The Angels essentially abandoned their pursuit of Texas slugger Mark Teixeira because of the Rangers’ steep asking price Friday, leaving them very few options to bolster their offense before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
According to baseball sources, the Rangers wanted three players from the Angels for Teixeira, and the teams apparently agreed on the first two, first baseman Casey Kotchman and left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders.
Texas spent a day or two scouring the Angels’ farm system this week, and the Angels were hoping the third request would be for a mid-level prospect or major league reserve such as Terry Evans and Nathan Haynes, both outfielders.
The Rangers gave the Angels a list of four names to choose from Friday. On that list were infielder Brandon Wood, the organization’s top position-playing prospect, double-A right-hander Nick Adenhart, the organization’s top pitching prospect, starting second baseman Howie Kendrick, who is on the disabled list because of a broken finger, and recently demoted right-hander Ervin Santana.
The Angels’ response: No way.
A source indicated there is a slim chance of trade talks being rekindled, but only if Texas lowered its demands or were willing to take only Kotchman and Saunders for Teixeira, who wouldn’t become a free agent until after 2008.
The Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox are also interested in Teixeira, the 27-year-old switch-hitter who entered Friday with a .299 average, 13 home runs and 49 runs batted in after averaging 35 homers and 112 RBIs in his first four years.
The Angels could turn their focus to Chicago White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye or Oakland designated hitter Mike Piazza. They are believed to have called Florida about third baseman Miguel Cabrera, but the Marlins have virtually no interest in trading the slugger.
The Angels didn’t venture far to find a rotation replacement for Bartolo Colon, plucking Dustin Moseley from the bullpen to start Sunday against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium.
Manager Mike Scioscia would not commit to more than one start for Moseley, though, meaning the Angels could bring back Santana to pitch Aug. 3 against Oakland at McAfee Coliseum if they are satisfied that the struggling right-hander has displayed sufficient improvement in the minor leagues.
With Moseley pitching Sunday, the Angels will have their three marquee starters -- Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey and Jered Weaver -- lined up to pitch in an important series against American League West rival Seattle beginning Monday at Safeco Field. Escobar will pitch Monday and Lackey on Tuesday on an extra day’s rest in the wake of an off day Thursday.
Moseley made two starts in April as an injury replacement and pitched effectively, lasting six innings and giving up five hits and one run in each appearance. The 25-year-old right-hander said he welcomed a return to starting.
“That’s what I’ve done my whole career,” said Moseley, who had made all but one of his professional appearances as a starter before this season. “It’s just a matter of changing the preparation for it and getting ready for it. I know I can do it.”
Moseley pitched in the bullpen Friday in preparation for a start in which he hopes to last 75 pitches or so.
Santana regressed Friday in his second start for triple-A Salt Lake, giving up six runs and 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four, walked two and was pulled in the seventh inning after Omaha had put runners on second and third with one out.