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Angels GM says team not involved in players' finances

TEMPE, Ariz. — Angels general manager Tony Reagins and manager Mike Scioscia say it's not their place to become involved in players' personal financial matters.

The issue came up Thursday when ESPN.com reported that Rodney Fernandez, a former employee of Hendricks Sports Management, was being investigated by the Major League Players Association and the Coral Springs (Fla.) Police Department over more than $300,000 missing from first baseman Kendry Morales' bank account.

According to the report, Fernandez recruited Morales to the Hendricks team. Fernandez has since been terminated by Hendricks. Morales, meanwhile, recently left Hendricks for agent Scott Boras.

"It is not our position that a player's finances and who he chooses to handle his finances is not something that involves the club," Reagins said. "He's savvy enough and understands his priorities, and that's being on the field for this club."

Morales, a top prospect for several years, had a breakthrough season in 2009 with the Angels, hitting .306 with 34 homers and 108 RBIs.

He has missed the start of camp and Reagins said Morales is in Arizona and is currently finalizing U.S. immigration paperwork. As of Thursday, Morales is the only Angels player not in camp.

When asked if he'd address the financial issue with Morales, Scioscia said, "Absolutely not."

"There are distractions that players deal with every day," Scioscia said. "Some of them might deal with family life, some of them (deal with) injuries, some could be their performance, distractions, maybe, if their performance isn't what it could be and some things are off-the-field issues.

"Distractions come in a lot of forms and it's best to let people handle it and just let people continue to play baseball. It's his life and we need to focus on the team we've got playing baseball here. This is one thing that I think will be handled by professionals and Kendry is going to play baseball."

Also Thursday, Scioscia said he would be surprised if slugger Hideki Matsui doesn't feel comfortable running the bases this spring.

Matsui bounced back from 2008 knee injuries to hit 28 homers and drive in 90 runs with the Yankees last season, his best power numbers since the 2004 season, when he hit 31 homers and drove in 108 runs.

Scioscia added that if Matsui needed a pinch-runner on occasion, he should still be the team's regular designated hitter and get his at-bats early. Matsui told reporters upon arrival at camp that his knees feel fine.