Darryl Strawberry is so serious about wanting to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he has told their manager, Tom Lasorda, he is willing to play center field, Strawberry's agent said.
"Darryl has told Tommy that he will play center field or right field," agent Eric Goldschmidt told the Los Angeles Times. "He told him he would do whatever the manager wanted him to do."
A seven-time all-star, Strawberry has played right field most of the last eight seasons with the New York Mets. He started 10 games in center in 1984.
Were he to play center, the Dodgers could sign him without having to juggle their outfield. Last season, Kal Daniels played left field and Hubie Brooks right field.
The Times cited unnamed sources as saying Goldschmidt told Dodgers management that Strawberry would sign without talking to other teams if he were guaranteed a contract similar to that of Oakland's Jose Canseco, who has a five-year, $23.5 million deal.
More Free Agents
Four players filed for free agency Thursday and raised the total to a record 93, while outfielder Rick Leach chose not to file and agreed to re-sign with San Francisco for $375,000.
Ken Griffey Sr. filed as did outfielder Brian Downing and pitcher Greg Minton of the Angels and catcher Terry Kennedy of the Giants. The previous record for free agents in one year was the 90 who filed after the 1989 season.
Four players still are eligible to file by Sunday's deadline: A's pitcher Scott Sanderson, Dodgers utility man Mickey Hatcher, Padres third baseman Mike Pagliarulo and Giants pitcher Mark Thurmond.
Leach, who had a $375,000 contract for 1990, hit .293 with two homers and 16 RBI in 174 at-bats. He was suspended Aug. 6 by the commissioner's office after testing positive on a drug test.
Seattle hopes to re-sign Griffey Sr., who joined his son in late in the season as the first father and son on a major league team.
Niekro to Manage
Phil Niekro, a bullpen coach with the Atlanta Braves last season, was named manager of their top farm club, Richmond of the Class AAA International League. Jim Beauchamp, who managed at Richmond for three years, moves to the parent club's coaching staff. . . .
Adrian Garrett was named hitting coach of the Kansas City Royals to replace fired John Mayberry. Garrett will also be third base coach for the fourth season.
The Royals said Lynn Jones, formerly an outfielder for them, had been hired to coach first base. Pat Dobson has been hired to replace Frank Funk as pitching coach.