When Brett Butler awakens from his dream, he'll be playing center field and probably batting leadoff for the Los Angeles Dodgers. When Bob Welch goes back to work, he'll be in the same uniform, and looking at roughly the same numbers on his paychecks as Butler.

Welch, the American League Cy Young Award-winner who became a free agent after his 27-6 season with the Oakland Athletics, agreed to a new four-year contract with the A's yesterday. No terms were disclosed, but Welch, 34, was believed to have been seeking about $4 million a year.

The acquisition of Butler, a new-look free agent not wanted by his old team, the San Francisco Giants, apparently answers the question of where Darryl Strawberry will play in the Dodgers' outfield.

Butler agreed Friday night with the Dodgers on a three-year contract worth $10 million.

Butler grew up in Fremont, in northern California, but was a Dodgers fan as a youngster.

He will play center field between Strawberry, in right, and Kal Daniels. Butler, 33, batted .309 last season, with three homers and 44 RBI. He has a career .285 average. . . .

Jack Clark, who hit 25 home runs for San Diego last season, said goodbye to the feuding Padres, agreeing to a three-year, $8.7 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.

Boston also announced it had traded reliever Wes Gardner to the Padres for two minor leaguers: first baseman-outfielder Steve Hendricks and left-hander Brad Hoyer. . . .

The New York Mets acquired outfielder Hubie Brooks from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for left-hander Bob Ojeda and minor league pitcher Greg Hansell.

Brooks, who came up with the Mets in 1980, had one of his best seasons after signing with the Dodgers as a free agent in 1990. He tied his career high with 20 home runs and drove in 90 runs while batting .266.

Ojeda was 7-6 with a 3.66 ERA last season as both a starter and reliever. Hansell was 9-14 with a 3.35 ERA while splitting time last season between Port St. Lucie and Winter Haven of the Class A Florida State League. . . .

Dave Dravecky found out on Friday that, at least for the time being, his left arm will not require amputation because of cancer, a spokeswoman said.

Jeana Ledbetter, an assistant to Dravecky's Orange County (Calif.) attorney, Sealy Yates, told the Los Angeles Times that the former San Francisco Giants pitcher informed their office Friday his visit to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York went well.