Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Angels Give Magrane a Halo: 3 Years, Maybe $9.3 Million

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Angels Give Magrane a Halo: 3 Years, Maybe $9.3 Million

Article excerpt

Lefthander Joe Magrane, released by the Cardinals in mid-August, struck the mother lode with the California Angels on Tuesday.

Magrane agreed to a contract that could pay him $9.3 million for three years if he stays healthy.

Magrane, 29, is 3-2 since joining the Angels. He will make a base salary of $1.5 million next year. After 20 starts, he will make $500,000 more. He will get $100,000 for each start between 20 and 30.

In 1995, he would get a base of $2.5 million if he made 20 starts the previous year and then $100,000 for each start between 25 and 33.

In 1996, Magrane would have a base of $3 million if he had 25 starts the previous year. There is a $500,000 buyout in any year after 1994 if Magrane goes on the disabled list.

Angels vice president Whitey Herzog, who managed Magrane in St. Louis, also signed Magrane this time.

"He's had good stuff five times in a row," Herzog said. "And he beat three outstanding hitting ballclubs in Toronto, Seattle and Detroit.

"I don't see any difference in his movement and the way he's throwing than when I had him. I saw him in St. Louis in June when he was pitching well. I know he went bad after that, but I took a flier on him because it only cost us $27,000 for the end of the season."

Cardinals personnel were surprised at the investment, but Herzog said, "Our commitment to him is not as big as you think it is. But he has a chance to make a lot of money. I think he's going to be all right. I'm optimistic. I don't have any qualms about him pitching right now."

Cardinals manager Joe Torre said, "I'm happy for him. It shows you what a premium there is on lefthanded pitching."

Herzog said he based his decision both on the past and future.

"He pitched well for me," Herzog said. "He went out there and did it. Plus, the way pitching is right now, we can't find any. We know we can't go out and spend $5 million for one. …

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