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Washburn Agrees to Deal

Times Staff Writer

Left-hander Jarrod Washburn, who has had his share of contract squabbles with the Angels, avoided arbitration Tuesday by agreeing to a $6.5-million deal for 2005. Reliever Scot Shields and backup catcher Jose Molina also avoided arbitration, Shields agreeing to a $925,000 contract and Molina signing for $725,000.

Washburn made $5.45 million in 2004 and probably would have been in line for a bigger raise had he not sat out six weeks from late July to early September because of strained cartilage in his rib cage. He finished 11-8 with a 4.64 earned-run average and one shutout, giving up 159 hits, striking out 86 and walking 40 in 149 1/3 innings.

Unable to come to terms with Washburn in 2002, the Angels renewed his contract for $350,000. In the spring of 2003, when the Angels took a similar hard-line stance in renewing the contracts of pitcher John Lackey and utility player Shawn Wooten, Washburn criticized the front office, claiming it treated young players unfairly.

“People wonder nowadays why players leave for different teams, why players don’t show loyalty,” Washburn said at the time. “Why would you show loyalty when they don’t treat you well while you’re young?”

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Washburn, whose .578 career winning percentage is second-best in Angel history, rejected a three-year, $5.6-million offer in 2001 because he felt it was far under his market value. He agreed to terms for $3.875 million in 2003 before his bump to $5.45 million in 2004 and is eligible to become a free agent after this season.

Manager Mike Scioscia called Shields the most valuable player of his bullpen in 2004, a season in which the versatile right-hander was 8-2 with a 3.33 ERA and four saves in 60 games, striking out 109 and walking 40 in 105 1/3 innings and limiting opponents to a .238 average. With the departure of closer Troy Percival, Shields is expected to play an even more prominent role in 2005.

Molina emerged as a defensive force in 2004, a season in which he played in 73 games as backup to his brother, starting catcher Bengie Molina, who went on the disabled list twice. Jose Molina, who threw out 19 of 42 base-stealers (45%), hit .261 with three home runs and 25 runs batted in.

Reserve catcher Josh Paul remains the Angels’ only arbitration-eligible player who is unsigned. Teams and players submitted salary figures Tuesday, with Paul asking for $625,000 and the team offering $400,000.

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At first glance, the six-year contract Cuban defector Kendry Morales recently signed with the Angels looks like the best minor league contract ever or one of the worst-ever major league contracts. At the very least, it is bizarre.

The deal includes a $3-million signing bonus and guarantees Morales $4.5 million if he fails to reach the big leagues in six years but only about $6 million if he reaches the major leagues in that span.

If Morales, a 21-year-old switch-hitting slugger who is expected to compete for the designated hitter job this spring, is a total bust and spends six years in the minor leagues, he would make $100,000 in 2005, $150,000 in 2006, $200,000 in 2007, $300,000 in 2008, $350,000 in 2009 and $400,000 in 2010, hefty sums compared to most triple-A salaries.

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If Morales is on the big league roster, he is guaranteed $300,000 in 2005, $350,000 in 2006, $400,000 in 2007, $500,000 in 2008, $600,000 in 2009 and $700,000 in 2010, paltry sums by big league standards, especially considering Morales could make roughly $3 million to $8 million a year in arbitration in his fourth, fifth and sixth big league seasons.

However, if Morales has more than three years of major league service, he can submit to salary arbitration, and the remaining salary figures would be voided. Or, he can choose to skip arbitration and collect a base salary of $1.5 million if he has three or four years of major league service, $2.75 million if he has four or five years of service and $4 million if he has five or six years of service.

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Tickets will go on sale today for the Angels’ 2005 Fan Fest, scheduled for Feb. 12-13 in the Angel Stadium parking lot. The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 12 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 13, features autograph sessions and photo opportunities with current and former Angel players and coaches, a sports card and memorabilia show, interactive games and youth baseball clinics, live music, player Q&A; sessions, and auditions to win the opportunity to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch of an Angel game.

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Tickets can be purchased at the Angel Stadium box office and through the team’s website, www.angelsbaseball.com. Admission is $5 per person (children two and under are free) and season-ticket holders will receive complimentary tickets.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Arbitration Scoresheet

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By signing three players eligible for arbitration, the Angels had only one player file Tuesday, the deadline day. The figures exchanged for the 39 players remaining in salary arbitration and their 2004 salaries, as obtained by Associated Press from player and management sources:

*--* Player 2004 Asked Offered

*--*

*--* AMERICAN LEAGUE

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*--*

ANGELS

*--* Josh Paul $335,000 $625,000 $400,000

*--*

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BALTIMORE

*--* Jorge Julio 385,000 2,900,000 2,350,000 John Parrish 320,000 825,000 575,000

*--*

CLEVELAND

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*--* Casey Blake 352,400 2,600,000 2,150,000 Jake Westbrook 1,000,000 3,700,000 2,500,000

*--*

KANSAS CITY

*--* Jeremy Affeldt 350,000 1,200,000 950,000

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*--*

MINNESOTA

*--* Kyle Lohse 395,000 2,400,000 2,150,000 Johan Santana 1,600,000 6,800,000 5,000,000 Carlos Silva 340,000 2,225,000 1,650,000

*--*

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OAKLAND

*--* Eric Byrnes 328,000 2,500,000 2,000,000 Juan Cruz 370,000 860,000 600,000

*--*

TAMPA BAY

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*--* Jesus Colome 320,000 825,000 550,000 Toby Hall 335,000 2,250,000 1,700,000 Travis Harper 332,500 840,000 650,000 Julio Lugo 2,200,000 3,800,000 3,100,000 Trever Miller 750,000 1,375,000 850,000 Jorge Sosa 327,500 925,000 550,000

*--*

TEXAS

*--* Carlos Almanzar 450,000 1,300,000 900,000

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*--*

TORONTO

*--* Shea Hillenbrand 2,600,000 4,350,000 3,450,000

*--*

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*--* NATIONAL LEAGUE

*--*

ARIZONA

*--* Casey Fossum 345,000 1,350,000 800,000 Mike Koplove 330,000 970,000 750,000

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*--*

ATLANTA

*--* Marcus Giles 430,000 2,700,000 2,050,000 Kevin Gryboski 377,500 975,000 780,000

*--*

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CHICAGO

*--* Aramis Ramirez 6,000,000 10,250,000 8,000,000 Carlos Zambrano 475,000 4,000,000 3,300,000

*--*

CINCINNATI

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*--* Ramon Ortiz 3,266,667 4,000,000 3,450,000

*--*

COLORADO

*--* Shawn Chacon 1,925,000 2,925,000 2,150,000

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*--*

HOUSTON

*--* Lance Berkman 7,025,000 11,000,000 10,000,000 Roger Clemens 6,825,000 22,000,000 13,500,000 Peter Munro 375,000 1,100,000 525,000 Roy Oswalt 3,425,000 7,800,000 6,000,000 Tim Redding 395,000 1,400,000 575,000

*--*

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DODGERS

*--* Brad Penny 3,725,000 5,700,000 4,700,000

*--*

MILWAUKEE

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*--* Brady Clark 376,000 1,300,000 1,050,000 Brooks Kieschnick 380,000 750,000 500,000 Ben Sheets 2,500,000 6,500,000 5,500,000 Junior Spivey 2,367,500 2,600,000 2,000,000

*--*

PHILADELPHIA

*--* Jason Michaels 335,000 925,000 650,000

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*--*

PITTSBURGH

*--* Rob Mackowiak 335,000 1,800,000 1,350,000

*--*

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