The Angels could be under new ownership within three weeks, but incoming owner Arturo Moreno is expected to retain General Manager Bill Stoneman.
Stoneman's contract expires in October. Moreno met with Stoneman seve times during the bidding process for the Angels and is believed to have come away impressed with the general manager's low-profile style, ability to build a winner within a budget and long-term vision for sustaining success through player development.
Disney has accepted a deposit from Moreno for the purchase price, believed to be finalized at or near $184 million, and major league officials expect to receive copies of the sale agreement within days.
Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that owners could vote to approve the sale at a May 15 meeting in New York. The Angels play at Yankee Stadium that evening.
The approval process usually takes months, with a committee conducting a lengthy investigation of a buyer and his financing. That process can be expedited in this case because owners have previously investigated Moreno, a former minority investor in the Arizona Diamondbacks, and because he is not financing the purchase.
Moreno, an Arizona entrepreneur who built his fortune in advertising, has a net worth of $940 million, according to Forbes magazine.
Center fielder Darin Erstad, who has not played in six days because of swelling in his right hamstring, said he tested the injury by running Wednesday afternoon and said soreness persisted to the point where he could not have played that night. He felt better Thursday, and Manager Mike Scioscia said Erstad would return to the lineup in "no more than a day or two."
In the short term, Julio Ramirez -- since demoted to triple-A Salt Lake -- and Eric Owens have looked shaky at times in center field. In case of a long-term absence, the Angels probably would move Garret Anderson from left field to center.
"I don't think our center-field defense has cost us any games," Scioscia said. "We have confidence in the guys we have to go out and make plays."
Opponent--Boston Red Sox, three games.
TV--Fox Sports Net tonight, Saturday; ESPN Sunday.
Radio--KSPN (710), KWKU (1220).
Records--Angels 10-12, Red Sox 14-8.
Record vs. Red Sox (2002)--3-4.
Tonight, 7--Jarrod Washburn (1-2, 4.33) vs. Casey Fossum (1-1, 5.16).
Saturday, 7 p.m.--Scot Shields (0-0, 0.50) vs. John Burkett (1-1, 6.10).
Sunday, 5 p.m.--John Lackey (1-2, 8.51) vs. Pedro Martinez (2-1, 2.97).