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Angels Break Their Word, Ask Guerrero to Cross Line

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Just days after announcing that they had no plans for Pedro Guerrero to become a strike replacement player, the Angels sent him a letter Wednesday requesting that he do so.

“That’s an embarrassment to the game of baseball,” said Tony Attanasio, Guerrero’s agent. “I repeatedly asked the Angels a month ago if Pedro would be invited to major league camp. They told me, ‘Absolutely not.’

"(Wednesday), I get a letter from the Angels inviting Pete to their major league camp to be a replacement player. It was embarrassing. It was a form letter spelling out all of the goodies he’ll get.”

General Manager Bill Bavasi said the Angels sent letters to every minor league player asking whether they would be interested in becoming a replacement player. The Angels will invite minor league players to camp Feb. 16, but Bavasi said there is no obligation for players to cross the picket line.

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“We’re just asking if they have any interest,” Bavasi said. “We’re giving each of them the option. Some will be willing to cross, some won’t, but we have to have a team ready in case we don’t have major league players.”

Guerrero, 38, who signed a triple-A contract last month for $3,000 a month, would receive a non-guaranteed contract for $115,000 and $10,000 in reporting bonuses if he agrees to become a replacement player.

“I don’t know what Pete will do,” Attanasio said. “That’s his own decision to make. But if he’s going to do it, he’ll be doing it on his own.

“If he asks me, I’d tell him, ‘No way. You’d be helping destroy the union.’

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“When we signed, the Angels told us they’d like for him to work with their coaching staff when he’s done playing. You think that would be possible if he crossed the picket line?

“Guys who cross the picket line will be disrespected by the players, disrespected by the players union and disrespected by the owners and their representatives.

“Why would anyone want to prostitute their career for this?”

Guerrero, who has told friends he has interest in becoming a replacement player, was unavailable for comment.

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The Angels also sent split contracts instead of major league contracts to their players with less than four years’ major league service. Players now will be required to take a significant pay cut if they are demoted to the minor leagues.

Also, the Angels and agent Tom Reich filed salary arbitration figures Wednesday night for designated hitter Chili Davis. Although the Angels and Davis have reached an agreement in principal on a three-year deal for about $11.25 million, the union’s signing ban has prevented the contract from being formalized.


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