Rod Carew of the Minnesota Twins rejected a chance to play for the San Francisco Giants today but left the door open for future negotiations with the National League club.
In rejecting the proposed trade to San Francisco, Carew told Giants owner Bob Lurie after a three-hour meeting in Minneapolis that there were too many complex issues to resolve before he could agree to the deal. Those issues, Carew said, could not be resolved by the Friday midnight interleague deadline.
Money is not one of the problems, however. Lurie offered Carew a five-year, $3.5 million contract and the seven-time American League batting champion did not turn it down.
"It was not because he did not want to play ball in San Francisco," said Giant General Manager Spec Richardson. "The complexity of the situation was the reason for his refusal. He didn't feel the trade could be completed by tonight. The complexities would be changing leagues, picking his roots up, and he did not feel there was enough time to think about it or make the decision."
Richardson was optimistic that a deal to acquire Carew would be made during the next interleague trading period, Feb. 15 through March 15.
"It's too bad we couldn't have put this trade together earlier," said Richardson. "He's still willing to listen to us and we might be able to do something in February. Money is not a problem."
A spokesman for the Twins said Carew wanted to ask some of his friends in baseball about their feelings on living in the Bay Area before making up his mind.
"He is ready to accept the deal," said Tom Mee, the Twins' public relations director. "He softened his stand about going to San Francisco... We're hopeful something may still work out at the next interleague trading period."
"I'm disappointed that the trade wasn't made, but I'm also somewhat encouraged that Carew removed absolute objections to San Francisco," Calvin Griffith, Twins president said.
The Twins' superstar would have gone to San Francisco for first baseman Mike Ivie, outfielder Jim Dwyer and minor league pitcher Phil Nastu.
While the Carew deal fell through, at least temporarily, the winter baseball meetings ended with a flurry of deals involving well known players.
The Texas Rangers made the biggest swap of the day when they traded third baseman Toby Harrah to the Cleveland Indians for third baseman Buddy Bell. The Rangers also traded shortstop Jim Mason to the Montreal Expos for outfielder Mike Hart.
Bell batted.282 with six homers and 62 runs batted in for the Indians last season while Harrah had.229-12-59 offensive figures. Mason batted only.190 last season and is regarded as a utility player while Hart is considered a good hitting prospect.
The New York Mets, traded pitcher Jerry Koosman, a former World Series hero and a 21-game winner as recently as 1976, to the Twins for minor league pitcher Greg Field and an unmaned player.
Koosman, who won two World Series games in 1969 and another in 1973 without suffering a loss, fell on hard times the last two years with 8-20 and 3-15 records. Still considered a firstclass pitcher despite his recent performances, Koosman has been badgering the Met management to trade him to the Twins for a couple of years.
The Houston Astros, confident that they have a strong contingent of pitchers on their way up, traded pitcher Floyd Bannister to the Seattle Mariners for shortstop Craig Reynolds. Reynolds, who hit.292 in 148 games, is considered among the better shortstops in the American League, while Bannister is rated a fine pitching prospect despite a 3-9 record with Houston last season.