Alfonzo Is Released; Bulger Is Called Up

Times Staff Writer

The Angels released infielder Edgardo Alfonzo on Saturday, closing the ledger on one of the most unproductive expenditures in franchise history.

The club compounded the ineffective free-agent signing of outfielder Steve Finley -- for two years and $14 million -- by trading him to the San Francisco Giants for Alfonzo in a mutual salary dump last winter. As Finley rebounded in San Francisco, Alfonzo batted .100 for the Angels, with five hits in seven weeks.

So, for $14 million, the Angels got 12 home runs and a .208 average from Finley and Alfonzo.

“It’s disappointing,” General Manager Bill Stoneman said. “Not all plans work out the way you want them to.”


Alfonzo, a 12-year veteran, was frustrated by his reserve role. His agent, Peter Greenberg, had not formally demanded a trade but had asked Stoneman to let Alfonzo play somewhere else if the Angels were not going to play him.

Stoneman said he had tried to trade Alfonzo for two weeks but found no takers, even when he offered to pay Alfonzo’s $7-million salary in exchange for a minor league player.

“There wasn’t a market,” Stoneman said.

So the Angels ate the contract. If another team signs Alfonzo to a major league contract, the Angels remain responsible for all but the $327,000 minimum salary.


Alfonzo, 32, said he could not adjust to a reserve role and thanked the Angels for releasing him rather than chaining him to their bench.

“I didn’t want to be stuck here for the whole year,” he said.


The Angels cut Alfonzo because they needed an extra reliever after giving up 25 hits Friday. Jason Bulger, promoted from triple-A Salt Lake, faced six batters Saturday and gave up three runs, one hit and three walks and had a wild pitch....The Angels have no interest in first baseman J.T. Snow, who has asked the Boston Red Sox to trade him. The Angels might soon recall first baseman Kendry Morales, who is batting .309 at Salt Lake.... Manager Mike Scioscia said Jeff Weaver would make his next start. Weaver is 1-7 with a 7.30 earned-run average.... Bartolo Colon threw a bullpen session and is slated for a simulated game Tuesday, but he’s two to three weeks from returning.