ANAHEIM — The Angels, continuing to mine the independent Northern League for players, signed former Chicago Cub and St. Louis Cardinal first baseman Leon Durham to a minor league contract Thursday.
Tim Mead, assistant general manager, said Durham would not be used as a replacement player should baseball's labor dispute carry into the season.
"He's been very explicit that he's not going to cross (a picket line)," Mead said. "Maybe we can start him at (triple-A) Vancouver, and if there's an injury on the big league team, he can come up and provide some pop off the bench."
Durham, a 37-year-old left-hander, had a lifetime average of .277 and hit 147 home runs in a 10-year major league career that ended in 1989. He played the last two seasons for the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League, a six-team collection of players on the bottom rung of pro baseball's ladder. Durham batted .241 with eight homers and 28 RBIs last season.