Atlanta Braves -- Reliever Bruce Sutter, who has never had a shoulder problem in 10 years of pitching, went to St. Louis to seek treatment for a nagging shoulder ache that limited his right-arm motion in Thursday's game at Chicago. After previously denying any injury, he acknowledged the shoulder has bothered him for some time.

Toronto Blue Jays -- Put RHP Tom Filer (7-0) on 15-day DL, tender right elbow; shifted RHP Jim Clancy from 15-day to 21-day DL, shoulder tendinitis. Assigned RHPs Matt Williams (AAA) and Jeff Mays (A) to Texas Rangers as two of three minor leaguers dealt for DH Cliff Johnson.

Kansas City Royals -- Indicated a good chance RHP Dennis Leonard, rehabilitating from a serious knee injury, will be activated this weekend. He pitched five solid innings Thursday for AA Memphis. FOOTBALL

San Francisco 49ers -- Traded WR Keith Baker to Philadelphia Eagles for a draft choice; re-signed free-agent LB Jeff Metter after releasing him last weekend.

Buffalo Bills -- Re-signed TE Eason Ramson two days after placing him on waivers; waived DE Dean Prater.

Cincinnati Bengals -- Activated DE Ross Browner, who signed a three-year contract Tuesday; cut LB Tom Dinkel.

Detroit Lions -- Actived RB Wilbert Montgomery, recently acquired from Philadelphia Eagles; cut RB Scott Caldwell.

Houston Oilers -- Signed FB Larry Moriarty, a holdout throughout training camp, to a three-year contract that will pay him in excess of $1 million; cut 11-year LB Ted Thompson and two-year DE Mark Studaway.

Jacksonville Bulls -- Three All-USFL players -- K Brian Franco, LB Vaughn Johnson, TE Mark Keel -- and QBs Brian Sipe, Ed Luther and Ron Reaves are among 34 players protected for the fall 1986 season. OBITUARY

Johnny Lindell, an outfielder with the 1941-50 New York Yankees, later a pitcher-outfielder in the National League, died of lung cancer in Newport Beach, Calif. He hit .273 career, .324 in three World Series; compiled an 8-18 pitching record. He would have been 69 yesterday. BASKETBALL

Utah Jazz -- C Mark Eaton's agent charges the team is violating an oral agreement for contract renegotiation. The 7-4 Eaton has two years remaining on his contract at about $150,000 a year. HOCKEY

Hartford Whalers -- Signed Ron Francis, all-star center and team captain, for three years.