As his name continued to swirl in trade rumors concerning the New York Yankees, pitcher Mike Boddicker yesterday signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles also announced outfielder Mike Young had signed for 1988, and, among players eligible for salary arbitration, only outfielder Larry Sheets remains unsigned. Boddicker reportedly signed for $850,000 and Young $395,000.
Midnight Friday is the deadline for filing for arbitration, and the Orioles are believed close to signing Sheets as well. If he doesn't agree to terms by late Friday, his agent, Ron Shapiro, will file for arbitration as a safeguard.
Meanwhile, the Yankees and Orioles continued to discuss a trade for Boddicker. Sources say the present offer has the Orioles getting outfielder Jay Buhner, pitchers Pat Clements and Charles Hudson and shortstop Bobby Meacham for Boddicker.
Boddicker was the only Orioles pitcher to throw 200 innings last year, but the deal would give them a full-time left fielder (Buhner, who last year hit 31 homers and drove in 85 runs at Class AAA Columbus) and a left-hander reliever (Clements, who last year had seven saves and a 4.95 ERA for the Yankees). Hudson last year won 11 games, and Meacham is a utility infielder. The hangup is the Yankees want to expand the deal to include Orioles' infielder Pete Stanicek, but because he is Baltimore's only legitimate base-stealing threat, he is considered untouchable.
Boddicker is taking the trade rumors in stride. He said yesterday he didn't want to leave Baltimore, but would if he had to.
"They didn't say anything about a trade, and I don't want to go," he said. "I like Baltimore. I like the small-city atmosphere. . . . But I've got no say-so in the matter, and if I get traded, it's part of the business."