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Angels Happy to Get Reynolds : Baseball: Team believes former Padre second baseman will make them a contender. He will platoon with Hudler.

March 30, 1994|BOB NIGHTENGALE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PEORIA, Ariz. — Harold Reynolds packed his bags and strolled 100 yards Tuesday morning, from the San Diego Padres' clubhouse to the visiting clubhouse, to greet his new teammates.

It was a short way for Reynolds, but the Angels consider it a huge step, now convinced that they will be title contenders in the American League West.

"I'm not sure if we could contend in any division in baseball," Angel General Manager Bill Bavasi said. "But believe me, I know we're good enough to contend in this one."

The acquisition of Reynolds--the Angels sent the Padres pitcher Hilly Hathaway--gives them what they believe will be their opening-day roster. Reynolds, a three-time Gold Glove winner and two-time All-Star, will platoon at second base with Rex Hudler.

The Angels also released infielders Torey Lovullo and Mike Brumley, and relief pitcher Lee Guetterman, and optioned pitcher Brian Anderson to triple-A Vancouver.

First baseman J.T. Snow, infielder Rod Correia, catcher Jorge Fabregas and outfielder Steve Hosey are expected to be optioned to Vancouver by Saturday.

"I really think we can win this thing," said Manager Buck Rodgers, who watched his team win its third consecutive exhibition, 10-6, over the Padres.

Reynolds, who will be paid a base salary of $230,000 with $75,000 available in incentives, was passed over by the Angels during the winter. Instead they traded for shortstop Spike Owen and were hopeful that Kevin Flora would win the job at second. But when Flora was sent to the minors last week, and they were unable to acquire Bill Spiers from Milwaukee, they turned to Reynolds.

"You watch, he's going to be absolutely wonderful for the Angels," said Merv Rettenmund, Padre hitting coach. "He's going to have a career year."

Reynolds, a two-time All-Star, batted .252 last season at Baltimore. He appeared in 138 games at second base and ranked third in the league in fielding percentage.

Reynolds, 33, who lost his starting job this spring when the Padres decided to move Bip Roberts to second base, was grateful for the trade. He believes that he still is an everyday player and made a good impression by hitting a double and a triple Tuesday.

"I just want a chance," he said. "And I know I'll get it now."

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