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Angels GM did not make offer to Heath Bell; more focused on bat, starter

December 5, 2011 |  3:55 pm

FabforumAngels General Manager Jerry Dipoto said that he "did not make a contract offer" to free-agent closer Heath Bell, who signed a three-year, $27-million deal with the Miami Marlins, and that the Angels are more focused on acquring a big bat and a starting pitcher than a closer.

Bell said after his introductory news conference earlier Monday that the Angels made an offer that he thought was for either one or two years.

"We explored different things, but we did not make an offer to a ninth-inning guy," Dipoto said. "We just don't think it's our primary need. More diversity in the offense and starting rotation depth would take precedent over someone who could close.

"As I've said all along, we're looking for someone who can help us with the last nine outs. We've checked in with guys who have pitched the ninth, eighth and the seventh innings. We want someone who can balance out our duo of [closer] Jordan Walden and [set-up man] Scott Downs. We want to create more options for [Manager Mike] Scioscia."

The Angels have expressed serious interest in free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who visited the Angels in Anaheim last week, and left-hander C.J. Wilson, the top starting pitcher on the market.

There was a report Monday afternoon that a team had offered Wilson a six-year deal, but when asked whether he would give a free agent such as Wilson a richer contract than the five-year, $85-million deal ace Jered Weaver signed in August, Dipoto said, "It would certainly create some hesitancy."

ALSO:

Angels trade Jeff Mathis to Toronto

Jerry Dipoto, Ned Colletti seemingly in different places

Angels' Jerry Dipoto heads to winter meetings with limited budget

--Mike DiGiovanna in Dallas

Photo: Jerry Dipoto. Credit: Jae C. Hong/ Associated Press.

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