Mitch Williams, upset about the Chicago Cubs' free agent signing of Dave Smith and reports of bad-mouthing by manager Don Zimmer, fired back Monday, demanding a trade.
Williams, who saved 36 games in his first season for the Cubs in 1989 when they won the National League East, reacted angrily after hearing the team had signed Smith to a 2-year, $4.4 million contract.
"I want out of Chicago," Williams said Monday from his Arlington, Texas, home. "I just don't care for the things I've heard about Don Zimmer talking behind my back and all that and saying bad things about me.
"I just don't want to play for that," Williams said. "There's no question now I want out of Chicago."
Smith, 35, is the third free-agent signed by the Cubs. They also signed pitcher Danny Jackson to a 3-year, $10.5 million contract, and acquired outfielder George Bell with a 3-year deal for $9.8 million, plus another option year at $3 million.
Smith has spent 11 seasons with Houston, compiling a 53-47 major-league record. He has 199 career saves and a 2.53 ERA.
In the 1990 season, Smith was 6-6 with 23 saves and a 2.39 ERA. He struck out 50 in 60 1/3 innings.
The Cubs also came to terms with Paul Assenmacher, but terms of his new contract were not disclosed. Assenmacher, 30, was 7-2 last season with a 2.81 ERA.
The Cubs waived former Buffalo Bison right-handers Randy Kramer and Bill Long.
Leyland qualifies comments
PITTSBURGH -- Manager Jim Leyland said he wasn't angry at board chairman Douglas D. Danforth when he criticized the Pittsburgh Pirates' front office for not re-signing Sid Bream.
After Bream signed a $5.5 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, Leyland said it "was a mistake" and "ridiculous" for the Pirates not to re-sign the first baseman.
Bream would have signed with the Pirates for $1 million less, but Danforth declined to waive the team's unwritten policy against no-trade clauses.
"I never mentioned Doug Danforth's name," Leyland said. "It was ridiculous we didn't re-sign Sid Bream. It was a mistake. It was mishandled by Pirate management, and I'm part of management. We should have signed him . . . the Pirates should have signed Sid Bream."
Labor, management join group
NEW YORK -- Baseball's labor and management, admitting to flaws in their past relationship, announced a six-person joint committee to study the game's economic condition.
Don Fehr, head of the union, and Chuck O'Connor, general counsel of management's Player Relations Committee, named the members in the same room where almost a year ago they gave briefings on talks to end the lockout.
Fehr and Bud Selig, president of the Milwaukee Brewers, are to serve as co-chairmen. The PRC and the Major League Baseball Players Association each recomms wants out
mended two other members.
Fehr chose David Feller, professor of law at the University of California, and Henry Aaron, director of the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. Aaron is no relation to the Hall of Fame player.
Selig picked Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and Peter Goldmark, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Around the leagues
Ken Griffey Sr., who made major league history by playing on the same team with his son last season, signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners. Griffey, 40, will receive about $700,000 in base salary plus games-played incentives that could boost his salary to almost $1 million, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. . . . The Philadelphia Phillies signed free-agent right-handed pitcher Danny Cox, who has not pitched in the majors since Aug. 6, 1988, to a Triple A contract with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Phillies' International League affiliate.