The Angels have declared that they're no longer trying to sign free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira.
"The bottom line is we're out," spokesman Tim Mead said. "We're not going to discuss any reasoning. But it's final."
The Angels had made pursuing Teixeira their top offseason priority. While some team officials preferred a run at CC Sabathia, owner Arte Moreno declared that he considered Teixeira the number one goal. Now, barring what would be a very surprising turnaround, the Angels will get neither one.
Moreno's style has always been to move quickly on negotiations, and also to move on once he determines that his bid isn't going to be successful. The Angels said last week that they had offered Teixeira an eight-year contract, which some reports have pegged at about $160 million. But it's believed that eight years and $160 million was the minimum bid that Boras wanted on Teixeira, rather than a bid that could get a deal done.
With the Angels out, the teams still involved with Teixeira are the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Nationals and the Orioles. Red Sox owner John Henry declared last week that Boston was not "a factor," based on what agent Scott Boras had told him about other offers. But that declaration was regarded as a negotiating tactic.
The Angels, in contrast, are believed to be serious.
The Angels traded first baseman Casey Kotchman as part of the deal to acquire Teixeira from the Braves. Angels officials said at the time that they believed Kendry Morales would be ready to step in at first base if the Angels weren't able to keep Teixeira.
During the winter meetings, baseball sources said that the Angels had identified outfielder Raul Ibanez as their "Plan B" behind Teixeira, but Ibanez has since signed with the Phillies. The Angels have been interested in free-agent closer Brian Fuentes, and they've given off conflicting signals on how interested they are in Manny Ramirez.