Angels are about to fly into the fray

Tim Brown

LAS VEGAS – Several teams have been increasingly active at the winter meetings (although the Jermaine Dye to the Atlanta Braves trade is not as close as has been reported, according to an official involved in the discussions). Yet the Los Angeles Angels have held a low profile despite their strong desire to sign either Mark Teixeira or CC Sabathia.

That could change within hours, however. Angels GM Tony Reagins and manager Mike Scioscia arrived early Monday evening and owner Arte Moreno is expected by Tuesday night. Moreno has been deeply involved in negotiations with Scott Boras regarding Teixeira, as well as with agent Greg Genske on Sabathia, and it probably would be Moreno who would meet with Boras here.

Asked if Teixeira remains the Angels' top priority, Reagins said, "Yep. that's hasn't changed in four weeks."

While it is unclear whether the Angels have made an official offer on Teixeira, they have told Boras their preference is for a six-year contract, presumably in the $120-million range. Internally, however, the Angels have discussed a seventh year, and privately concede it could take seven to keep Teixeira away from the Red Sox, in particular, and the Yankees, Orioles and, perhaps, the Nationals.

If they do not sign Teixeira in the coming days – those close to him believe he is would like to make a decision soon – the Angels will court Sabathia with the same zeal. In fact, it is that dynamic (Teixeira first, Sabathia second) when measured against the Yankees' dynamic (Sabathia first, Teixeira second) that many believe has slowed the early momentum of the offseason and these meetings.

If the Angels were outbid for both players, club officials are weighing the benefits of signing Manny Ramirez. There are those who believe Scioscia – a law-and-order manager – would prefer that Manny be Manny in someone else's clubhouse. Scioscia could have little choice, however, if the Angels are intent on improving their lineup and breaking their October slump. The other options – Raul Ibanez, Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell – are not nearly in Ramirez's league, offensively.