Angels reportedly 'serious' about Aramis
Agent says ballclub one of a handful interested in third baseman
ANAHEIM -- Despite earlier indications that he was not in their plans, the Angels are "serious" about pursuing Aramis Ramirez, according to a Los Angeles Times report quoting the slugging third baseman's agent, Paul Kinzer.
Jerry Dipoto, the Angels' new general manager, initially downplayed the possibility of signing Ramirez to a free-agent deal. Kinzer on Monday told the Times that the Angels are one of "four or five teams" with "serious" interest in Ramirez, a 14-year veteran coming off a 2011 season in which he hit .306 for the Cubs with 26 homers, 93 RBIs, a .361 on-base percentage and .510 slugging percentage.
Ramirez, 33, is a .284 career hitter with 315 homers and 1,122 RBIs.
The Angels showed interest in Ramirez at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last July before he declined to waive a no-trade clause with the Cubs.
The Angels, if they are to keep their payroll in the $140 million range as owner Arte Moreno has targeted, figure to have perhaps $20 million available for 2012 after signing players under their control. They have committed $99 million to nine signed players.
The Tigers also have shown interest in Ramirez, who is considered an average defender at third. He is reportedly seeking a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year.
C.J. Wilson, the premier starting pitcher in free agency, has met with the Angels. They might have the resources to sign Ramirez or Wilson, but it's highly unlikely they could sign both.
Lyle Spencer is reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.