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Angels Sign New Pitcher; Rojas Accepts Old Job

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Times Staff Writer

The Angels signed free-agent pitcher Bob McClure Thursday and announced that Cookie Rojas, who was fired as manager in September, had accepted an offer to return to his former position of advance scout at the major league level.

McClure, 35, is a 13-year major league veteran who formerly pitched for the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Montreal Expos and New York Mets.

He was released by the Expos last July 5 and finished the season with the Mets, compiling an overall record of 2-3 with 3 saves and a 5.40 earned-run average in 33 appearances. He has a 56-52 career record with 49 saves and a 3.88 ERA.

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General Manager Mike Port said that McClure enhances the Angels’ left-handed relief corps, previously represented only by Sherman Corbett, a rookie last year.

McClure’s contract with the Angels guarantees him $200,000. Agent Alan Meersand also negotiated a provision by which McClure will receive $412.09 for each day he is on the major league roster. If he remains for the entire season, he will receive $75,000.

As a player with 5 or more years of major league service, McClure had the right to refuse assignment to the minor leagues, but he waived it in return for the guarantee. Thus, the Angels can assign him to the minors, but the terms of his contract will remain intact.

Rojas, in returning to the organization and the job he held from 1982 through 1987, said his decision was based on familiarity with the Angels, the league and the job.

“It’s a lot easier than making the jump to another team,” he said from his Miami home.

He said he had received repeated assurances from club owners Gene and Jackie Autry that they wanted him to remain with the organization, and he said that he was not embittered by his managerial firing.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “That’s the way it is in baseball. I wasn’t the only manager fired last year. I’m just looking forward to the season and hoping that someday I’ll get another chance to manage.”

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