Steve Garvey and his agent continued talks yesterday with the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs and said negotiations for the free agent first baseman "were in the final stages."

Jerry Kapstein, the agent, told the Associated Press that the San Francisco Giants also "have made substantial improvements in their proposals and they are still very much in it.

"We have been in phone contact with all three teams," he said.

He said that he and Garvey, the former star first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, met for two hours with Padres President Ballard Smith, but no agreement was reached.

"We also talked this morning with the Chicago Tribune Co. (owner of the Chicago Cubs) and (Cubs General Manager) Dallas Green," Kapstein said. On Friday night, he said, the Cubs made "several alternative new proposals."

Garvey, 33, an eight-time National League all-star, rejected a four-year, $5 million contract with the Dodgers.

The San Diego Tribune reported earlier yesterday that the Padres were on the verge of signing Garvey and that there was a possibility he would become a member of the team shortly.

The newspaper said the Padres had increased their contract proposal to compete with the reported $6.5 million offer made by the Cubs.