Tag:Los Angeles Angels
Posted on: March 8, 2009 2:04 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2009 5:56 pm

Angels lose RHP Santana for start of season

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A relatively quiet camp was ruffled Sunday when Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia confirmed that All-Star right-hander Ervin Santana, bothered by elbow soreness, likely will not be ready for opening day.

Santana underwent an MRI exam, the results of which weren't immediately available. And though Scioscia said he doesn't expect the right-hander to be in the opening day rotation, he added that he doesn't expect it to be a long-term situation.

"We're going to get a better read on that later," Scioscia said Sunday morning. "Where he is now, I would anticipate that the start of the season would be a stretch."

The MRI, according to the Angels, revealed a sprain of the medial collateral ligament in Santana's right elbow. The club said he underwent an MRI last week, was re-examined on Saturday and will be held back from throwing with no definitive timetable. Meantime, the Angels said Sunday afternoon, he will continue daily therapy.

Santana, who earlier this spring signed a four-year, $30 million deal with a club option for a fifth year, was relieved Sunday that the MRI did not reveal anything more serious. And he wasn't quite as pessimistic on being ready for opening day as his manager.

"I think," Santana said. "I think I'm going to be ready for that."

But Scioscia said "we're going to take it slow with him and go from there. We're going to let some stuff calm down. We don't anticipate it being a setback for a very appreciable part of the season."

The Angels went through a similar situation with ace John Lackey last spring. Lackey, whom Scioscia already has named as the club's opening day starter for 2009, opened the 2008 season on the disabled list. The Angels still posted their first 100-win season in franchise history.

Right-handers Dustin Mosely, Shane Loux, Nick Adenhart and Anthony Ortega right now are vying for the fifth starters' spot in the rotation until Kelvim Escobar returns, possibly in May. With Santana now expected to open the season on the disabled list, two of those four could earn spots in the opening day rotation.

"We have some guys we feel can do the job and help us do what we need to do out of the chute," Scioscia said. "Moving forward, we'll get Kelvim Escobar back and we expect Ervin to be ready not too long after the start of the season."

Santana pitched 16 innings over four appearances for Licey in the Dominican Republic winter league this offseason and said he was fine when camp started.

The only previous elbow issues he's encountered before, Santana said, came in 2004 when he was stricken with tendinitis. That season, pitching for Double-A Arkansas, he made only eight starts.

"That was much worse," Santana said, referring to his '04 issues as tendinitis and calling his current soreness "inflammation."

He went 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA over 32 starts and 219 innings for the Angels in 2008 and was slotted as the No. 2 starter behind Lackey heading into '09.




Posted on: December 10, 2008 8:59 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2008 5:11 am

Teixeira talks heating up

LAS VEGAS -- The market for Mark Teixeira is taking shape, according to agent Scott Boras, and while still fluid, it is described as having reached the stage where the slugger could make a decision "in a short period of time."

"He's received offers from numerous clubs," Boras said Wednesday at the winter meetings. "We've been on the phone all day. Now we'll have meetings to go through the economic process."

At least five clubs are seriously in on Teixeira, and sources familiar with the talks say at least four of those five have offers of at least eight years in to him: Boston, the Los Angeles Angels, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. The New York Yankees have been involved in the discussions but have not made an offer.

The Red Sox, who were in meetings late into the night Wednesday, is widely thought in the industry to be the leader of the Teixeira sweepstakes.

It is believed that at least one of the offers ranges up to $176 million, or an average annual value of $22 million per season. However it plays out, one person with knowledge of the talks said he expects Teixeira to command a larger deal that the seven-year, $161 million package pitcher CC Sabathia has agreed to with the New York Yankees.

Boras declined to discuss specific teams or contract terms -- he wouldn't even confirm the number of clubs seriously speaking with the free agent -- but said Teixeira is weighing several factors, including family and economic considerations, team strength, ownership and commitment to winning.

"It's not something that is imminent," Boras said. "We're going back and forth with the teams. It's moving in the right direction. I can't tell you a time frame."

