Angels in the Offseason: Halo Rumblings

Scott FowlerCorrespondent INovember 12, 2008

How's that pic for an attention-getter?

I'm back. It's been a while, and I know I needed to write something when I saw my name all but disappear from the top 10 Angels writers on the site.

Mark B and I are community leaders for God's sake, and while he and I have been in touch several times this offseason, we've both been reticent to talk "Angels baseball" after such a dismal October run by the team.

That said, I'm still not looking back because my Doctor won't let me.

So instead lets' talk about the future! That is, the future roster of this team.

Lots of talk this week centering around the Angels tactics regarding a certain trade deadline acquisition named Mark Teixeira. We all know he slugged and played amazing D all the way home for the Angels, but now what?

With his free agency already declared by uber-agent Scott Boras, the Angels started this week with some PR statements about making a sizable offer to Mark Teixeira prior to losing their exclusive bargaining rights this Friday. They then recanted, saying they weren't going to give Boras his "starting point" to shop to other teams, and decided to keep their cards a little closer to their chests for the time being.

Personally, I'm glad, because throwing down the gauntlet to someone of Boras' reputation is deadly. The Halos know they want Tex, and have publicly declared him their top priority this off season, but I think waiting for the first go-round is smart.

Of course, that means everything else has to wait, too. For the first time in his 15-year pro career, left fielder Garrett Anderson isn't on the Angels roster. The team had the ability to pick up an option on the somewhat aging GA, but chose the buy out option instead. GA has publicly stated a desire to work something out, even hinting at a hometown discount, and the Angels sadly haven't said much in response.

I realize this is a business, but GA even went so far as to discontinue services with his agent and will represent himself for his first run through free agency. As a Halo fan, I can't imagine GA in any other uniform. Out of loyalty alone, Arte, you and Mike should say, "Here, pal, three years, $28 million, and retire a Halo."

Baseball, though, is a business, and I'm sure there's a lot more to it. Just throwing the fans' perspective in there. If you're really leaving, GA, you're a class act, and I publicly promise you a full article "career in review." There's not enough space in this one to do you justice. Let's hope I don't have to write that piece. Truly a class act.


Other rumblings that affect the Angels...

Rumors that Randy Johnson was interested in the Angels were squashed by the team today.

Outfielder Juan Rivera will become an unrestricted free agent Friday, and I, for one, think he should be brought back. Sign him before he gets too used to the idea of playing everyday somewhere else for a real three-year starter contract—he's the real deal, and he's completely over that broken leg thing.

K-Rod—ahh, yes. K-rod. Owner Arte Moreno all but said he didn't want him back this week on the Sports Lodge (my new favorite morning radio show, by the way...check it out here). This is in reference to the number of deals the Angels offered the young closer this year, something on the order of six offers, all rebuked by the player and his reps.

As the market suddenly seems to shrink for the closer. Seems not all baseball loves his numbers—Angels included—and he and his agent have backed off from previous salary range demands. Should be interesting to see, but I think some team will overpay him and then can enjoy the luxury of his white-knuckle ninth innings. K-Rod, you got the ego in the '02 series and never played as good as you thought you were since. Slow the ego, and pitch.

In related AL West news, division rival Oakland made the first big splash of the offseason, acquiring left fielder Matt Holiday from Colorado. The 29-year-old Holiday is a great power and defensive upgrade, and will undoubtedly add some pop to Oakland's roster.

That's all for now, folks, more to come as the winter unfolds. Keep it here and for my insight on the Halos!