Pitcher Nolan Ryan of the California Angels will be the likely target of a vigorous bidding war in baseball's free-agent draft today.

By unofficial count, 34 players have signed contracts worth more than $1 million after being claimed in the free-agent draft that replaced baseball's more restrictive reserve system. It was the court challenge of pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally, who played the 1975 season without contracts, that eventually ended the reserve system.

Besides Ryan, pitchers who will attract their share of attention today include Bruce Kison of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Al Hrabosky of the Kansas City Royals, Dave Goltz of the Minnesota Twins, Fred Norman of the Cincinnati Reds, Don Stanhouse of the Baltimore Orioles, Rich Wise of the Cleveland Indians and Rudy May of the Montreal Expos.

Also available are Bob Watson of the Boston Red Sox, Tony Perez of the Montreal Expos, Willie Horton of the Seattle Mariners, Ed Kranepool of the New York Mets, Roy White of the New York Yankees, Joe Morgan of the Cincinnati Reds and Fred Patek of the Kansas City Royals.

Each player may be drafted by 13 clubs and his old team may also retain negotiating rights to him.

Penn State running backs Booker Moore and Dave Paffenroth have been arrested in separate incidents, campus police reported.

Moore, a junior who is the team's leading rusher, was arrested Saturday night by Penn State security officers and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Paffenroth, a freshman, was arrested Monday morning for allegedly breaking another student's nose in a campus incident.

Washington attorney Edward Bennett Williams formally took control of the Baltimore Orioles last night following a near-unanimous vote of approval by minority stockholders in the club.

Majority stockholders, including Jerold C. Hoffberger, club president, approved the $12 million sale last August, and the American League followed with its sanction last week. All that remained for the takeover was yesterday's routine vote.

Williams will be the sole owner of the club, he has said. Hoffberger will continue as president.