Angels Get Short-Term Deals

Times Staff Writer

The cell phone rang two minutes before the sound check started. Scott Spiezio answered, his agent said the new contract was done, and Spiezio said thanks and hung up.

Spiezio, the part-time musician and full-time Angel first baseman, agreed Wednesday afternoon to a one-year deal worth $4.25 million. Hours later -- and before he actually signed the contract -- his band Sandfrog took the stage in its Southern California concert debut.

“I can still stage dive,” he said.

The Angels also agreed with ace Jarrod Washburn on a one-year contract worth $3.875 million, a record for a pitcher eligible for salary arbitration for the first time and a raise of more than 1,000% from last year.


Spiezio, eligible for free agency this fall, hoped to secure a long-term contract and said agent Barry Meister had proposed three-year and four-year deals without getting a response. Meister had said the Angels were limiting contracts to one year because of the potential franchise sale, a charge denied by General Manager Bill Stoneman.

Still, while the Angels signed Spiezio, Washburn and second baseman Adam Kennedy for raises totaling $7.4 million, they did not offer long-term contracts to any of those arbitration-eligible players.

“If we could lock up myself and a few other guys, we’d have a chance to create an incredible atmosphere here for a long time,” Spiezio said.

Spiezio said he hoped to revive discussions on a long-term deal during the season.


“It doesn’t sound like that issue is dead,” he said.

Spiezio, 30, made $2.275 million last season, winning the job as the Angels’ regular first baseman and hitting .285 with 12 home runs. He tied the major league record by driving in 19 runs in postseason play.

Washburn, 28, went 18-6 with a 3.15 earned-run average last year, finishing fourth in American League Cy Young Award voting. The Angels controlled his salary last season and renewed his contract for $350,000, after which Washburn said bitterly that he was “looking forward to arbitration next year.”

Scott Boras, the agent for Washburn, said that the contract situation was “amicably resolved” this year and that the pitcher was not concerned that the team did not offer a long-term deal.

“I don’t see any problem with Jarrod’s desire to continue his relationship with the Angels, whether it be on a one-year deal or a multiyear deal,” Boras said. “Jarrod’s happy going year by year.”