Bill Caudill, ace relief pitcher of the Seattle Mariners, apparently is going to go to arbitration with the American League baseball club.

"Arbitration is a dirty word to me," said Caudill. "I don't like it at all but it looks like that's where this is going to wind up, the way it has gone."

Caudill, 26, who saved 26 games and won 12 in 1982, made an estimated $170,000 after being sent along by the New York Yankees, who had acquired him from the Chicago Cubs. He reportedly seeks a three-year contract worth $2 million, including incentives, or a one-season deal worth $700,000.

The Mariners reportedly have countered with a one-year proposal valued at $400,000 . . .

The Babe Ruth House in Baltimore, an often ignored museum saved from the wrecker's ball in 1967 and later almost moved four miles away to Memorial Stadium, is undergoing major renovations to attract more visitors.

Hoping to capitalize on the museum's proximity to the revitalized Inner Harbor, trustees have begun a $158,000 project that will expand the birthplace of the "Sultan of Swat" into the Maryland Baseball Hall of Fame.

The trustees plan 26 exhibits, ranging from the history of the Baltimore Orioles, 100 years old this year, to a tribute to baseball's greatest home run hitters.

But officials say they have only $8,000 and need an additional $150,000 to fund the project.

If the money is raised, the currently closed museum would reopen April 4, opening day of the baseball season.