The five teams involved in the talks fit various parameters of Teixeira's expectations. It is believed by some that Teixeira, who is a Maryland native, prefers to play in the east. However, Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who has spoken with Teixeira, said this week that he thinks Teixeiria's experience in Anaheim last season would make him amenable to returning.

Boras said Teixeira has met with all of the teams with whom he's currently speaking, and they've addressed his desires.

As for the winning part of the equation -- in a comment that seemed to describe the travails of the Nationals and Orioles -- Boras said, "If a team's building and can't immediately win, then they have a lot of answers as to why that will be a short (window) until they do."

Boras has evidence of that in his fleet of clients with Ivan Rodriguez, the catcher who signed with Detroit before the 2004 season. The Tigers were wretched, and three years later they were playing in the World Series.

Among the things Teixeira is asking for is a no-trade clause. After bouncing from Texas to Atlanta to the Angels over the past two seasons, and now empowered to protect himself via his first trip to free agency, Teixeira is said to be insistent on that.

Posted on: November 12, 2008 7:07 pm

Halo priorities: Teixeira, Sabathia, K-Rod

The Los Angeles Angels have several options in front of them when the free agent market opens on Friday, starting with Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and Francisco Rodriguez -- likely in that order, according to sources with knowledge of the club's thinking.

K-Rod, their record-setting closer, has been conspicuous in that he's seemed almost an afterthought in the club's immediate plans. The Angels, according to sources, have a three-year offer in to him -- believed to be worth in the neighborhood of $42 million -- though they are not expecting him to accept it before Friday, when the free agent market opens.

They're confident that their offer will be competitive with that of the New York Mets, who are expected to aggressively pursue K-Rod. They're also reasonably certain that the market will be slim -- St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit and Tampa Bay are also scrounging for a closer, but nobody from that group appears poised to match the Mets' and Angels' offers.

Essentially, unless the Mets blow the Angels away financially, what it may come down to is something this simple: Does Rodriguez prefer pitching in New York or Anaheim? Given a large ego that needs feeding, despite his tenure with the Angels, New York still is expected to be awfully tempting for him.

The Teixeira situation will be fascinating theater because the Angels, under owner Arte Moreno, work quickly, while Scott Boras, Teixeira's agent, is methodical and does not conclude deals until he's spent time shopping his clients around.

One source with knowledge of the Angels' thinking said Wednesday that he expects the club to come in with a substantial offer for Teixeira on Friday -- and tell Boras that he and his client have a few days to make the decision or the Angels are moving on.

As for Sabathia, the Angels are not expected to exceed six years in their offer -- though if the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and other high-spenders become involved, the bidding for him could get crazy.

One fallback in the event the Angels do not get Sabathia still could be San Diego's Jake Peavy, if the Padres haven't pulled the trigger on a trade. Yes, Peavy prefers to stay in the National League and yes, he has a no-trade clause and would have to approve a deal to the Angels. That last part probably wouldn't be a problem, as Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, says the right-hander intends to make his year-round home in San Diego no matter where he lands.

The Angels did speak with the Padres a couple of weeks ago about Peavy, sources say, and believe they can offer a package of players that would match the talent San Diego could get elsewhere.

The Angels could fill San Diego's desire for a starting pitcher by including Jered Weaver. That still would leave Los Angeles with a rotation whose front four would be John Lackey, Peavy, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders.

They also could satisfy the Padres' demand for a shortstop by dealing Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis or prospect Brandon Wood.

Weaver, Aybar or Izturis and, say, a minor-league prospect would give San Diego players who could help them win now, rather than prospects who need time to develop. However, players who with major-league experience would be more expensive, and the Padres right now appear more interested in saving money while owner John Moores goes through a messy divorce than they do in winning.

The problem, though, is the Angels' and Padres' timetables are at odds this winter. While the Angels preferred to wait and see how the Teixeira and Sabathia talks go before fully diving into the Peavy talks, the Padres' preference is to make the best deal they can for Peavy soon -- preferably, before the free agent market opens for business on Friday.

