Kansas City Sends Joyner to San Diego
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Kansas City Royals dumped some more payroll Thursday, sending Wally Joyner to the San Diego Padres for Bip Roberts and minor league pitcher Bryan Wolff.
Joyner was to be paid $5 million next season, but agreed to a restructured two-year deal with a club option for 1998. Joyner will get $2.5 million in 1996 and $3.97 million in 1997.
``We’re thrilled to get a player of Wally Joyner’s caliber,″ said San Diego general manager Kevin Towers, who played with Joyner at Brigham Young in 1982.
Joe Vitiello and Bob Hamelin, the 1994 AL Rookie of the Year, will compete for the first-base job. The Royals had already lost shortstop Greg Gagne and third baseman Gary Gaetti to free agency.
``We were motivated to make this deal because of youngsters in our organization like Vitiello and Hamelin who are ready to play every day at the big league level,″ Kansas City general manager Herk Robinson said. ``Bip is a very exciting player who makes things happen on the field. He has the ability to move around and play a few different positions.″
Roberts, 32, hit .304 with San Diego last year. A switch-hitter, he has hit over .300 in five of his last seven seasons and has a career average of .296 in eight seasons. He has stolen 20 or more bases in each of the last seven years.
Joyner, 33, batted .310 with 12 homers and 83 RBIs last year, his fourth season with Kansas City. His career average is .290 over 10 seasons.
Joyner led major league first basemen with a .998 fielding percentage in 1995. He made only three errors, and two came on the same play.
Wolff, 23, is a right-handed reliever who was 2-7 with 18 saves and a 3.32 ERA in 54 games for Rancho Cucamonga in the Class A California League.
The Royals also sent minor league pitcher Aaron Dorlarque, 25, to the Padres. The right-handed reliever was 3-3 with four saves and a 2.58 ERA in 1995, which he split between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A Omaha.