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Scioscia would prefer Lackey over Bay

December 9, 2009 | 12:40 pm

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia suggested today that the club has tempered its pursuit of free agent Jason Bay, saying he believes the team has "more pressing needs" than acquiring a power-hitting outfielder.

Angelslogo The Angels were widely considered to be among the front-runners in pursuit of the 31-year-old Bay, who hit 36 homers and drove in 119 runs for Boston last season. But Scioscia suggested otherwise.

"We have to be as balanced an organization as we can," said Scioscia, who said the addition of "a big bat" may not be the wisest use of the Angels' money.

"We have more pressing needs," Scioscia said. "You try to be balanced and have as deep a club as you can. ... I think there are a lot of things that we're looking for. There's a lot of guys out there who are very attractive to us."

The Red Sox, who would like to keep Bay, have this week stepped up their pursuit of the right-hand-hitting slugger, meeting with his agent, Joe Upton, early during this week's annual winter meetings.

The Red Sox are believed to be sweetening the four-year, $60-million offer they made to Bay.

If the Angels do spend big this winter, Scioscia said, he'd prefer it to be for pitching. While the Angels are among more than half a dozen teams talking to the Blue Jays about a trade for right-hander Roy Halladay, Scioscia made clear his hope that free agent John Lackey would be back in Anaheim next season.

"If you going to make a big splash, pitching is the one area where you might want to do it," he said. "John's a special talent. And we hope to see him in an Angel uniform next year."

-- Kevin Baxter in Indianapolis

UPDATE

Read more on this story here.

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