A contractual loophole may force the Chicago White Sox to return left-hander Rudy May to the New York Yankees and choose another player from the compensation draft. A decision is expected Monday on the legality of Thursday's compensation for the loss of free agent Steve Kemp to the Yankees.

The loophole, discovered by May's agent, Dick Moss, means that May is still property of the Yankees because of a no-trade clause in his contract, Moss said. "A player with a no-trade contract has to be protected on his team's 26-man list, even if his contract has expired," the Chicago Sun-Times quoted Moss as saying.

The Players Association and the owners' Player Relations Committee admitted overlooking the error when the Yankees submitted their list of 26 players to be protected. "As far as I can tell, it was an honest mistake," said Donald Fehr, players association counsel . . .

Fernando Valenzuela's salary negotiations with the Los Angeles Dodgers will go to arbitration, according to agent Tony DeMarco, who says the team and its star pitcher remain far apart. The Dodgers renewed Valenzuela's contract unilaterally just before last season began, paying him a reported $350,000 a year after lengthy negotiations.