Los Angeles. "The meetings were Fred Claire's Nightline," wrote one observer, referring to the Waterloo of Claire's G.M. predecessor, Al Campanis. Claire was publicly ripped by other club officials for being "unprepared" and "unprofessional." The Dodgers ended up trading Welch, Young and a good young reliever (Jack Savage) for Griffin, a 31-year-old (or older) shortstop with his left thumb in a cast; Howell, a sore-armed reliever; and Orosco, who carries a $1 million contract and was available for the asking.
Toronto. It wasn't that G.M. Pat Gillick didn't try. He thought he had Welch for shortstop Manny Lee and pitcher Dave Stieb, but the Dodgers changed their minds. Then he thought he had Welch for slugger Jesse Barfield and reliever Mark Eichhorn. Then he failed to pry Jacoby loose. Finally, a deal with the Yankees fell through: catcher Ernie Whitt and reliever David Wells for pitching prospect Al Leiter, outfielder Roberto Kelly and catcher Joel Skinner. Gillick knows he has to do something. He still could get catcher Jody Davis from the Cubs for Stieb.
The Dallas meetings also brought the first major trade—ever!—between the Mets and Yankees; the Mets sent shortstop Rafael Santana and a minor leaguer to the Bronx in exchange for three prospects.
While some players were getting new zip codes, others were looking for them. Don Sutton, the winner of 321 games, hung around the hotel lobby trying to peddle his services; the Twins seemed interested. And Bob Horner, who has already turned down a three-year, $10 million offer from Japan and a one-year, $800,000 offer from the Braves, was paraded around by his agent, Bucky Woy. Horner was easy to spot in the lobby—he was the one who looked like John Candy. The Rangers expressed interest in signing Horner, but right after owner Eddie Chiles and president Mike Stone were assured that Horner was getting in shape, they spied him in the hotel's Mexican restaurant, standing in the all-you-can-eat line.