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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Magrane Might Be Trade Target

August 15, 1993|BOB NIGHTENGALE

The Angels are considering a trade for veteran left-hander Joe Magrane of the St. Louis Cardinals in an attempt to fortify their starting rotation for the 1994 season.

Magrane, 8-10 with a 4.97 earned-run average, is eligible for free agency after the season, but the Angels believe that they might have the advantage in retaining him if they can acquire him before the season ends.

Magrane, who underwent major elbow surgery that caused him to sit out the entire 1991 season and most of 1992's, has struggled of late, but insists that he's healthy. He already has cleared waivers, according to one general manager, paving the way for a possible trade.

The Angels are expected to offer little in return for Magrane, 29, but they might have little competition seeking his services because of his pending free agency.

Whitey Herzog, Angel vice president/player personnel, managed the former 18-game winner in St. Louis, including the 1989 season when Magrane was 18-9. Herzog will scout him this week when the Cardinals return home for series against the San Diego Padres and Dodgers.

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Second baseman Kurt Stillwell, who was signed to replace Damion Easley in the lineup, will sit out today's game against the Mariners to attend the funeral of his 90-year-old grandmother in Santa Monica.

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Herzog knows it's a moot point now, but still he can't help but wonder what the Angels' fate would have been this season if they had protected bullpen stopper Bryan Harvey.

"If we had kept him, I think we'd be right in the middle of this thing," Herzog said. "But we owed him a lot of money, he was coming off an arm injury, and our reports weren't good. If he had come back to us, we would have been worried whether he could have pitched at all this year.

"But I'll tell you what, when we sat down to discuss our protected list, we knew going in he wasn't going to be protected. It was taken out of our hands. Any other year he'd be with us, but it's an expansion year and we lose him."

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Left-handed reliever Steve Frey, who leads the team with 11 saves, entered Saturday's game without having pitched in the last nine days. The save situations instead have gone to right-hander Mike Butcher. "I already talked to Frey, and he knows what we're trying to accomplish," Angel Manager Buck Rodgers said. "We'd like to see whether Butcher can handle that role right now."

Second baseman Rod Correia batted leadoff Saturday for the first time since April, 1992, when he was at double-A Midland. He responded by producing hits in his first three at-bats. . . . Rodgers said that the Angels will definitely call up right-handed reliever Scott Lewis from Vancouver by September "to see how he has adapted to the forkball." Lewis, who opened the season with the Angels, has a 0.72 ERA. . . . Angel center fielder Chad Curtis stole his first base on the road since June 23, successful on the back end of a double-steal in the third inning.

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