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Mo Money

Vaughn signs record $80 million deal with Angels

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Posted: Thursday November 26, 1998 02:22 AM

  Smiling all the way to the bank: Mo Vaughn will make $13.33 million per year, bettering Mike Piazza's $13 million salary AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mo Vaughn is leapfrogging Mike Piazza to become the highest-paid player in baseball.

Vaughn, one of the most powerful left-handed hitters, agreed Wednesday to an $80 million, six-year contract with the Anaheim Angels.

Vaughn's new deal, which includes a club option for 2005, has an average annual value of $13.33 million, topping the $13 million Piazza will average under his new $91 million, seven-year contract with the New York Mets. Piazza, however, still has the contract with the most total guaranteed dollars.

If the option is exercised, Vaughn's deal would be worth $92 million over seven seasons.

"The signing of Mo Vaughn is an extraordinary event for our ballclub," Angels manager Terry Collins said. "Mo is one of those rare individuals whose presence will have a profound effect on the players, the organizations and this community. Our ownership has established its desire to take this team to the next level, and Mo is the type of individual who relishes that challenge."

The first baseman, who turns 31 next month, hit .337 this year with 40 homers and 115 RBIs, making $6.6 million. He had been negotiating off and on with the Red Sox for the past year, but Boston ended talks November 11 after Vaughn rejected a $62.5 million, five-year offer.

Vaughn, who lives outside Boston in Easton, Massachusetts, had been with the Red Sox organization since he started his professional career in 1989.

"The Red Sox thank Mo for his time with us," Boston spokesman Kevin Shea said. "During his time with Boston, he was a productive member of our club and we wish him the best of luck in the future."

With the addition of Vaughn, Anaheim anticipates moving Darin Erstad from first base to the outfield. It's unlikely Erstad or Tim Salmon will be traded, leaving center fielder Jim Edmonds or right fielder Garret Anderson likely to be swapped for a pitcher. Edmonds has been the subject of trade rumors for some time.

The Angels have been known as penny-pinchers for years, and reportedly turned down an opportunity to acquire Mark McGwire during the 1997 season. McGwire had said he wanted to play for the Angels because his son, Matthew, lives nearby with his ex-wife.

The Angels' history with free agents is not good. The list includes Eddie Murray, Randy Velarde, Cecil Fielder, Ken Hill, Omar Olivares, Shawn Boskie and Scott Sanderson.


Related information
Mo Vaughn wasn't out to become the highest-paid player in baseball (137 K)
General manager Bill Bavasi said Vaughn is a perfect fit for the Angels (127 K)
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