Angels sign catcher Mathis, four others

Updated: February 3, 2006, 7:31 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to terms of one-year contracts with five players including catcher Jeff Mathis, who figures to be a contender for the starting catcher's job.

The other players who reached agreement were catcher Mike Napoli, infielder Howie Kendrick, and outfielders Tommy Murphy and Reggie Willits.

The 22-year-old Mathis spent most of last season playing for Triple-A Salt Lake of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .276 with 21 homers and 73 RBI in 112 games. He appeared in five games with the Angels late in the season. He was a first-round pick in the 2001 free agent draft.

The Angels didn't offer salary arbitration to Bengie Molina, who was their starting catcher for the most part from 2000-05. The 31-year-old Molina remains unsigned.

Molina's brother, Jose, is likely to compete with Mathis for playing time.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press