BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Negotiations Begin With Davis

The Angels have begun negotiations to retain designated hitter Chili Davis through at least the 1996 season.

Davis, who's on the final year of a two-year contract, is enjoying his finest season--batting .340 with 17 homers and 61 RBIs. Davis, who will earn $3.05 million this season if he attains 143 more plate appearances, was selected to represent the Angels at the All-Star game.

"There's no secret we'd like to have Chili Davis back," General Manager Bill Bavasi said. "He's settling into his niche on this ballclub."

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Angel Manager Marcel Lachemann removed closer Joe Grahe in the ninth inning Sunday in the 9-6 victory over New York, and is now considering the possibility of also using Mark Leiter in that role.

Grahe, who has saved 12 games in 17 opportunities, struggled for the second consecutive game. He entered with a five-run, ninth-inning lead, but after yielding three hits and two earned runs, he was pulled for Leiter. Leiter retired Paul O'Neill for the final out, and his first save of the season.

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Angel left fielder Jim Edmonds was batting .331 a couple of weeks ago, and was considered a strong candidate for rookie of the year.

But the Angels began a four-city, 13-game trip, and Edmonds never has been so glad to be going home in his life.

Edmonds batted .111 on the trip, going five for 45 with one homer and three RBIs, his average dropping 49 points to .282.

"I've never had a trip like this in my life," Edmonds said, "and that's going back to Little League. It's not like I'm losing confidence, but now I'm trying to survive."

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Angel second baseman Harold Reynolds went home to Corvallis, Ore., hoping he won't be coming back to Anaheim.

But Bavasi said no trades are imminent, and it's unlikely he will release Reynolds during the All-Star break.

"I just don't understand it," Reynolds said. "It's like all of a sudden, I can't play this game. Come on. I know I can play. I just need the chance."

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