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Angels take a bite out of a division foe

12/26/2001

The Anaheim Angels on Wednesday strengthened their starting rotation -- and
took a bite out of a division opponent at the same time -- by reaching agreement with free agent right-hander Aaron Sele.

The Associated Press reported that the agreement was for three years and $24 million, with Sele receiving $7.5 million next season, $8 million in 2003 and $8.5 million in 2004.

The acquisition of Sele came as the Angels were still attempting to finalize
a trade that would send first baseman Mo Vaughn to the New York Mets for
starter Kevin Appier.

In 34 starts with the Seattle Mariners last season, Sele was 15-5 with a career-best 3.60 ERA. For the fourth season in a row, he logged more than 200 innings, going a career-best 215. His record in two seasons with the Mariners was 32-15.

"We're happy to add a pitcher of Aaron Sele's stature to our
staff," Angels general manager Bill Stoneman told The Associated Press. "Our pitching
staff was strong over the course of the 2001 season and, with the
addition of Sele, should be even stronger in 2002.

"Not only does Aaron pitch a lot of innings over the course of
the season, but he also is a proven winner."

Sele, 31, began his career with the Boston Red Sox, moved to Texas in 1998
and then Seattle in 2000. For his career, Sele has appeared in 242 games,
with all but one of them as a starter. His record is 107-68, with an ERA of
4.33.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.