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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT

Fontaine: Money No Factor In Team's Draft Decisions

June 02, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

"Signability"--putting more emphasis on affordability than talent when selecting a player--will not be an issue for the Angels in Tuesday's draft, according to Bob Fontaine, the team's director of scouting.

The Angels pick third behind the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies and are believed to be leaning toward UCLA infielder Troy Glaus or Seton Hall pitcher Jason Grilli. The No. 3 slot is expected to command a signing bonus in the $2-million range.

"I hope after what happened with [Darin] Erstad that people realize my neck is on the line to get the best guy," Fontaine said, alluding to the $1.55-million signing bonus the Angels gave clear-cut No. 1 pick Erstad in 1995.

"Not signing your top pick is one thing, but what happens if you don't pick the best guy available, someone else does and they sign him? How could you live with yourself?"

Fontaine said the Angels are "leaning toward a pitcher" with their top pick, "but we're trying to figure out different scenarios, depending on the teams picking ahead of us. It could go down to the wire. One thing's for sure: We're going to be [financially] competitive."

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The Angels are off today, but with rookie right-hander Jason Dickson experiencing some minor elbow discomfort, Manager Terry Collins will leave his rotation intact, giving each starter an extra day of rest.

Dickson, who lost for only the second time Friday night, has a touch of tendinitis in the back of his elbow, a condition that bothers him when he brings his arms over his head to start his motion but causes no pain when he's throwing.

For that reason, Dickson altered his mechanics slightly against the Twins on Friday, keeping his arms below his head to begin his motion.

"It might have hurt his rhythm, but it doesn't hurt him to pitch," Collins said. "He has such a fluid motion, and now you change something--it takes time to adjust. But he'll be fine. One extra day won't hurt him a bit."

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