Toronto outfielder George Bell and Los Angeles pitcher Fernando Valenzuela filed for free agency yesterday, but Philadelphia catcher Darren Daulton and Boston pitcher Greg Harris signed the first big deals of the offseason, remaining with their teams. Daulton got a $6.75 million, three-year contract, Harris a $2.8 million, two-year pact.
Meanwhile, World Series champion Cincinnati declined to exercise its option on second baseman Ron Oester and Pittsburgh did likewise with pitcher Ted Power. Oester and Power immediately filed for free agency. First baseman Sid Bream also filed, giving the the Pirates the most free agents with 10.
Eighty-nine players have filed and nine more are eligible to do so by Sunday's midnight deadline.
After Valenzuela filed, his agent, Tony DeMarco, said there's an excellent chance the pitcher will move on. "There's a time when you have to look at all your options," he said.
Daulton, 28, was a .206 lifetime hitter until this year, when he batted .268 with 12 homers and 57 RBI. He will get a $500,000 signing bonus, $1.75 million in 1991 and $2.25 million in each of the following two seasons.
The Phillies also named Johnny Podres to replace Darold Knowles as pitching coach.
Harris, 35 on Friday, was 13-9 with a 4.00 ERA and made $615,000. He will get $1.3 million next season and $1.4 million in 1992.
Willie Wilson, one-time AL batting champion (.332, 1982) and a Kansas City outfielder for 13 seasons, will not be offered a contract for next season. He filed for free agency last week.