In the wacky world of the New York Yankees, Steve Balboni, whom they traded away prior to the 1984 season, is back and Jimmy Jones, whom they traded for last October, is gone.
As the 26 major-league teams prepared for the opening of the season next week, events off the field overshadowed Monday's exhibition games.
- Bruce Sutter, whose 300 saves are the third highest in history, tore his rotator cuff again and the career of the Atlanta Braves reliever may be over. Sutter has had three previous operations on his right shoulder.
- Mark Lemke, projected as the Braves' starting second baseman at the beginning of the spring, was sent to the minors.
- In a surprise move, the Cleveland Indians released veteran right-hander Neil Allen, who was signed as a free agent in January. Allen, whose contract reportedly would have paid him $325,000 if he had made the team, had a 4.60 ERA in five spring outings.
- Teddy Higuera, the ace of the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff, will begin the season on the disabled list.
- Oakland placed twin brothers Jose and Ozzie Canseco on the 21-day disabled list. Jose has a slightly torn ligament in the outer portion of his left wrist while Ozzie recently had a bone removed from his left wrist.
- The Yankees acquired Balboni, a designated hitter-first baseman, from the Seattle Mariners for minor-league pitcher Dana Ridenour. Balboni, once a top Yankee prospect, has 147 career homers in eight major-league seasons. He won $800,000 in a controversial salary arbitration hearing this winter.
Jones, acquired last fall in the multi-player trade that sent power hitter Jack Clark to San Diego, was sent to the Yankees' minor league camp for reassignment. He was 1-1 in five games this spring with a 3.65 ERA.
"I'm real disappointed," he said. "This is the first spring training I didn't think I had to worry about my job. I worked all winter as hard as I could and came here ready. I thought I was part of the rotation."
Jones might be back quicker than he thinks. Dave LaPoint left Monday night's 5-2 victory over Montreal complaining of shoulder stiffness.
Dr. Joe Chandler said the degree of the tear in Sutter's shoulder was "a moot point. If it's not complete, it will be if he continues to pitch."