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ANGELS GET A WEAPON IN FIELDER SIGNING

Cecil Fielder, who has hit 302 career home runs, signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Angels on Friday, giving them a designated hitter to replace Tony Phillips.

Fielder, 34, batted .260 with 13 homers and 61 RBIs in 98 games last season with the New York Yankees, missing two months because of a thumb injury. He was 1 for 8 and drove in one run during the Yankees' five-game division series loss to Cleveland.

He has driven in 940 runs during his 12-year career, playing for Toronto, Detroit and then the Yankees.

The Angels did not re-sign Phillips, who had been their primary DH, after the season.

"We had been looking to add one more offensive weapon to the club and we're extremely fortunate to have him, the type of experience and type of personality we're bringing into our clubhouse," Angels general manager Bill Bavasi said.

Bavasi said Fielder probably will see some duty at first base, where Darin Erstad is the regular.

"Believe me, Cecil Fielder doesn't want to be pigeonholed as a DH, and he won't be here," Bavasi said.

Fielder, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, said he was happy to be returning to Southern California after having a forgettable season in New York.

"Last year was a mental block, not a good time in baseball for me," he said in a conference call. "That's over with. My head is fine now; I've got a lot of pressure off me."

Meanwhile, Tim Raines returned to the Yankees and Harold Baines re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles as the midnight deadline for accepting salary arbitration approached.

Raines' $1.8 million option was declined by the Yankees last month and the team gave him a $200,000 buyout. His new deal is a $900,000, one-year contract that contains the chance to earn $400,000 in performance bonuses.

New York also signed third baseman Scott Brosius, obtained last month from Seattle, to a $2.5 million, one-year contract and left-hander Graeme Lloyd to a $1.8 million, two-year deal.

Baines, Baltimore's designated hitter, agreed to a $1.15 million, one-year contract -- the same amount as his base salary in 1997. He can earn another $625,000 in performance bonuses.

As of early evening, six of the 20 free agents remained unsigned among those who were offered salary arbitration by their former teams Dec. 7: Mike Munoz and Bruce Ruffin (Colorado), Jose Rijo and Deion Sanders (Cincinnati), Darryl Strawberry (New York Yankees) and Bobby Witt (Texas). The players' association had not informed management's Player Relations Committee whether the offers would be accepted or rejected. Players rejecting the offers may negotiate with their former teams through Jan. 8.

There also were a pair of trades Friday. Florida shedded another player from its World Series team, sending infielder Kurt Abbott to Oakland for right-hander Eric Ludwick. And Texas dealt shortstop Benji Gil to the Chicago White Sox for right-hander Al Levine and left-hander Larry Thomas.

Elsewhere, Reliever Heathcliff Slocumb and Seattle agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

Pitcher Matt Anderson, the Detroit Tigers' first-round draft pick, agreed to sign for a bonus believed to be in excess of $2.5 million.

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