11/21/2003 3:30 PM ET
Report: Angels, Escobar near deal
Three-year deal on table, according to Boston paper
The Angels couldn't do anything against Kelvim Escobar in 2003.
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
And according to a report in Friday's edition of the Boston Herald newspaper, they won't have to do anything against him in 2004.
The Herald, citing "sources in baseball," reported that the Angels are about to sign the flame-throwing free-agent right-hander to a three-year deal worth an estimated $18.75 million.
Angels general manager Bill Stoneman wouldn't confirm or deny the report, saying, "I don't comment on talks we're having or talks we're not having with anybody else."
Escobar's agent, Peter Greenberg, was unavailable because he's out of the country -- in Escobar's home country of Venezuela.
Escobar, who will turn 28 the first week of the 2004 season, has been a starter or closer for the Toronto Blue Jays in all of his seven seasons in the Major Leagues.
He saved 38 games as the team's full-time closer in 2002, then shifted to the starting rotation in May and ended up pitching a career-high 180 1/3 innings.
Escobar went 13-9 with a 4.29 ERA overall and struck out 159 batters while walking 78. He was dominant in three games against the Angels, including one start.
Escobar, whose fastball can reach 98 mph, also features a cut fastball, a split-fingered fastball and an occasional curveball. He went 1-0 against Anaheim with 13 1/3 shutout innings in 2003, giving up six hits to the Angels and struck out 10.
The Angels batted .136 against Escobar in 2003, the lowest batting average for any team off the 6-foot-1, 210-pound native of La Guaria, Venezuela.
The Herald reported that the Red Sox were prepared to offer a three-year deal to Escobar but didn't want to give him more than $5 million a year. The Blue Jays had offered two years and $10 million.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.