Baltimore Orioles catcher Mickey Tettleton is expected to announce today that he has accepted the team's offer to settle his salary dispute by arbitration. Tettleton has until midnight tonight to accept arbitration, and by doing so he's eligible for free agency again after next season.
Tettleton, who made $750,000 last season, tested the free agent market this fall. He apparently received no solid offers and nothing approaching the three-year, $7-million deal he had sought.
He hit .223 with 15 home runs and 51 RBI last season. He had 106 walks and 160 strikeouts. Only two AL catchers hit more home runs -- California's Lance Parrish (24) and Chicago's Carlton Fisk (18).
Arbitration hearings don't begin until February, but the Orioles and Tettleton likely will have agreed on a one-year contract by then . . .
The Orioles have also been in serious trade discussions with the Houston Astros about first baseman Glenn Davis, sources said. He's eligible for free agency after next season and the Astros, depleted by free agent departures this winter, would like a package of young players for him. . . .
Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent, in a Greenwich (Conn.) hospital the last week, had his spleen removed yesterday during routine surgery and is listed in good condition,, the New York Daily News reported.
"The operation was successful," said Richard Levin, Vincent's spokesman. "There was an infection in his spleen. The surgery was relatively routine."
Vincent, 52, had been bothered by an upper respiratory infection for three weeks and entered the hospital for treatment of pneumonia last Thursday.
Levin said the pneumonia is clearing and that Vincent is expected to leave the hospital soon. . . .
Free agent outfielder Randy Bush has been re-signed to a two-year contract with the Minnesota Twins. Other terms were not disclosed. Bush, 32, was chosen by Minnesota in the second round of the June 1979 free agent draft and has played for the Twins since the 1982 season. A hamstring injury limited him to 73 games in 1990, hitting .243 with six home runs and 18 RBI. . . .
Free agent infielder Rafael Belliard has signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Braves. Belliard, who played parts of nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, hit .204 in 47 games with six RBI last season with the Pirates. Financial terms were not revealed, but the deal is reported to be worth $900,000 for the two years. . . .
Ewing Kauffman, who founded the Kansas City Royals as an expansion franchise in 1969, will regain full ownership early next month, ending a long period of uncertainty brought on by the financial hardship of co-owner Avron Fogelman.