The Angels lost a starter, officially, but they also lost some competition for the starter they really want. It had been a foregone conclusion that Dan Haren was going to be in another uniform – although Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto did check in and make another offer to Haren on Monday – but when Haren finally went elsewhere on Tuesday, the Angels had to be pleased with where he ended up. Haren agreed to terms with the Washington Nationals, which eliminated that club from the bidding for Zack Greinke. Barring the emergence of the "mystery team" that so often surfaces at the winter meetings, it looks like it's the Angels, Dodgers and Texas Rangers still in the race. Late in Day 2 of the winter meetings, Dipoto wouldn't characterize much of what he'd been doing except that he's focused entirely on a short list of pitchers. Dipoto said the Angels have been focused "100 percent" on pitching. Dipoto wants at least one starting pitcher and one reliever, and there's a small chance he could add at second starter or reliever. And with that, his winter will be done. "We've talked through a handful of starting pitchers as well as some bullpen targets," Dipoto said. "We are continuing to stay in touch with the right people. Where we go from here is timing. We'll get the right pieces. It's just a matter of when." The Angels offered Haren a one-year deal with an option for a second. The money, however, was nowhere close to the Nationals' $13 million offer, which Haren jumped at. COWART'S FUTURE The Angels have a player under control for at least the next two seasons at every spot on the field except for third base, where Alberto Callaspo is signed only through 2013. That's convenient for third baseman Kaleb Cowart, considered by some the top prospect in the Angels system, but Dipoto said he's not ready to project Cowart will be ready to take over in 2014. "It would be unfair to place expectations or an ETA on a kid who just finished his 20-year-old season and playing his first full season," Dipoto said. Cowart is coming off an Arizona Fall League season in which he hit just .200 with a .265 on-base percentage. Dipoto said that Cowart, who hit a combined .276 with 16 homers and 103 RBIs at two levels of Single-A during the season, "tired out."
Haren loss might help Angels' Greinke pursuit
Orange County Register | Dec 5