TORONTO -- The Los Angeles Angels say they are not actively shopping any of their three catchers, but they’re also not above listening to trade offers to unclog their three-way logjam.
“You never close your mind to any potential deal that will make you better,” Angels general manager Tony Reagins said.
The Angels have defensive specialist Jeff Mathis, who has started eight of the first 11 games and is batting a surprising .333. They also have slugger Mike Napoli, who has 25-home run power, but has started just two games, mostly due to a defensive slump.
Finally, they have Bobby Wilson, who is on the roster mainly because he is out of options and the Angels don’t want him to be claimed by another club without getting anything in return. Wilson has barely budged from the bench. He has had one of the Angels’ first 342 at-bats. Other teams no doubt are aware the Angels might be willing to move a catcher.
“I think they’re watching our club to see what we’re going to do, but we’re not focused on him being out options,” Reagins said. “We’re focused on helping our club at the end of the day.”
Napoli might garner the most talent in return and moving him would save the Angels $3.6 million in salary. He said this spring that a trade appeared to be the only way he or Mathis was going to get an opportunity to play every day.
The way Victor Martinez is struggling to throw out runners, the Boston Red Sox might be in the market for a catcher.
“You’re always looking at your club depth chart and other clubs’ needs,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Not that anybody out there is being shopped, but Tony’s constantly looking at things that could help our club. It doesn’t mean anything’s imminent.”
SIGH OF RELIEF
Hideki Matsui admitted he was a bit surprised when more than 40,000 fans at Yankee Stadium gave him a standing ovation after his home run gave the Angels a 1-0 lead Thursday.
Matsui was treated like royalty for three games. After being presented with his World Series ring, he was mobbed by his former teammates in the middle of the field. He got the loudest ovation of any of the 2009 world champions.
After arriving in the quiet of Toronto, he said he was relieved it was all over.
“Maybe in part I wasn’t conscious of it. It was beyond my control, but you could say in a sense I’m glad it’s over,” Matsui said through an interpreter.