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Angels Pick Up Phillies' Jeffries


The Anaheim Angels, who failed to make a significant deal at the trade deadline four weeks ago, acquired outfielder Gregg Jefferies from the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named Friday.

Jefferies, hit .295 with eight homers and 48 RBI in 124 games for the Phillies.

"He brings experience to the club," general manager Bill Bavasi said. "He can possibly even lead off because he's done that before. He makes us deeper at that spot (left field), but at this point, we don't want to fiddle with our 25-man roster too much."

In addition, the Angels activated right-hander Ken Hill, who started Friday night's game against the Red Sox.

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  • "This guy can hit, and he can still run good, and he's hit for a long time. He can play left field. Our reports are that he's better than adequate, not bad, but I wouldn't say we got him to play defense. We got him for his offense."

    The AL West-leading Angels entered Friday's action with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Texas Rangers.

    Hill, 8-5 with a 5.15 ERA, was making his first big-league appearance since undergoing surgery June 15 to remove bone chips and shave down bone spurs in his pitching elbow.

    To make room for Hill on their 25-man roster, the Angels optioned right-hander Steve Sparks to their Midland farm club of the Class AA Texas League.

    Gregg Jeffries
    Gregg Jefferies moves on to a pennant contender.

    The Angels said that Sparks, 8-2 with a 4.31 ERA, will rejoin them Tuesday when big-league rosters expand from 25 players to 40.

    Another move will be made when Jefferies joins the Angels, which he's expected to do before Saturday's game.

    A switch hitter, Jefferies, 31, has a lifetime batting average of .292 with 1,488 hits including 278 doubles, 27 triples and 117 homers.

    Jefferies joined the Phillies in 1995. Before that, he played with the New York Mets from 1987-91, the Kansas City Royals in 1992, and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1993-94.

    "I will look back on my time in Philly with very fond memories," Jefferies said. "It's great to go to a contender. It's nice to know that a contender wants you."

    Hill, 32, made three rehabilitation starts, going 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 1-3 innings. He last pitched for the Angels in a 10-2 loss at Arizona on June 10, allowing six runs in three innings.

    Sparks, 33, has pitched in 16 games for the Angels, 14 of them starts. A knuckleballer, he was signed to a minor-league contract by the team last February.

    The Angels also selected the contract of right-hander Jeff Schmidt from their Vancouver farm club of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League and placed him on the 15-day disabled list due to a torn labrum of the right shoulder.

    To make room for Schmidt on their roster, the Angels transferred right-hander Mike Freehill to the 60-day disabled list.

    The team also selected the contract of infielder Gar Vallone from Midland and placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a torn right quadriceps. To make room for Vallone, the team transferred Schmidt to the 60-day disabled list.

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