According to Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, Angels owner Arte Moreno has no intention of increasing 2009 payroll significantly beyond the current $123MM. Playoff success could add some flexibility, but not enough to retain all of the team’s free agents.
Interestingly, Moreno’s comments did not dispel the C.C. Sabathia speculation:
"We always try to stay very focused on pitching, and right now we think we have a solid one through four. But do you go out and get a No. 1, or do you look for a 2, 3 or 4? We have a wish list of things we think will improve the team. But what you go after could affect your flexibility."
DiGiovanna says the Angels should have about $87MM committed before dealing with free agents. So, the Angels might have around $38MM to spend.
There are scenarios where the Angels could sign two of the big three: Mark Teixeira, Francisco Rodriguez, and C.C. Sabathia. Their best bet would probably be Tex and Sabathia. The Angels will have to be careful not to backload too heavily, since they’ll need to spend big bucks to extend Vladimir Guerrero and John Lackey beyond 2009.
Meanwhile, it seems possible free agents such as Garret Anderson, Jon Garland, Juan Rivera, and Darren Oliver move on.