Discussion

Angels not short on options

Updated: January 25, 2008, 11:26 AM ET
Some scouts who trailed the Angels last season loved the play of Orlando Cabrera and the energy he mustered. But the Angels swapped him for pitcher Jon Garland because they like Garland and because they could: LAA has three candidates to take over the shortstop job, each distinct in style and skill set. Angels GM Tony Reagins said the other day, while chatting about a several questions about his team, that the candidates will compete for the job in spring training.

Maicer Izturis is the more steady guy, said Reagins. Brandon Wood has a tremendous upside, ranking among the best power-hitting prospects in the minor leagues. And Erick Aybar is the most athletic shortstop among the three, with the best chance to take away hits, and at this stage of his career, he still has strides to take in his consistency. "We like all three guys," Reagins said.

So do evaluators with other teams. I spoke to a couple who have seen a lot of the trio, and they agree that Wood needs more time to evolve defensively, and they believe he's destined to change positions, because of the presence of Aybar and Izturis. One evaluator thinks Aybar should be the shortstop -- "he has a higher ceiling" -- and another says he would start Izturis. "What he's given them the last couple of years is very underrated, under-appreciated," said the evaluator. "He has basically been playing out of position, and he was very good. I love what he does."

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