General Manager Tony Reagins on Monday shot down a Foxsports.com report that the Angels are one of three teams, along with the Yankees and Red Sox, that have expressed serious interest in free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday.
“He’s a talented player,” Reagins said of Holliday, who hit .313 with 24 home runs and 109 runs batted in for the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 and could command a deal in excess of $100 million. “But our focus is not on him right now.”
The team’s top priorities are to re-sign pitcher John Lackey and third baseman Chone Figgins, but Reagins, who secured outfielder Bobby Abreu to a three-year, $19-million deal on Nov. 5, hinted that it is unlikely the Angels will sign either before Thursday, the last day the team holds exclusive negotiating rights to the pair.
“I know where both of them stand,” Reagins said. “But as free-agent players they have earned the right to see what their value is.”
Lackey, who is believed to be seeking a deal in the $100-million range, has reportedly drawn interest from Seattle, Milwaukee, Boston and both New York teams. Figgins, who could command a deal in the $50-million range, has reportedly drawn interest from Philadelphia, the Mets and both Chicago teams.
Reagins also has been in discussions with the agents for outfielder Vladimir Guerrero and reliever Darren Oliver but declined to address trade rumors that linked the Angels with Detroit outfielder Curtis Granderson and White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko.
“There are so many different rumors out there, it wouldn’t be smart to comment on them,” Reagins said. “A lot of them don’t make sense.”
Though the Angels are in the midst of a front-office reorganization that resulted in the loss of positions in the media relations and community relations department last week, Reagins doesn’t expect the team’s payroll -- about $113 million in 2008 -- to be reduced significantly.
“We’re going to operate similarly to how we operated last year,” Reagins said.