TUCSON -- Orlando Cabrera got off the plane from his honeymoon in Turks and Caicos, turned on his cellphone and picked up a message. Tony Reagins, the Angels' new general manager, called to say he had just traded Cabrera to the Chicago White Sox.
On Tuesday, before he faced his old teammates for the first time in a 7-6 Chicago victory, Cabrera said the Angels were so strong they probably would not miss him.
"If they're going to miss me, they're probably going to miss me in the clubhouse," said Cabrera, a bilingual prankster and best friend of Vladimir Guerrero. "On the field, there's so much talent."
Cabrera, 33, won the American League Gold Glove at shortstop last season, setting career highs by batting .301 and scoring 101 runs. He said disappointment was "too strong a word" to describe his reaction to the trade, in which the Angels acquired pitcher Jon Garland.
He said he was surprised at the timing but expected the Angels might have dealt him during this season, the final one in his four-year, $32-million contract.
"You're getting to the end of your contract, and you always become expendable," he said. "At the end of the day, this is a business. Teams are trying to save money. They have a lot of talent at that position. I don't think it was a bad move."
The Angels are auditioning youngsters Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis at shortstop, with top prospect Brandon Wood lined up behind them.
"Aybar, I think, is an unbelievable talent," Cabrera said. "He can hit for average. He can cover a lot of ground.
"Izturis can do an unbelievable job. That's his natural position. Brandon Wood is coming up. You can move [Chone] Figgins to shortstop. There's so much talent, I don't think they'll miss anybody."
Cabrera said he had hoped to sign an extension with the Angels, to play four or five more years and end his career in Anaheim. But, if the Angels had to trade him, he said he was happy he ended up with the White Sox.
"Fortunately, it was to a team that has a lot of tradition," he said. "It's a great city. It's a team that, every year, wants to compete. It's a team that, every year, wants to be a contender."
And it is a team that dresses in basic black.
"I always said, if you look good in red, you can look good in any other color," Cabrera said with a grin.
Ervin Santana gave up two runs in 2 2/3 innings and has given up four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings this spring. Santana said he is far more concerned with refining an adjustment in his delivery than he is with results at this point, and Manager Mike Scioscia said Santana's stuff is fine.
Santana lost 14 games last year and posted a 5.76 earned-run average.
"I forgot about last year," he said. "What happened last year?"
Wood and first baseman Kendry Morales each hit home runs for the Angels, with Morales driving in three runs. The Angels have four home runs in six games this spring -- two by Wood, one by Morales and one by center fielder Torii Hunter. Neither Wood nor Morales is projected in the starting lineup. . . . Nick Swisher won the game for the White Sox in the ninth inning, with a two-out, two-run walk-off double off Jeff Kennard.