Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Source: No Vladimir Guerrero for LA
By Mark Saxon
The Los Angeles Angels continue their search for offensive help even as the biggest names continue to fall off the board.
According to multiple reports, third baseman Adrian Beltre is on the verge of agreeing to terms with the Texas Rangers, dealing a blow to the Angels' hopes of returning to the top of their division and sending them searching for lower-profile bats.
The Angels continue to talk with "a couple" of free agents, according to a major league source, but ex-Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero is not among them. Guerrero, who won an American League MVP with the Angels in 2004 and revived his career last season with the Rangers, isn't viewed as a good fit in Anaheim because of his declining defensive skills.
Guerrero, who turns 36 in February and is slowed by creaky knees, played only 32 games in the outfield last year. Signing him as their designated hitter would force the Angels to use one of two sub-par fielders, Juan Rivera or Bobby Abreu, in left field. It also would take at-bats away from Mike Napoli, who led the Angels with 26 home runs last year.
One remaining possibility for the Angels is Scott Podsednik, an above-average left fielder who batted .297 with 35 stolen bases for the Kansas City Royals and Dodgers last year. Podsednik has been a leadoff hitter most of his career and the Angels viewed an offensive catalyst as a primary need in their organizational meetings.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said last month that the Angels need to add offensive depth.
"It might not be the one impact guy, but it definitely needs to be guys who have an idea what to do in the batter's box," Scioscia said.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.