Angels notes: Don't expect Young, Podsednik in Anaheim any time soon
General Manager Tony Reagins said the Angels are "not engaged" in trade talks with any American League West teams, which would seem to kill any speculation the team is pursuing Texas Rangers third baseman Michael Young, who has asked to be traded.
Young, 34, is a six-time All-Star who hit .284 with 21 home runs and 91 runs batted in last season, but he has three years and $48 million left on his contract, and there are concerns about his declining defensive skills and how his power might play away from the Rangers' hitter-friendly park.
The Angels, as well as the Dodgers, are among the eight teams the Rangers can trade Young to without his consent.
Reagins, speaking to reporters at Thursday's luncheon to welcome the Class-A Inland Empire 66ers to their farm system, also said the Angels are not in discussions with any free-agent leadoff hitters, all but killing speculation the team would add veteran left-hander Scott Podsednik, who remains unsigned.
As usual, Reagins wouldn't completely rule out anything.
"You never know what will materialize during the spring -- things can happen, like injuries, and you have to be flexible," Reagins said. "We have the flexibility to go out and acquire a player if need be."
The Angels are expected to use Maicer Izturis, Erick Aybar or Bobby Abreu, or some combination of the three, in the leadoff spot, and Izturis, Alberto Callaspo and Brandon Wood will compete for the third-base job this spring. The fact that they are not pursuing Podsednik also means they are comfortable with speedy rookie Peter Bourjos in center field.
Bourjos can be a game-changer on defense, as he showed in the final two months of 2010, but he hit only .204 in 51 games. Though he has the skill set and potential to lead off and did so in his last nine games of 2010, the Angels would prefer to ease any pressure on him by batting him ninth.
Reagins said 19-year-old Mike Trout, touted as the best prospect in baseball by several publications and websites, would start the season at double-A Arkansas. Asked what the chances were of Trout's making it to Anaheim by the end of this season, Reagins said, "I would say it's unlikely."
-- Bill Shaikin and Mike DiGiovanna