Angels Sign Left-Hander Bannister : Baseball: The 35-year-old pitcher, who played in Japan last season, agreed to a one-year deal that could be worth $1.15 million.


The Angels moved to fill a need for a left-handed relief pitcher Wednesday by signing 35-year-old Floyd Bannister, who pitched in Japan last season after undergoing shoulder surgery in 1989.

Bannister agreed to a one-year, incentive-loaded deal that could be worth a reported $1.15 million in 1991. Bannister’s base salary is $250,000, but he could earn an additional $450,000 by making the opening-day roster. The Angels have options for 1992 at $1.3 million and 1993 at $1.6 million, including incentives.

“Even though there is some risk, the fact is, I have little or no doubt he will achieve most of the levels in the contract,” said Dan O’Brien, the Angels’ senior vice president. “A lot have to do with the first year and his health. He had a rotator problem that is more or less behind him.”

A starter for most of his career, Bannister had his best season in 1983, when he was 16-10 with a 3.35 earned-run average and 193 strikeouts for the American League West champion Chicago White Sox. In 1982, one of four seasons with the Seattle Mariners, he led the American League in strikeouts with 209 and appeared in the All-Star game. His career record is 133-142 with an ERA of 4.03 in 13 years with the Houston Astros, Mariners, White Sox and Kansas City Royals.


He appeared in 14 games for the Royals in 1989 before his operation. The Royals bought out the final year of his contract for $100,000 after he earned $900,000 in each of the previous two years. He was 12-13 in 1988. The Angels plan to use Bannister as a middle reliever and spot starter, said Mike Port, executive vice president and general manager. A role as a starter is possible “down the line,” he said, emphasizing that the Angels want to keep their starting rotation intact.

“We’re optimistic and have confidence in him, but I don’t know if it would be the most astute thing to say now we have another starter and trade one of our starters,” Port said.

Bannister said that without incentives, he stands to make considerably less than he did last season with the Yakult Swallows.

“Basically it’s a make-good contract and an opportunity to come back to the United States to pitch,” said Bannister, who was with the White Sox for two seasons when Angel Manager Doug Rader was a coach with the team. .

Bannister pitched only 49 innings for the Swallows last season and was 3-2 with a 4.04 ERA. He left in June after his half-year contract expired, and the team released him when he refused to sign a month-to-month or week-to-week contract, he said.

“I’d love to get back in a starting role,” Bannister said, adding that there is no promise of such with the Angels. “If I put great numbers on the board and can really be in a support role as a middle reliever for this team, I’d be very satisfied.”

Times staff writer Ross Newhan contributed to this story.



YR TEAM W-L ERA IP BB SO ’77 Houston 8-9 4.03 143 68 112 ’78 Houston 3-9 4.83 110 63 94 ’79 Seattle 10-15 4.05 182 68 115 ’80 Seattle 9-13 3.47 218 66 155 ’81 Seattle 9-9 4.46 121 39 85 ’82 Seattle 12-13 3.43 247 77 209 ’83 White Sox 16-10 3.35 217 71 193 ’84 White Sox 14-11 4.83 218 80 152 ’85 White Sox 10-14 4.87 211 100 198 ’86 White Sox 10-14 3.54 165 48 92 ’87 White Sox 16-11 3.58 229 49 124 ’88 Kansas City 12-13 4.33 189 68 113 ’89 Kansas City 4-1 4.03 75 18 35 Tot. Four Teams 133-142 4.03 2326 815 1677