Jason Bay and Hideki Matsui are options for Angels’ offense
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Angels General Manager Tony Reagins, after arriving at the winter meetings late this afternoon, said free-agent outfielders Jason Bay and Hideki Matsui, as well as Vladimir Guerrero, are among the options the team is looking at to bolster its offense.
Reagins described negotiations with the agent for Bay as ‘new and developing, we just haven’t had a chance to sit down,’ and he called the left fielder ‘a guy we find appealing.’
Bay, who reportedly turned down a four-year, $60-million offer from the Boston Red Sox, has averaged 33 home runs and 110 runs batted in the past two seasons. If the Angels sign Bay, they would probably move left fielder Juan Rivera to right field or try to trade Rivera, who is reportedly being pursued by the New York Mets.
Matsui hit .274 with 28 homers and 90 RBIs in 142 games for the Yankees in the past season, all as a designated hitter, and he earned World Series most valuable player honors after batting .615 (8 for 13) with three homers and eight RBIs in New York’s six-game win over Philadelphia.
That a gathering of about a dozen Japanese media members greeted Reagins when he checked in to the Indianapolis Marriott surprised the GM, but he did not deny the team was interested in the left-handed slugger.
‘He’s a person we’ve talked about, along with several players,’ Reagins said. ‘We also have Vlad, who fits into the same role. There are a lot of scenarios we can attack, whether through trade or free agency.’
The Angels remain in heavy pursuit of free-agent pitcher John Lackey. ‘We’ve dialogued quite a bit with his agent,’ Reagins said. ‘Talks have been reasonably productive.’
They will also pursue Toronto ace Roy Halladay in a trade, and there was one Internet report today linking the Angels to Detroit Tigers right-hander Edwin Jackson.
Asked if the Angels’ winter activity will hinge on whether Lackey re-signs, Reagins said, ‘No, we have several options out there, and Lackey is one of them.’
Reagins would not say whether the team lost lead-off batter and third baseman Chone Figgins, who is set to sign a four-year, $36-million deal with Seattle, because the Angels were reluctant to add a fourth year to their offer, which was reported to be three years and $24 million.
‘We felt our offer was strong, fair, reasonable,’ Reagins said.
-- Mike DiGiovanna in Indianapolis