The Angels and closer Troy Percival
parted ways today, the second time in five days the team has decided to replace a World Series hero and free agent with a younger and cheaper replacement.
Percival, 35, earned $7.5 million last season. The Angels will replace him with Francisco Rodriguez, 22, who earned $375,000 last season and is expected to make between $400,000 and $500,000 next season.
Percival, drafted by the Angels as a catcher in 1990 and converted to a pitcher the next year, replaced career save leader Lee Smith as the Angels' closer in 1996. Percival joined the 300-save club in July and ranks 12th on the all-time list with 316. He has saved at least 30 games in seven consecutive seasons, the only active reliever with such a streak.
Percival, a four-time All-Star, earned the save in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series, as the Angels won their lone championship in their 44-year history.
On Friday, the Angels decided not to retain third baseman Troy Glaus
, the most valuable player of the 2002 Series, and handed the position to rookie slugger Dallas McPherson.
Percival posted 33 saves last season and a 2.90 earned-run average, including a 1.69 ERA after sitting out three weeks in June because of a strained right forearm. Rodriguez, an All-Star last season, posted a 1.82 ERA.
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