Right-hander Tim Stoddard, who had been with three teams in 13 months, has signed with a fourth, the San Diego Padres, who said they will pay him about $1.5 million over three years.
"It came down to the money and the length of the contract," Stoddard, 31, said. "The Cubs wanted to go with a straight deal. The Padres offered me three years and an option."
"He's a power pitcher who can come into a jam and record a strikeout," Jack McKeon, the Padres' general manager, said. He said Stoddard would pitch middle relief.
McKeon has revamped his pitching staff since its debacle in last fall's World Series. Galen Cisco has replaced Norm Sherry as pitching coach. Tim Lollar was dealt to the Chicago White Sox as part of a deal that brought LaMarr Hoyt to the Padres. Another starter, Ed Whitson, departed for the New York Yankees.
Stoddard played baseball and basketball at North Carolina State. He pitched for the Baltimore Orioles from 1977 until traded to the Oakland A's Dec. 9, 1983, for third baseman Wayne Gross. The A's sent him to the Chicago Cubs March 26. He was 10-6 with seven saves and a 3.82 ERA for the NL East champions.
His best season was 1980, when he pitched in 64 games and had 26 saves, fourth best in the AL.