The Angels have moved to head of the line of favored teams for the A-L pennant...maybe even for the World Series title with their trade yesterday for Braves slugging 1st baseman Mark Teixeria. The Baltimore area native has 20 homers and 78 RBI's for the Braves. Teixeria looks very nice in the Halos line-up sandwiched between Torii Hunter and Vlad Guerrero. The Angels have one of the best rotations in baseball with all 5 of their starters with at least 9 wins. They have the best closer in baseball in Francisco Rodriguez who has a league leading 44 saves. I also think Manager Mike Scioscia is one of the most underrated skippers in the game. The Angels currently have an 11 and a half game lead in the A-L West and can cruise to the division title and into the post-season. Now do I think L-A is a lock to win the World Series in late October....I'm not that stupid...but barring some major injuries the Halos are the odds on favorite.
Now the good news for Orioles fans. Teixeria is a free agent after this season. In the past he has said he would love to play in his hometown. The Orioles should try and obtain his services. Sign him to the 5 year $100 million deal and this would be further proof the Orioles are serious about being a contender in the A-L East. Put the 28 year old in the middle of the Birds line-up and they could be a contender sooner rather than later. This is the kind of strategic free agent signing the Orioles need to make. Would the team be a contender next year with be a player of Teixeria's stature...maybe especially if the young pitching staff continues to mature. If you need proof just look at the Tampa Bay Rays who have developed some good young players and signed a few key free agents like closer Troy Percival.