Last week, both the Los Angeles Times and CBS Sports were reporting that the Angels had given up on Mark Teixeira, scared off by his demand for a 10-year contract. As the rumor goes, the team switched gears by setting their sights on CC Sabathia instead.
We'll never know for sure whether that's true, but Angels GM Tony Reagins affirmed Teixeira's status as the club's top priority yesterday, saying "there was nothing to" last week's rumblings. Even so, he also admitted that he doubts there will be progress on a contract before next week's Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.
General managers are rarely completely forthright with the media -- it goes against nature as well as their best interests to announce their intentions ahead of time -- but let's assume Reagins is telling the truth. For one, the Angels simply don't need yet another ace. Like I pointed out last month, they had one of the best pitching staffs in the league last year but featured a lineup that ranked 10th in runs scored. The Angels need Teixeira. They might be sending covert signals through the press trying to downplay that fact, but it's true.
In light of Reagins' comments, River Ave. Blues makes a good point: what exactly is Sabathia waiting for? He's sitting on a hefty $140 million offer from the Yankees and he's already been told it won't be around forever. I know he'd prefer to play on the West Coast, or at least in the National League, but money is money, and not a lot of people can turn their nose at $140 million without feeling a tinge of regret. If he decides to hold out until the Angels make their decision on Teixeira, he may find that the Yankees have already set their sights on Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett.