All-time hits leader gets four-year extension

Updated: April 15, 2004, 1:56 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anaheim Angels slugger Garret Anderson agreed Tuesday to a $48 million, four-year contract extension through 2008. The deal includes a team option for 2009 with a $3 million buyout.

Anderson is a two-time All-Star and was the game's MVP last year. In 2003, he hit .315 with 29 home runs and 116 RBIs.

The 31-year-old center fielder is in his 10th full season and is the Angels' career hits leader.

Garret Anderson
Anderson

Anderson, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, was selected by the Angels in the fourth round of the 1990 free agent draft and has spent his entire career in the organization.

He had no intention of playing for another club.

"Never once did I think about leaving," Anderson said. "They would have had to nudge me out the door. I just couldn't see myself in another uniform.

"The Angels showed me loyalty in the minor leagues, kept pushing me through the system."

He smiled and added, "And ultimately to win the World Series."

Anderson hit a tie-breaking, three-run double in the third inning of the Angels' 4-1 victory over San Francisco in Game 7 in 2002 as Anaheim won its first World Series title.

He obviously was pleased with his contract extension, saying, "Both sides are very satisfied."

Arte Moreno, who bought the team from The Walt Disney Co. last May, wanted to make sure Anderson didn't get away.

"I think it's important to show that we're committed to the long term, committed to retaining core players, key players," Moreno said. "Garret is the type of player, the type of man we want to keep."

General manager Bill Stoneman said, "We stated before that signing Garret to a contract extension was a priority."

Moreno has been busy since he bought the club, committing a total of $146 million over the winter to sign outfielders Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Guillen, and pitchers Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar.

Anderson said having Moreno as the team owner gave him even more reason to want to stay in Anaheim.

"With Arte coming on board and doing the things he's doing, it just reaffirmed my wanting to be here," Anderson said.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press