6/14/2013 11:04 P.M. ET
Kohn counts Mariano among sports' greatest icons
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- There's an exclusive club among sports royalty, reserved for only the absolute best of the best at what they did. You know the names -- Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Joe Montana, Muhammad Ali, etc.
Angels reliever Michael Kohn volunteered another name to that list on Friday: Mariano Rivera.
"He goes out there and gets three outs, which is not as big as going 3-for-5 with two homers and winning the game, but he needs to be in that category as the greatest of all time because at what he does, he is the greatest of all time," Kohn said. "So, for me, yeah, he's up there with the Jordans, Tiger Woods, Montanas -- he's that type of player. You have to compare in other sports, because there's no one like him in this sport."
Rivera is visiting Anaheim for the final time this weekend, as part of a farewell tour fitting of only the iconic ballplayers. The Angels will honor him Saturday and present him with a special gift, as every other organization has done this season.
Rivera is hardly mentioned among the greatest athletes in history, but perhaps he should be, because, as Kohn noted, he is hands-down the greatest ever at his job.
His 631 career saves are the most in Major League history, surpassing Trevor Hoffman by 30. His career ERA of 2.199 ranks 13th all-time among those with a minimum of 1,000 career innings. He's posted a 0.70 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP in the playoffs, helping the Yankees claim five World Series championships. And at age 43, coming off knee surgery, he's having a typical season, with a 1.48 ERA and 23 saves in 24 chances.
But relievers, in Kohn's eyes, "get looked over."
"I put him in that air just because nobody in the sport of baseball has done what he's done," said Kohn, who will send a jersey to the Yankees clubhouse this weekend for Rivera to sign. "If you're a hitter, you hit .300, that's 3-for-10. He does that as a closer, but he does it way more consistent. Obviously hitting is totally different from pitching, but he needs to be in that discussion. He needs to be in the category of one of the greatest baseball players of all time."
Injured Coello can't throw for four weeks
ANAHEIM -- Relief pitcher Robert Coello, placed on the disabled list Tuesday because of inflammation in his right shoulder and elbow, underwent further evaluation in Anaheim on Friday and was told to stay away from throwing for a minimum of four weeks.
Coello, signed to a Minor League deal this offseason, pitched 13 1/3 innings of one-run ball to start his Angels career, striking out 19 batters and walking only two. But he had been dealing with shoulder and elbow pain since June 1, and recently it started to show up in his line score.
In each of his last two outings, the 28-year-old right-hander was charged with three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning.
"I haven't felt anything coming out," Coello said, expressing remorse for pitching through pain. "The velocity has dropped a little bit, and I just have no finish."
Angels reach deals with 34 Draft picks
ANAHEIM -- The Angels announced Friday that they have agreed to terms with 34 of their 39 selections in the First-Year Player Draft, which wrapped up six days ago. Most of them signed below slot value.
Third-round pick Keynan Middleton, a right-handed pitcher from Lane Community College in Oregon, was the highest draftee to strike a deal.
Among the five still unsigned is the Angels' first selection, left-hander Hunter Green out of Warren East High School in Bowling Green, Ky. Green, taken in the second round with the 59th-overall pick, has a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky. But the Angels are confident they'll strike a deal with him before the July 12 deadline.
Also unsigned are four right-handed pitchers -- Elliot Morris (fourth round), Kyle McGowin (fifth), Garrett Nuss (seventh) and Blake Goins (12th).
Twenty-one of the Angels' 39 selections were pitchers, including a club-record-tying seven in a row to start the Draft (also done in 1999).
• Infielder Chris Nelson, designated for assignment on Monday, cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake. Nelson went 3-for-9 while appearing in seven games during his three-week stint with the Angels.
• The Angels agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with left-hander Dustin Richardson on Friday. Richardson was pitching in independent ball for the Sugar Land Skeeters, posting a 1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings. The 29-year-old appeared in 26 games for the Red Sox in 2010 and was suspended 50 games at the start of 2012 for violating Major League Baseball's Drug Policy. He's expected to report to Salt Lake this weekend.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.