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Right-hander gets four-year, $51M deal

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bartolo Colon was among the millions who
got caught up in the Anaheim Angels' improbable run to the 2002
World Series title.

Now he'll try to help Anaheim win another championship.

Colon agreed Tuesday to a four-year deal worth $51 million with
the Angels, becoming the second free-agent pitcher they've signed
in less than three weeks. Kelvim Escobar got a three-year deal
worth $18.75 million.

"I watched most of that World Series on TV," Colon said,
speaking through an interpreter. "I couldn't watch the last few
innings because it made me too nervous. I was for the Angels.

"Now I'm happy to be here, and that most of those same players
are still here."

Colon gets an $8 million signing bonus, with $5 million payable
Jan. 15 and $3 million on Jan. 15, 2005, according to details of
the contract obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

The deal calls for salaries of $9 million in 2004, $8 million in
2005, $12 million in 2006 and $14 million in 2007. The salary in
the final year would escalate to $15 million if he finishes among
the top three in Cy Young voting in 2006.

Colon also gets the right to block trades to four teams of his
choosing.

After landing two of the most coveted starters on the free-agent
market, Angels general manager Bill Stoneman plans to turn his
attention to acquiring a position player.

"We had our sights set on pitching and I think we accomplished
that," Stoneman said. "I would say that, conservatively, we're
not finished yet."

Colon is a former 20-game winner who has reached double-digit
wins in six consecutive seasons.

"Bartolo not only has the ability to go out there and give us a
lot of quality innings, I believe he can help elevate the staff by
taking the lead," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Signing Colon might not be Anaheim's last big move this winter.
If the Alex Rodriguez-Manny Ramirez deal goes through, five-time
All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra would be out of a job. It's
believed the Red Sox might try to trade him to the Angels for a
pitcher, possibly Jarrod Washburn, or second baseman Adam Kennedy.
Third baseman Troy Glaus' name has also been mentioned.

"We're trying to keep our options open, but we feel we are in
position to maneuver now," said Arte Moreno, who purchased the
Angels from The Walt Disney Co. last spring.

Stoneman, asked about the possibility of acquiring another big
name player, said, "We'll have to wait and see how it all might
fit together. It gets a little creative now."

Colon was only 15-13 with a 3.87 ERA for the Chicago White Sox
this year, but he pitched a career-high nine complete games and was
second in the AL with 242 innings. His 173 strikeouts also ranked
in the top 10.

In seven seasons with Cleveland, Montreal and Chicago, the
30-year-old Colon is 100-62 with a 3.86 ERA.

Escobar went 13-9 with a 4.29 ERA and four saves in 26 starts
and 15 relief appearances for the Blue Jays last season, working a
career-high 180 1/3 innings.