Angels GM Tony Reagins addresses K-Rod, Tex and CC
LAS VEGAS -- With free-agent closer Francisco Rodriguez reportedly on the verge of signing a three-year, $37-million deal with the New York Mets, Angels General Manager Tony Reagins said Paul Kinzer, who represents Rodriguez, has not come back to the Angels to give them a chance to match the offer.
Rodriguez set a major-league record with 62 saves for the Angels this past season, but the Angels appear more than willing to let Rodriguez go. Reagins said he is comfortable with Scot Shields or Jose Arredondo closing, "and we think we have options internally or through trades or free agency to upgrade our bullpen."
Free-agent left-hander Brian Fuentes, a closer, remains available, but Reagins said his pursuit of bullpen help "doesn't necessarily mean we'll go after a closer."
Reagins said that Mark Teixeira remains the Angels' "top priority," but as of 1 p.m. today, he had not yet met with Scott Boras, the agent for the free-agent first baseman.
"I'm optimistic," Reagins said, when asked what he thought the chances were of the Angels retaining Teixeira. "You're always optimistic until you have reason not to be, and I have no reason not to be."
The GM added that he has not had a face-to-face meeting with free-agent left-hander CC Sabathia, who met with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in Las Vegas. But the Angels are believed to be very interested in Sabathia, especially if they feel Teixeira is slipping away.
Another potential boon to the Angels bullpen could be veteran right-hander Kelvim Escobar, who missed all of 2007 because of a shoulder tear and could be ready to return from surgery by the All-Star break. Escobar has experience as a closer, with Toronto, and he returned from an elbow injury to play a prominent short-relief role in the Angels' 2005 run to the American League championship series.
"We can't count on that until we know he's able to play, but we know his history, and he's been in that role," Reagins said of Escobar. "His rehab is going well, but he's still a long way off."
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: The Angels' Francisco Rodriguez reacts after a play during Game 2 of the ALDS on Oct. 3. Credit: Mark Avery / Associated Press