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Izturis wants to return to Angels, but will be free agent

Izturis wants to return to Angels, but will be free agent

Izturis wants to return to Angels, but will be free agent
ANAHEIM -- With the second American League Wild Card spot 4 1/2 games away and 12 games remaining, it sure looks as if the Angels' season is winding down.

Maicer Izturis is starting to think his time may be running out, too.

"I'm not sure if I'll be back here," the veteran infielder and free-agent-to-be said in Spanish on Friday. "They haven't told me anything."

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Izturis, few know, is the Angels' longest-tenured player. He arrived here in 2005, after spending his first season with the Montreal Expos, and delayed his free agency in January 2010 by signing a three-year, $10 million extension.

That contract is almost up. Free agency now looms, and the chances of Izturis returning don't seem very favorable.

Shortstop Erick Aybar and second baseman Howie Kendrick were locked up long-term this calendar year. The younger Andrew Romine has been up several times and is capable of filling in at the positions Izturis plays -- second base, third base and shortstop. And Izturis' playing time has dropped considerably, going from 494 plate appearances in 2011 to 294 so far in 2012, despite being mostly healthy.

The offseason will determine Izturis' return, of course, but the 32-year-old infielder is preparing himself for the likely possibility of spending 2013 in a different uniform.

"If I do, I'll keep being the same ballplayer I've always been," said Izturis, sporting a .252/.318/.316. slash line heading into a weekend series against the White Sox. "I'm a team player. It doesn't matter where I go, I'll be the same guy. I've been in this league for [nine] years, and I've always done whatever it takes to help the team.

Let's wait for the season to end. I'm happy with the Angels, and I thank them for everything they've done for me. I hope I can come back. But we'll see."

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