by Axelrod on a Los Angeles talk-radio show, an appearance prompted by the Angels' statement.
"What ticks the three of us off," Watkins said, alluding to Joyner, Axelrod and himself, "is that we had a conference call with Mike Monday and agreed that we wouldn't negotiate in the press, we wouldn't drag this through a public forum. It seems to me they're just trying to make Wally look bad."
A year ago, of course, the Angels looked bad. Public sentiment seemed to favor Joyner in a contract hassle that prompted a brief spring holdout before he agreed to $340,000.
At that point, lacking the three years necessary to qualify for arbitration, he had no other options.
Why would he now reject a contract that improves on his filing figure?
Watkins said that the two sides were very close on numbers and that Joyner might have even agreed to the offer he had rejected if it included a signing bonus to compensate for the salary he may lose if the owners stage a lockout in 1990, a possible tactic in the collective bargaining negotiations.
"If a lockout lasts for three months, how much of that second year salary does he actually get?" Watkins said.