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Posted: Wednesday November 22, 2006 10:04AM; Updated: Wednesday November 22, 2006 10:04AM
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The Angels have emerged as the favorites to land free-agent center fielder Gary Matthews Jr.
The Angels have emerged as the favorites to land free-agent center fielder Gary Matthews Jr.
Josh Merwin/SI
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The Angels have emerged as the favorites to land free-agent center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. Matthews had lunch Tuesday with Angels Manager Mike Scioscia and General Manager Bill Stoneman, emerging from a 1 1/2 -hour meeting feeling even better about a team he has targeted since the end of the 2006 season.
-- Los Angeles Times

According to industry sources, Manny Ramirez remains far down the Angels' wish list. Manager Mike Scioscia wants a more versatile player who can contribute defensively and on the bases, and the team has made Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells its number-one priority.
-- Providence Journal

So who is the Angels' next big-name target? Word is it is Braves star center fielder Andruw Jones, but Jones has trade veto power, won't be a free agent until after 2007 season and his agent, Scott Boras, has said his client is content to stay put until next winter.
-- Orange County Register

A Daisuke Matsuzaka signing does not mean the Red Sox would not make room for Roger Clemens if he elected to end his career with Boston. There have indeed been internal discussions about gauging Clemens's interest in ending his Hall of Fame run as a closer, although that would seem to be in direct conflict with Clemens's preference for free time between starts to see his family.
-- Boston Globe

The competition for free-agent outfielder Carlos Lee appears to be down to three teams, including the Orioles, and the slugger could make a decision by the weekend. The Orioles, Astros and Phillies are viewed as the most serious bidders for Lee.
-- Baltimore Sun

The Dodgers and Mariners are the leading candidates to sign Giants free-agent starter Jason Schmidt.
-- Orange County Register

With Jesse Crain, Pat Neshek and Dennys Reyes in the bullpen with closer Joe Nathan, look for the Twins to dangle reliever Juan Rincon with a position player for a starting pitcher rather than pay him the $3 million he could win in arbitration.
-- St. Paul Pioneer Press

A's GM Billy Beane has been in contact with free-agent outfielder Cliff Floyd and his agent. Floyd is coming off Achilles tendon surgery and, in order to prove he is healthy, he is looking for a deal much like the one the A's did with Frank Thomas before last season.
-- San Francisco Chronicle

Bobby Crosby is upset that A's doctors misdiagnosed his back injury. Crosby was told specifically that if he could withstand the pain, he could play in the postseason, but he has since learned from Dr. Watkins that had he played and exacerbated the fracture or broken the vertebra entirely, he would have missed all of next season and potentially endangered his career.
-- San Francisco Chronicle

Frank Catalanotto becomes the fourth candidate for the Rangers starting corner outfield spots, joining Brad Wilkerson, Nelson Cruz and Jason Botts. Daniels said Wilkerson or Cruz could play center field if the Rangers don't re-sign free agent Gary Matthews Jr.
-- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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