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Archive for Saturday, May 29, 2004

Mondesi expected to join Angels

Outfielder says he will return in time for Sunday’s game

May 29, 2004

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— 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 received a $1.75 million contract for the rest of the season. He said he would 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.

Greg Genske, one of Mondesi's agents, said he and the Angels were working out the final details of the contract.

"We've still got to cross the Ts and dot the Is, but it will get done," Genske said. "Raul made the decision he wants to play for the Angels and is excited about playing for the Angels."

Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia knew general manager Bill Stoneman and Mondesi were speaking.

"I know they have talked about a lot of things. Nothing is finalized and that's where we are right now," Scioscia said before Friday night's game in Chicago.

"We sure hope it's going to lead him toward coming with us," he said.

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's financial situation has been complicated by the suit.

"I think that's one of the things that Bill has been working with," Scioscia said. "That's probably part of the reason why nothing has been finalized yet."

Mondesi, 33, 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 Angels began the weekend with a 29-18 record, tied with Boston for the best in the majors. Anaheim has done well despite putting Garret Anderson, Troy Glaus, Tim Salmon and Darin Erstad on the disabled list.

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

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