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Mondesi says he's reached a deal with Angels


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AP NewsBreak: Mondesi says he's reached a deal with Angels


By ENRIQUE ROJAS, Associated Press Writer

May 28, 2004

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Outfielder Raul Mondesi has reached a deal to play for the Anaheim Angels just three weeks after walking away from the game, he told The Associated Press on Friday.


The former All-Star and Gold Glover said he got a $1.75 million contract for the rest of the season. He said he will make his debut in center field for the banged-up AL West leaders Sunday at Chicago.


``I'm very pleased with the agreement I reached with the Angels,'' Mondesi said.


Angels spokesman Tim Mead said he could neither confirm nor deny Mondesi's account.


The Pittsburgh Pirates recently terminated Mondesi's contract after he left them May 7 to return home to the Dominican. At the time, Mondesi said he was fearful for his family's safety as he fights a lawsuit by former major leaguer Mario Guerrero.


Mondesi cleared waivers May 21, making him a free agent. He had said that other teams were interested in signing him, including the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.


The presence of several Dominican and other Latin players on the Angels' roster helped him make his final decision, he said.


``Jose Guillen has been my friend since childhood because we grew up together in the same town,'' Mondesi said. ``I get along very well with Bartolo Colon, Vladimir Guerrero, Ramon Ortiz and Venezuelan Kelvim Escobar was my friend in Toronto.''


Mondesi said the Angels proposed sending him to the minors to get ready, but he rejected the request. Mondesi said he plans to leave the Dominican on Saturday.


``I'm in shape. I have been training everyday in a park close to my home,'' he said.


The Angels began a weekend series against the White Sox with a 29-18 record, tied with Boston for the best in the majors. Anaheim has done well despite putting stars Garret Anderson, Troy Glaus, Tim Salmon and Darin Erstad on the disabled list.


Angels manager Mike Scioscia is familiar with Mondesi, a former NL Rookie of the Year. Scioscia was a coach in Los Angeles when Mondesi played for the Dodgers.


``Raul can play center field. He would create a lot more depth that we have and you'd be able to have better options with matchups,'' Scioscia said earlier this week. ``It's something that we would welcome if it happens, but there is a lot to getting a player here.''


On May 19, the Pirates cited breach of contract in ending all dealings with Mondesi. He was hitting .283 with two homers and 14 RBIs when he left.


Mondesi was paid approximately $192,000 of his $1.75 million contract before leaving, and the Pirates are not required to pay him any more. He was due a $600,000 buyout if the team did not pick up his $8 million option for 2005 but he left voluntarily.


Mondesi, 33, made $13 million last season with the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. He is a career .276 hitter with 266 homers and 842 RBIs in 12 seasons.


In his suit, Guerrero said Mondesi promised him 1 percent of his major league earnings for helping develop his skills.


Mondesi argued he didn't meet Guerrero until his career was well advanced. A Dominican court ruled in February that Mondesi owes Guerrero about $640,000, and Mondesi is appealing.


The next hearing is scheduled for June 19.

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Angels finalize contract with Mondesi


May 29, 2004

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Anaheim Angels finalized their contract with outfielder Raul Mondesi, who is scheduled to join the team Sunday for the series finale against the Chicago White Sox.


Mondesi, a former All-Star and Gold Glove winner, said Friday he agreed to a contract that will pay him $1.75 million for the rest of the season.


The Pittsburgh Pirates terminated Mondesi's contract after he left them May 7 to return home to the Dominican. At the time, Mondesi said he was fearful for his family's safety as he fights a lawsuit by former major leaguer Mario Guerrero.


Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said there was a chance Mondesi could play Sunday if he's in condition.


``Hopefully we are going to get a chance to talk to him to see exactly what he's been going and how he feels,'' Scioscia said after the Angels beat the White Sox 5-1 Saturday.


``If he's not at a (injury risk), we will feel very comfortable getting him in the lineup and playing him. If he is not there, then we will go to Plan B, which will be to work him out.''


The Angels have been hit with injuries to Troy Glaus, Garret Anderson, Darin Erstad and Tim Salmon and are hoping Mondesi can add some punch to their lineup. Anaheim still leads the AL West, despite losing so many key players.


Mondesi batted .283 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 26 games with the Pirates. He is a career .276 hitter with 266 homers and 229 stolen bases.


Mondesi, 34, broke in with the Dodgers in 1993 and has also played with the Blue Jays, Yankees and Diamondbacks.


``He gives us another presence in our lineup,'' Scioscia said. ``It gives us a very productive player that's going to go out there and be able to swing the bat every day for us whatever position he is in.''


Mondesi initially will be looked at as a center fielder.


``If he is the shape to play center, what we hear he is, it's going to re-establish some depth that we've been lacking,'' Scioscia said.


To make room for Mondesi on the 40-man roster, the Angels designated infielder Adam Riggs for assignment. Riggs batted .133 with an RBI in four games with Anaheim.

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