Results tagged ‘ Jerry DiPoto ’

Top priority for Scioscia: Starting pitching

Mike Scioscia made it clear during his availability at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday that adding starting pitching is the No. 1 priority.

Asked whether he’d prefer to add a bat (perhaps someone like Aramis Ramirez) or a starter (perhaps someone like C.J. Wilson), Scioscia chose a starter — despite the presence of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

“We need to get stronger pitching,” Scioscia said. “I think if you look at a lot of things ‑‑ you’re just talking about in the rotation, but we need depth in our bullpen, and we need depth in our rotation, and I think those are things that are priorities as Jerry [DiPoto] is moving through this process this winter. We had a lot of leads last year. Even though our offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders, we had countless games that maybe because of some depth in our bullpen that fell through the cracks that would have made a difference in our ability to contend particularly those last couple weeks in our division.”

More quotes are up on the blog.

Alden

Angels the frontrunners for C.J.?

That’s the word from late Monday night, where Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that the Angels “have emerged as favorites for C.J. Wilson.” The Halos were reportedly meeting with Wilson’s agent late Monday night, Day 1 of the Winter Meetings from Dallas, and Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com said via Twitter that the Angels were making a “serious push” to sign him.

Earlier in the day, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that five teams were in on Wilson and one of them had made a six-year offer (though the identity of that team never really materialized). Wilson, a native of Newport Beach, Calif., had dinner with new Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto and long-time skipper Mike Scioscia in late November. DiPoto and Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, also met during  the General Managers Meetings in Milwaukee.

Asked about paying Wilson something higher than the five-year, $85 million extension Jered Weaver signed in August, Dipoto said that thought would “certainly create some hesitancy.” As it usual is with negotiations like these, though, this is a very fluid situation. Wilson could be lured by the prospect of pitching close to where he grew up, and if they still want to improve their offense after the signing, the Angels could do so via the trade market.

The Nationals, Marlins, Red Sox and Rangers have also been said to have strong interest. According to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, Texas plans to make its first offer to C.J. on Tuesday.

Alden

Angels have yet to tender offers to closers

Contrary to what Heath Bell told The Los Angeles Times after his introductory press conference with the Miami Marlins on Monday, the Angels did not make an offer to the free-agent closer, general manager Jerry DiPoto said. In fact, DiPoto added, the Angels have yet to make any offers to any closers.

“We did not make an offer to Heath Bell,” DiPoto said from his suite at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. “We’ve gone into this, and to this point, exploring different options. One of those has not been making an offer to a ninth-inning guy.”

That would mean no offers for the likes of Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero or Francisco Rodriguez. While the Angels still want to add a back-end bullpen piece, the presence of Jordan Walden means finding a tenured (and rather expensive) closer isn’t the first priority.

Adding offense and starting pitching supersede that.

“I just don’t think it’s our primary need,” DiPoto said of closers. “If I were lining up the importance of what we need — and I won’t say it’s in a certain order, but I think the idea of a functionality offensively, or diversity in our offense, as well as an obvious void in our starting rotation, would take precendent over [a closer].”

– Alden  

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