Angels, Shields agree to three-year, $14.6M extension
Shields, the Angels' setup man, had agreed last month to a $3.4 million, one-year contract. The new deal adds salaries of $4.25 million in 2008, $5 million in 2009 and $5.35 million in 2010.
"That shows how much they respect me and how much I respect them. It's a mutual thing," Shields said. "My two daughters are going to be set for life, so that was the thing I was most worried about. Away from the field I'll be more relaxed, but on the field it's still a whole different ballgame."
The 31-year-old right-hander was 7-7 last season with two saves and a 2.87 ERA in 74 games, the fourth-most appearances in the AL. It was the second-highest games total in franchise history behind his 78 in 2005.
"He deserves it," Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez said. "He's done everything for us, and he's done a terrific job these last five years. He can go two innings and come back the next day like it was nothing. That's something every pitcher would love to have -- a rubber arm. I'm just really happy for him."
Shields pitched 87 2-3 innings last year, and his 284 2-3 innings over the past three seasons are the most among major league relievers.
"He's meant a lot to us for a long time," general manager Bill Stoneman said. "It's not just the quality that he gives you when he goes out there, but it's when he goes out there that's just as important. He's shown over the years to be so resilient, and he does things that a lot of relievers can't do. It's really big when you've got a guy who you just absolutely know you can count on for tomorrow's game -- even if he's pitched in back-to-back games."
Shields goes into the season with 31 career relief wins, three shy of tying the Angels record held by Dave LaRoche. Overall, he is 35-29 with 14 saves in 293 games, including 14 starts.
"The bottom line is what a guy does on the field, and he's as good as it gets," manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's part of why he's become such a force in this league. When you talk about a guy who can get five or six outs at the back end of a game, that's a big piece of the puzzle."
Shields becomes the third Angels player under contract through at least 2010. Reliever Justin Speier also is signed through 2010, and center fielder Gary Matthews Jr.'s five-year deal runs through 2011.
"I want to play my whole career here," Shields said. "If the day comes where I get traded, I'll worry about that when it comes. But this is a first-class organization. They've brought in quality individuals who make it a pretty fun clubhouse and a winning ballclub. And that's what I want to be a part of. This is the place I want to play."
The club also announced Thursday that Troy Percival, the Angels' career saves leader, will sign a minor league contract before Monday's season opener against Texas and immediately retire -- as a member of the Angels. Percival then will throw out the honorary first pitch.
Currently a special assignment pitching instructor for the Angels, Percival was with them from 1995-2004, then with Detroit from 2005-2006.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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