12/23/08 4:40 PM EST
Halos move on with Teixeira off market
GM Reagins still has plenty of other free-agent options
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
The Angels recently re-signed outfielder Juan Rivera, which meant signing Ramirez would have created a logjam in the outfield. If the season started today, Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Matthews Jr. and Rivera would rotate at corner outfield and designated hitter, while Torii Hunter would be the club's everyday center fielder.The Angels still have a variety of other options in their desire to beef up the offense, starting with such free-agent weapons as Milton Bradley, Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi, along with Garret Anderson. A less-appealing avenue would be with a trade, which would cost the Angels some of their best young talent. That appears to be why they were unable to make anything work with the Padres, who still have ace Jake Peavy on the market.
"I hear a different name every day," Reagins said of the various rumors. "I'm not going to comment either way, if there's interest or not."Apart from Ramirez, Bradley might come closest to replacing what Teixeira provided. The outfielder/designated hitter is coming off a career year in Texas, where he finished third in average (.321) in the American League, first in on-base percentage (.436) and fourth in slugging (.563). The challenge with Bradley, 31, has always been keeping him on the field. The Southern California native has played in 100 or more games only three times since breaking in in 2000 with the Expos. He appeared in 126 games this year for the Rangers. The other challenge, of course, is that signing Bradley would also create a surplus of outfielders. Another interesting target could be Dunn, who could fit between Guerrero and Hunter in the lineup as the regular DH and part-time left fielder and first baseman. Dunn, with the power to make any park look small, has averaged 41 homers and 100 RBIs over the past five seasons. Dunn has played first base 127 times in his career and could share time there with Kendry Morales. Morales, 25, is expected to take over at first base for Teixeira after posting solid numbers in the Minors his entire career. The switch-hitting Morales also batted .411 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs this winter in the Dominican Republic. "We're confident in the club we have right now," Reagins said. "We feel like we have quality players, and we feel like we had quality players before Teixeira arrived. We're confident in their abilities, and we're going to let them play."
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.