A dispute between the California Angels and outfielder Dan Ford, who is demanding that the Angels buy out the "no-trade" provision in his contract, has put Ford's trade to the Baltimore Orioles in jeopardy.
"We will wait until Monday for Ford and the Angels to work out their differences," said Hank Peters, the Orioles' general manager, yesterday. "If Ford hasn't given his (written) consent to the trade by then, the deal will be canceled.
"We don't technically have a completed trade with the Angels until Ford gives his okay, and, as of right now, he refuses," said Peters, who on Thursday thought he had swapped Doug DeCinces and Jeff Schneider for Ford. "It's not fair to either club, or the players involved, to keep everybody on the string past Monday. We (the Orioles) have become spectators to somebody else's family squabble. We'll wait and see if they can resolve it.
"From what (California general manager) Buzzie Bavasi says, they don't seem to be making much progress." Ford was not available for comment yesterday.
Ford and agent Bill Moore contend the outfielder should be compensated because a clause in his contract said he couldn't be dealt without his written permission to any team, except six clubs that Ford specifically approved. Baltimore wasn't one of the six.
"There's precedent . . . Ted Simmons, Ken Reitz and Bob Forsch," said Moore. "We believe they got approximately $700,000, $250,000 and $200,000, respectively to buy out their no-trade provisions. We are not asking that much. Dan would accept less just to get away from the Angels and play for Baltimore.
The Angels disagree. Bavasi says that Moore, acting on Ford's behalf, signed a waiver of that no-trade clause, adding the Orioles, Astros and Cubs to the original six.
"This is a holdup and we're not going to stand for it," said Bavasi yesterday. "I told Baltimore I wouldn't give Dan Ford another 15 cents . . . The deal with Baltimore, as far as I'm concerned, is now off. I will start talking immediately to the six clubs on Ford's original list to make a trade, even though I know his value won't be as high in this situation.
"If we make that new deal, then it stands. However, if Ford agrees to report to Baltimore before I can make another trade, then we (the Angels and Orioles) still have a trade."
"Dan Ford's signature is not on anything," said Moore.
"My legal people say this document (signed by Moore) would stand up in court. I may sue Moore," said Bavasi.
"Yet another graphic example of why clubs should never grant no-trade agreements. It's tangling up the whole game," said Peters, who added the Orioles would not consider paying the Angel buy-out money themselves.