LaMarr Hoyt, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 1983 before encountering drug problems, cleared waivers yesterday and was free to sign with another major league club after his unconditional release by the San Diego Padres.
At least two teams, the Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves, said they were interested in talking with Hoyt's agent, Ron Shapiro.
Hoyt, 32, was waived by the Padres last week, hours after an arbitrator said the club was wrong in dropping the right-hander last January and ordered him restored to the roster.
San Diego's attempt to nullify Hoyt's contract also was rescinded by the arbitrator, who held the Padres liable for $2.8 million in salary through 1989.
Hoyt, who to remain in baseball must follow a rehabilitation plan filed with the commissioner's office, can be signed for a prorated portion of the minimum $62,500 annual salary. The Padres are obligated to pay the balance, with an amount already deducted for a 60-day suspension by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth.
Ueberroth had ordered Hoyt suspended for a year, but arbitrator George Nicolau termed the punishment excessive and reduced it.
The Orioles were interested in Hoyt, who ended a month-long prison stay for a misdemeanor drug conviction in February.
"We have informed Shapiro that we are interested in talking with him about LaMarr Hoyt," said Orioles General Manager Hank Peters. "Just a general discussion."
Since Hoyt was 24-10 with the Chicago White Sox in his award-winning season of 1983, his major league record is 37-37.