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Anaheim antes up for Cimorelli

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 20, 2000


When the Major League baseball draft rolled around earlier this month, conventional wisdom said signing Zephyrhills' Brett Cimorelli would be difficult considering he had a full scholarship to Florida State in hand. Anaheim, however, snubbed its nose at conventional wisdom and drafted Cimorelli anyway, albeit in the 20th round.

But the move paid off as the Bulldog star signed with the Angels on Sunday night.

Prior to the draft, Cimorelli made it known he was going to kick for the FSU football team regardless of his draft position, and it would take a great offer to sign him. The Angels were flexible on both counts. Though he refused to disclose details, he said the deal was for fifth- to seventh-round money, which would mean approximately a six-figure signing bonus.

"Let's just say both sides are happy," Cimorelli said.

Cimorelli, the Times Pasco County and All-Suncoast Player of the Year, will report to a rookie camp in Butte, Mont. on Wednesday.

"I was thinking (during negotiations), what are the things I want to get out of this? I wanted my education ... and I wanted to play professional baseball," Cimorelli said. "Anaheim was willing to work with me."

Cimorelli and his father, Bruce, told the Angels what it would take to sign him, and after coming in low with their initial offerings, Anaheim met the requirements. Cimorelli agreed Thursday night while in Atlanta for the Florida-Georgia all-star football game and signed Sunday night after returning home. "It was a hard decision, but it was hard to turn down," Cimorelli said.

The Angels drafted Cimorelli as a pitcher, and he will work there at that position exclusively in Butte before reporting to FSU on July 25 for football. "I'm excited," Cimorelli said. "I just wanted to get out there and play some baseball."

DOYNE MEETING: Land O'Lakes pitcher Cory Doyne met for the third time with Houston Astros officials Monday night, hoping to inch closer to a deal that would get the 8th-round draft pick into rookie camp.

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