Met Darryl Strawberry, Dodger Kirk Gibson and Yankee Dave Righetti didn't wait long to broaden their horizons, filing for free agency yesterday as the baseball offseason began with a flurry.

Mickey Tettleton, the Baltimore catcher, and Vince Coleman of St. Louis also are among 18 players who filed, raising the total to 21 now officially considering greener pastures. Approximately 95 players eligible to file have until Nov. 4. Players may talk with other teams after filing but can't discuss contract specifics with them till Nov. 5.

Righetti sent in his telegram two minutes after Sunday midnight, five minutes faster than he filed two years ago only to stay with New York. "We did that for emphasis," said his agent.

Also filing: Phil Bradley, Bill Doran, Candy Maldonado, Franklin Stubbs, Glenn Wilson, Bill Krueger, Kevin Gross, Tim Leary, Ron Hassey, Darren Daulton, Ken Dayley, Eric Show and Charlie Hough.

Five players were offered salary arbitration by their clubs: Milwaukee's Jim Gantner, Minnesota's Gary Gaetti, Yankees' Mike Witt, Atlanta's Charlie Leibrandt and Philadelphia's Dickie Thon. They are in the group that can become free agents if their clubs do not make arbitration offers. . . .

Saying "Santa Clara Giants" has a nice ring to it, Commissioner Fay Vincent lent his support to moving San Francisco's baseball franchise south to the Silicon Valley. "It has a certain cadence," Vincent said.

Visiting San Jose, he called the Giants a "ready-made franchise" for adjacent Santa Clara. He said it was the best option in a "dire" situation created by voters in San Francisco, for 33 years home of the Giants.

Last fall, San Francisco voters narrowly defeated a measure to build a new ballpark. Next month, Santa Clara County voters will decide whether to build a $153 million stadium in the city of Santa Clara.