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Angels standing pat on offense ... for now


Angels standing pat on offense ... for now
The Angels not only are out on free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira, but they also are lukewarm on free-agent left fielder Manny Ramirez, according to major-league sources.

MLB Hot Stove

Slugger shuffle

The Cubs are confident of signing free-agent designated hitter Milton Bradley, but a number of teams remain interested in the free-agent designated hitter, including the Rays, Yankees and Nationals. The Yankees, as is their custom, are touching base with virtually every available offensive player.

The market for hitters is slow, but not dormant. Some teams are adjusting their plans almost daily because of anticipated shifts in the market as well as payroll concerns. A number of salary slots also could open with trades.

Ramirez's next team is an open question — if the Angels truly do not want him, the Yankees might (or might not) be his only aggressive suitor, effectively lowering his price. Dunn's only known suitor is the Nationals, but teams are maneuvering to get him, sources say.

One slugger to watch: Pat Burrell. The Rays could sign either Burrell or Jason Giambi if Bradley lands with the Cubs. The Mariners also like Burrell, and the Rangers could view him as an option if they do not trade for the Tigers' Gary Sheffield. The Reds have publicly stated an interest in Burrell, but he likely will rise out of their price range.

Around the horn

Free-agent outfielder Bobby Abreu remains in touch with the Yankees (who doesn't?) and also could become a candidate cross-town if the Mets trade Ryan Church. Abreu, 34, had to be encouraged by the three-year, $31.5 million contract that the Phillies awarded Raul Ibanez. He is two years younger than Ibanez, and his .903 career OPS is 85 points higher. ...

Rafael Furcal's new contract with the Dodgers includes incentive bonuses if he maintains the core-strengthening program that he began last season. Furcal actually liked the idea of including the bonuses in the deal. His problem is not his desire, but his style of play."Furcal plays violent every inning," one NL coach says. "He doesn't half-ass anything. He runs hard, throws hard, swings hard." ...

Bet you didn't know this: Jerry Hairston's .427 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot last season was the second highest in the majors behind Furcal's .434 (minimum 150 plate appearances). Hairston, a free agent, is considering an offer from the Reds, his previous team, and also drawing interest from the Mariners. The Royals like Hairston, but lack the payroll flexibility to sign him. ...

Free-agent right-hander Daniel Cabrera turned down more money from the Pirates to sign with the Nationals, according to sources close to the negotiations. His one-year deal, worth $2.6 million, according to The Baltimore Sun, is pending a physical. Cabrera, who previously played for the Orioles, wanted to stay in the Baltimore-Washington area.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 23, 2008

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