SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Out-of-work outfielder Raul Mondesi will decide soon whether to play again this season, and said he could wind up with Anaheim, Boston or Baltimore.
"If I'm going to sign, it will happen before the end of the
week," he told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
"There are other clubs interested in me, but I want a team that
has an opportunity to advance to the postseason," he said.
The Pittsburgh Pirates recently terminated Mondesi's contract.
He left the team May 7 and returned home to the Dominican Republic.
At the time, Mondesi said he was fearful for his family's safety as
he fights a lawsuit by former major leaguer Mario Guerrero.
Mondesi cleared waivers Friday, making him a free agent.
"The discussion of any players that aren't with the Angels, I
stay away from that," Anaheim general manager Bill Stoneman said
before Wednesday night's game at Toronto.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia is familiar with Mondesi, a former NL Rookie of the Year, All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.
"Raul is obviously a talent that is out there," he said. "I
know Bill has had some contact with him, but if it leads to
anything we'll see."
"While I was playing, he was coming up in the minors leagues,
and when I was coaching on the Dodgers he was on the club," he
said. "Raul can play center field. He would create a lot more
depth that we have and you'd be able to have better options with
matchups. It's something that we would welcome if it happens, but
there is a lot to getting a player here."
Jim Beattie, the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball
operations, said he has contacted Mondesi's agent, Jeff Moorad.
"You always make a phone call, but it's very, very
preliminary," Beattie said. "When players like that become
available, you want to do your due diligence."
Last week, the Pirates cited breach of contract in ending all
dealings with Mondesi. He was hitting .283 with two homers and 14
Mondesi was paid approximately $192,000 of his $1.75 million contract before leaving, and the Pirates are not required to pay
him any more. He was due a $600,000 buyout if the team did not pick
up his $8 million option for 2005.
Mondesi, 33, made $13 million last season with the New York
Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. He is a career .276 hitter with
266 homers and 842 RBIs in 12 seasons.
In his suit, Guerrero said Mondesi promised him 1 percent of his major league earnings for helping develop his skills.
Mondesi argued he didn't meet Guerrero until his career was well advanced. A Dominican court ruled in February that Mondesi owes Guerrero about $640,000, and Mondesi is appealing.
The next hearing is scheduled for June 19.
"Things are going much better for me," Mondesi said. "I'm
more relaxed now."