However it plays out over the next few weeks, the Angels are starting from a pretty good place because they've got both money and a solid pool of young talent.

Posted on: September 10, 2008 8:39 pm

Angels clinch, K-Rod zeroes in on Thigpen

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Baseball's first clincher of the summer was an unusual one: The Los Angeles Angels finished their part of it by polishing off the New York Yankees 4-2 Wednesday. Then they retired to their clubhouse to watch the Texas-Seattle game.

For a team clinching so early, the Los Angeles Angels sure had to wait around awhile.

After closer Francisco Rodriguez, appropriately, fanned Hideki Matsui for the game's final out, some 72 minutes later, Seattle outlasted Texas 8-7 and the Angels popped the corks on their fourth AL West title in the past five seasons.

It's the earliest clinch ever in the AL West, and the delayed reaction didn't seem to deflate the instant gratification.

Several hundred eager fans had stayed to watch the Texas-Seattle conclusion on the scoreboard, and moments after it ended, the Angels immediately sprinted out of their clubhouse and onto the field to begin the celebration.

The highlight? Reliever Jose Arredondo somehow commandeering the grounds crew's infield garden hose and drenching teammates before spraying it into the stands to toast the fans. The Anaheim Fire Dept. would have been proud.

"Did you see the water hose, spraying everybody?" outfielder Torii Hunter exclaimed. "That's impressive!"

"It was perfect, man," hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said, agreeing Arredondo gets an 'A' for creativity. "He got some of the fans, too. They loved it!"

Owner Arte Moreno spoke of wanting a "big finish" to gain October home-field advantage -- the Angels currently own baseball's best record and, as such, would have home-field advantage throughout the American League playoffs -- and spoke of needing 11 wins in October to earn World Series rings.

He, like many around the club, thinks this might be the Angels' deepest playoff team.

"Last year we were banged up," he said. "The last few years, we ... didn't have the depth. This year, everybody was saying we have too many outfielders, too many pitchers. But it's such a long season.

"It's a team deal. I'd like to think we're getting close."

While the waiting around for official clinching word was unusual, what wasn't was this: The Angels were steered to the dock Wednesday by Rodriguez, who continued zeroing in on Bobby Thigpen's all-time saves record by scooping up his 56th of the season.

K-Rod, who will become one of the hottest free agents on the market this winter, will tie Thigpen's record 57 with his next save and should easily break the record by season's end. He's currently on pace for 62.

An Angels' official said that Thigpen isn't expected to be on hand when his record falls, but the club has been in contact with him through the Chicago White Sox and some sort of gesture is expected.

"It's almost magical the way things have fallen into place," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's as consistent as anybody I've seen. He turns the page better than anybody I've been around."

While it finally was a relief to the Angels to have wrapped up the division despite the large lead, it will be a similar feeling for Rodriguez when he finally passes Thigpen.

"I feel like I have 10,000 pounds on my shoulders," he said in Chicago last weekend. "I would like to get it over. ... That would be awesome. To break the record and clinch, take those 10,000 pounds off my shoulder on the same day -- that would be nice."

The Angels beat him to one of those finish lines.

Now, the team that leads the majors in both number of games decided by two runs or fewer (81) and number of victories in those games (54), can enjoy the regular-season conclusion of K-Rod's ride.

"It's a huge accomplishment," says starter John Lackey, who broke in with Rodriguez in the minors and says he once taught the Venezuelan some English words ("not good ones, either.") "It says a great deal about his ability.

"The guy has been fearless since he's been in the league. Whether the leadoff guy gets on or he goes 1-2-3, he gets it done. Maybe he's lost a little velocity over the years, but he still gets it done."

And if the Angels have their way, they'll again provide the World Series stage where Rodriguez first rocketed to national prominence, in 2002 against San Francisco.

"He means a lot to us," Scioscia says. "And, hopefully, he will mean even more."

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