LAS VEGAS -- While speculation has swirled at different times about the possibility of the Angels interrupting their well-known pursuit of free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira to make a play for ace starter CC Sabathia, who has made it known he'd prefer to pitch in California, Angels owner Arte Moreno made it clear in a Tuesday night interview with SI.com that Teixeira remains his clear preference.
"Teixeira's my guy,'' Moreno said. "There are obviously other people we like. But he's our main target.''
That doesn't mean Moreno thinks it's a shoo-in that Teixeira, who is being pursued by the Red Sox, Yankees, Nationals, Orioles and several others, will stay with the Angels. Nor does it mean the Angels won't eventually turn elsewhere. But if they do, Moreno indicated they are not likely to turn toward Sabathia.
"Right now, I think there's a lot of competition for the player,'' Moreno said of Teixeira. "Scott (Boras) is real good at positioning his player in the marketplace. When he finds the right marriage, he'll get it done.''
The Angels have effectively used deadlines to make quick deals in the past. But perhaps because their interest in Teixiera is so strong, Moreno indicated that setting a deadline isn't in their current game plan. Moreno joked that they have until spring training to get it done with Teixeira, but eventually he indicated they wouldn't stay in the game indefinitely.
"We're eventually going to make a decision to move on,'' Moreno said. "We have a B Plan and a C plan.''
And while some Angels baseball people are fantasizing about Sabathia, Moreno suggested Sabathia isn't even the B Plan. It could be that Manny Ramirez is a more likely fallback plan for Moreno, as the Angels' real need is for offense.
" I wouldn't say we're in the Sabathia picture at all,'' Moreno said. "We have four pitchers. And we're not getting into a long drawn-out process. He has a very good offer on the table ($140 million for six years from the Yankees). And we're not in that ballpark.''