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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Club Officials to Evaluate Priorities

Believing it is “implausible economically” to sign all five of the club’s potential free agents, Angel President Richard Brown said Thursday that he will meet this week with Manager Buck Rodgers and Senior Vice President Dan O’Brien to begin evaluating their priorities and assessing the team’s needs.

First baseman Wally Joyner, shortstop Dick Schofield, pitcher Kirk McCaskill, infielder Donnie Hill and outfielder Max Venable will be eligible for free agency after this season.

Brown said he will attempt to start negotiations with all of them to gauge their salary requests. However, with a 1991 payroll of $32 million to $34 million and projected losses of $2 million to $4 million, the Angels probably won’t re-sign them all.

“Joyner is one of our first priorities, and Dick Schofield and Kirk McCaskill,” Brown said. “We want to set up a lunch with Wally and, at lunch, explain to Wally that we want to keep him here, that there’s a new regime here and this regime cares for him. Not to imply the other regime (headed by former general manager Mike Port) didn’t. We also need to know, is he within the realm of signing? We won’t know until we talk.

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“I don’t anticipate losing Wally Joyner, and I don’t think that will happen. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by quite a few people.”

Joyner’s .297 batting average and team-leading 87 runs batted in probably will make him the most marketable free agent of the group. He is earning $2.1 million this season after winning an arbitration hearing last winter.

Schofield, regarded as a sound defensive player, is hitting .235, two points above his career average. The senior Angel, with more than eight years’ service, Schofield is earning $1.4 million in the final year of a three-year contract.

McCaskill’s value has been hurt by his 18 losses.

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Hill, who signed for $500,000 last winter, is hitting .246 in a part-time role. Venable, who has had only 144 at-bats this season because of an overabundance of outfielders, earns $425,000.

The Angels also must decide whether to re-sign 40-year-old designated hitter Dave Parker, whose .232 batting average is 61 points below his career average.


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