Angels' focus shifts to Sabathia

Talks with free-agent pitcher are ongoing. Club is reluctant to sign Teixeira for more than seven years.

November 25, 2008|Bill Shaikin | Shaikin is a Times staff writer.

The Angels, unwilling to meet Mark Teixeira's desire for a 10-year contract, are in discussions with CC Sabathia and could offer him a contract that approaches the $140-million bid extended to him by the New York Yankees.

The Angels appear reluctant to guarantee more than seven years in a contract for Teixeira, said a source familiar with the club's thinking. They appear more likely at this time to pursue Sabathia, with an offer in the range of Johan Santana's six-year, $137.5-million contract with the New York Mets.

Teixeira remains the Angels' top priority -- the club would sign him but does not want to miss out on Sabathia while waiting to see whether Teixeira's asking price falls. The Angels are not believed to have made a formal offer to either player.

General Manager Tony Reagins said the club has not ruled out retaining Teixeira.

"We've had discussions about what the potential framework of a deal might be," Reagins said. "At this time, I would say we still have interest at a high level. We understood going into this that it was going to take some time to accomplish."

Scott Boras, the agent for Teixeira, represented Carlos Beltran four years ago and set the same asking price: 10 years for $200 million. Beltran did not sign with the Mets until January, for seven years and $119 million. By then, other top free agents had signed elsewhere.

Boras declined to comment on how many years Teixeira has requested.

Milwaukee reportedly has offered Sabathia five years and $100 million to return, with the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants among other interested teams. Sabathia grew up in the San Francisco area and has expressed interest in playing for a California team. Greg Genske, Sabathia's agent, did not return phone calls.

Times staff writer Dylan Hernandez contributed to this report.


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