Finding a quality left-handed relief pitcher is a rare commodity
in major league baseball these days.
Thus, former Burroughs High baseball star Mike Magnante has
enjoyed success and a fine career as a pitcher for 10 years with four
Late Tuesday, Magnante, 37, was designated for assignment by the
Oakland Athletics, just days before he was due to be eligible to
receive his major-league pension.
Players must have at least 10 years of major-league service to
earn a pension.
Under the terms of the assignment, the Athletics have 10 days to
either trade or release Magnante, or offer him a minor league
If he is released, Magnante could be picked up by another team for
the remainder of the season. He could be a perfect fit for a club
looking for some help out of the bullpen.
Magnante was designated for assignment to make room for
left-handed reliever Ricardo Rincon, who was acquired from the
Rincon was 1-4 with a 4.79 earned run average for Cleveland.
Magnante, was 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA.
Magnante could not be reached for comment.
Burroughs baseball Coach Tom Crowther said Magnante will get
picked up soon by a team that can use a veteran out of the bullpen.
"His release is unfortunate, but it's not to say he's done,"
Crowther said. "There is always a need for a left-handed reliever.
Hopefully, something will happen."
Crowther said Magnante -- who graduated from Burroughs in 1993 and
still lives in Burbank -- has maintained strong ties to the Burroughs
baseball program. Magnante has worked out with the Burroughs baseball
team every winter since 1994, and Crowther said his presence has
meant a lot to the Indians..
"In terms of what he's meant to us, it's been like having a major
league coach out there," said Crowther, who noted that Magnante has
helped Burroughs players in a number of areas. "He's one of the
smartest guys you'll ever be around. He was an academic All-American
In his career, which began in 1991 with the Kansas City Royals,
Magnante is 26-32 with a 4.08 ERA and three saves. He has pitched in
484 games, 19 as a starter, and in 617 2/3innings. One impressive
stat is that Magnante has allowed just 45 home runs in his career,
which averages out to one home run every 13 innings.
Magnante also has 347 career strikeouts and just 234 walks.
The best season of his career was in 1997 with the Houston Astros,
when he went 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA and a save.
He won a career-high five games with the Anaheim Angels in 1999,
losing just twice, and finishing with a 3.38 ERA.
Magnante signed a two-year contract with the Athletics in November
1999 for about $1 million a year. Oakland exercised its option to
keep Magnante with the club through the 2002 season.
After graduating from Burroughs, Magnante had a fine career at
UCLA, and he was inducted into the Bruin Baseball Hall of Fame in
Magnante was a walk-on with the Bruins in 1984, and turned out to
be one of the most successful pitchers in Bruin History.
At UCLA, Magnante had a 22-5 career record and holds the school
mark for best winning percentage (.785). His finest season was his
senior year when he won 14 games -- eight in the Pacific 10.