The Milwaukee Brewers, who made such a good run at the Yankees and Red Sox in AL East, have bolstered their pitching staff by signing right-hander Jim Slaton, a competent fellow they traded away a year ago. He was 17-11 for Detroit last season after seven Brewer campaigns, now rejoins the club on a multiyear contract out of the reentry draft, for his first shot at playing under skipper George Bamberger.

The Kansas City Royals, says owner Ewing Kauffman, "have a 50-50 chance of signing Pete Rose."

The wandering Pride of Cincinnati and the pharmaceutical magnate met in Kauffman's office and, Kauffman relates, "I told him . . . he needs only 1,028 hits to break Mr. Ty Cobb's record. His eyes sort of lit up . . ."

Kauffman said "the only thing that might stop us from getting him is the National League thing." That is, Rose is intent on breaking Stan Missial's NL hit record of 3.630 - so it's a question of whether he wants that worse or a chance, eventually, to prolong his career by hanging around the American League as a designated hitter. Meantime, "We don't intend to use him as a DH at first," say the Royals.