02/21/12 7:15 PM EST
Cantu, Langerhans looking for a chance
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Cantu, a corner infielder who averaged 18 homers and 77 RBIs from 2005-09, and Langerhans, a corner outfielder who played in 384 Major League games from 2005-07, but only 190 in the four years since, represent two of the most intriguing non-roster invitees at Angels camp this spring. There's currently no spot on the roster for either of them, but one could open up if the Angels make a move, which many expect.
If either Alberto Callaspo or Maicer Izturis is traded, Cantu may have a spot somewhere.
If Bobby Abreu leaves, Langerhans -- a lefty hitter -- may be in the mix.
"I think they're both really interesting to us," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Ryan's a guy that is a left-handed bat, and is a good defender in the outfield. And Jorge is really interesting, because this guy was an RBI machine."
Cantu, who starred as a second baseman with the Rays in his early years, was a fixture in the middle of the Marlins' batting order for a couple of seasons, hitting 29 homers in '08 and driving in 100 runs in '09. But the 30-year-old struggled with the Marlins and Rangers in 2010, then batted just .194 in 57 games for the Padres last season.
"Hopefully, I can contribute in many ways, playing many positions here -- first, third, DH, you name it," Cantu said. "The biggest forte in my career has been my hitting. So if I have the right opportunities here, I know I can contribute in some way. Because you don't forget hitting."
Langerhans, 32, combined to bat .254 with a .349 on-base percentage and 15 homers in extended playing time with the Braves in '05 and '06. But he bounced around with three different organizations thereafter, and has hit .200, with nine homers, in 117 games for the Mariners the last three years.
"Who knows what'll open up and what'll happen," Langerhans said, "but I'll hopefully be in the mix, and just come out, have a good spring, and let the chips fall where they may."
Report: Abreu would prefer to be traded
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Bobby Abreu is apparently giving the Angels an ultimatum. The veteran slugger, now without a set role on the Angels with so many other candidates at designated hitter, told ESPNdeportes.com on Tuesday that if he isn't playing regularly, he prefers to be traded.
But Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, who spoke to him a couple of weeks ago, said the two-time All-Star hasn't communicated those sentiments to him or manager Mike Scioscia, and that the comments won't influence his approach with Abreu.
"I spoke to Bobby a little more than a week ago, I'd say -- a week, 10 days ago -- and walked through his current situation, and Mike has had very similar conversations," Dipoto said. "So, Bobby is aware of the circumstances, he's aware of the people on the roster. We do see a fit for Bobby on this club, he's aware of where that fit is. It's not something that we're going to play it [out] in the media. ... Whether it's an ultimatum that's been issued, he has no right to do that."
Abreu, coming off his worst season, turns 38 in March and isn't expected to arrive at Spring Training until Sunday, when the rest of the position players report.
Speaking in Spanish from Venezuela, he told ESPNdeportes.com: "I'm an everyday player, and can be in the lineup for a big league team. I'm not going to be on the bench knowing I can play. If the Angels don't have a set position for me, then the best thing they can do is trade me. It'd be the right thing to do. I'm not going to do anything sitting on the bench."
But preferring a trade is one thing. A club actually being able to make that happen is another.
Abreu is owed $9 million in the final year of his contract this season, and industry sources have told MLB.com there has been no outside interest in his services. The Angels were almost ready to send Abreu to the Yankees, in a deal that would've sent A.J. Burnett to Anaheim, but Burnett utilized his limited no-trade clause to void the trade because he didn't want to play on the West Coast.
Abreu is a career .293 hitter, with a .397 on-base percentage and 284 homers, but batted just .253 with eight homers in 142 games last year.
"There's nothing of the circumstance that forces us to make a trade," said Dipoto, who didn't want to comment on specifics of Abreu's trade value. "But I understand the competitor in Bobby. He's had a great career, and he continues to be a productive player. He wants to play."
The Angels would have to eat a considerable amount of money to move Abreu at this moment -- probably up to $8 million -- and because of that, the club prefers to hold onto him in the meantime, a separate source indicated.
The Angels are hoping Kendrys Morales can be a fit at DH, and Mark Trumbo can be an option at third base. If those two pan out, Abreu could be useful as a patient, experienced lefty bat off the bench who could get an occasional spot start.
"I expect Bobby to get playing time where he's going to contribute," Scioscia told reporters on Monday.
That day, Scioscia also said he's had "very candid discussions" with Abreu this offseason, and though he expressed the desire to play every day, Scioscia believes Abreu has tempered those expectations because of the potential the Angels have to win.
"I want to play, I want to help this team," Abreu told ESPNdeportes.com. "But if there's no place for me, then I want to play in another city."
Scioscia: Morales unlikely for spring opener
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Being game-ready for the exhibition opener may be a little too ambitious, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia sees plenty of optimism regarding Kendrys Morales' recovery from a broken left ankle -- even though he's seen this before.
"There's absolutely nothing in his ankle, right now, that looks like it's going to inhibit him from being where he needs to be," Scioscia said. "You just want to [see] progress [with] him there."
That progress continued on Tuesday, the second straight day in which Morales ran a handful of light sprints on the outfield grass. The switch-hitting slugger, who continues to hit and throw, said he was constantly feeling soreness after running last spring. So far, nothing.
When asked about whether Morales was on track to play as soon as March 5, a split-squad road game against the Athletics, Scioscia said that would "be a little too aggressive." As for when he can play in Cactus League games, which he wasn't able to do last spring, that's all on Morales.
"When he's running all out, without any restrictions, he's going to play," Scioscia said. "And he might end up running better as time goes on, but as soon as he gets to a spot where there's no restrictions and he's running whatever 100 percent is at that time where he's not hurt, he'll play. So we're excited about that."
Asked about the bullpen, particularly which right-handers fit in behind Jordan Walden and where they line up, Scioscia said: "I think this year we're going to have much better matchups on a daily basis. They all fit in; they all fit in. They're all going to be important to us. It's just impossible to say what the pecking order is, because the pecking order is going to change on a daily basis anyway. We'll evaluate and see where we are."
The Angels added LaTroy Hawkins this offseason, and have a host of other guys vying for spots -- including Trevor Bell, Bobby Cassevah, Kevin Jepsen and Rich Thompson.
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Angels will have the least amount of all teams to spend on the first 10 rounds of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft ($1.645 million), according to Baseball America. The Angels surrendered their first two picks with the Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson signings, and have eight picks overall in that span.
The Twins will have the most to spend in the upcoming Draft, $12.37 million on 13 picks, according to Baseball America.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.