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Angels discussing trade with White Sox

Times Staff Writer

In a deal that would fill the Angels’ need for a power hitter but that would come with a steep price, the Angels and Chicago White Sox have discussed a trade that would send infielder-outfielder Chone Figgins and pitcher Ervin Santana to Chicago for third baseman Joe Crede and pitcher Freddy Garcia, baseball sources said Monday. The sources said no trade was imminent and other players probably would be included in any deal should negotiations progress.

Crede, 28, hit .283 last season with 30 home runs, more than any Angel except Vladimir Guerrero. He has played for more than a year with two herniated disks in his lower back and has opted for a rehabilitation program rather than surgery this off-season. Figgins, the Angels’ center fielder and leadoff hitter last season, lost both jobs when the team signed free-agent Gary Matthews Jr. last week. Figgins is listed as the Angels’ third baseman.

The White Sox have top prospect Josh Fields ready to play third base and could replace Garcia with Santana, a younger pitcher with a less-expensive contract. With Garcia owed $10 million next season and Crede expected to make about $5 million in arbitration, the Angels would add about $11 million to their payroll next season. Figgins is signed at $3.5 million; Santana figures to make about $500,000.

Garcia, 30, was 17-9 with a 4.53 earned-run average in 2006. He is eligible for free agency after next season.

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Angels General Manager Bill Stoneman remains uncomfortable trading young pitchers. Santana, 23, led the team in victories, going 16-8 with a 4.28 ERA in his first full season. The Angels and White Sox discussed a possible trade at the general managers’ meetings three weeks ago, but Stoneman indicated after the subsequent signing of Matthews that he would be reluctant to trade Santana or reliever Scot Shields, even if trading either could bring a power hitter.


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