Quarterback Jake Locker’s sudden retirement from the NFL on Tuesday sparked immediate speculation that he would resume his baseball career with the Angels, who retain Locker’s rights through August after paying the former two-sport star a $300,000 signing bonus in 2009.
But General Manager Jerry Dipoto shot down that speculation forcefully, saying he had “no interest” in Locker as a baseball player and would release Locker if he has any interest in playing baseball again.
The Angels, who were under the direction of former General Manager Tony Reagins and former scouting director Eddie Bane at the time, picked Locker, a former outfielder, in the 10th round in 2009.
Locker, who hadn’t played baseball since high school, signed but remained at the University of Washington to finish out his football career.
Locker, now 26, was a first-round pick (eighth overall) of the Tennessee Titans in 2011 and played 30 NFL games in four years, throwing for 4,967 yards and 27 touchdowns. But he struggled with injuries, including a dislocated shoulder that ended his 2014 season.
Dipoto said that neither Locker nor his representatives had reached out to the Angels on Tuesday.
“I really don’t know much about him as a football player, and I only know a little bit about his baseball past as an amateur,” Dipoto said. “We’re going to focus on the group we have here.”
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