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Miguel Cabrera or Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees or Anaheim Angels?

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While most of the oxygen in the free agent room is being sucked-up by Alex Rodriguez, another superstar 3B is being made available.  The Florida Marlins are seriously exploring dealing All-Star 3B Miguel Cabrera.  With two years until free agency and a $7+MM arbitration case already under his belt, Cabrera is going to move north of $10MM in 2008 and $15MM in 2009.  That is just too much money for a franchise committed to spending as little as possible on its team payroll.

The question is where will he land.  All the New York papers are leading with the Yankees as a possible destination, and all three quote Yankees' GM Brian Cashman stating that the inclusion of Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain or Ian Kennedy is too much for a 24-year-old hitting stud who will cost less for two season than Alex Rodriguez will cost for one.  While all three papers mention the Big Three, only the Mark Feinsand of the Daily News speculates, "The Yankees would likely offer a deal involving their next tier of prospects, which includes Alan Horne, Humberto Sanchez, Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Tabata."  I'd include a couple more given Florida's needs in CF and at C - Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli.

The Yankees' main problem with their prospects is the fact the Anaheim Angels could offer better ones.  The key cog would be 3B Brandon Wood, a top prospect who would immediately become expendable if Cabrera were acquired.  Throw-in catcher Jeff Mathis and SP Joe Saunders, and the Angels of Anaheim just trumped the Yankees' best offer and filled three of the Marlins four main needs.  Just CF is left unaddressed.

One factor in the Yankees' favor, though, are the quotes from Angels' new GM Tony Reagins as presented by Murray Chass of the New York Times:

Tony Reagins of the Angels said: "Obviously we don't know the expense or what his offer would be, but we have interest. I think we have to look at what the landscape of that situation is. We would definitely consider an opportunity to improve our club."

Arte Moreno, the Angels' owner, has said privately that he would not use such a large percentage of the team's payroll for one player.

"I can't speak for Arte directly, but we're open to discussion," Reagins said. "We want to see what the level of interest is around the league and we'd want to be in the mix. The fact that Alex is available is intriguing."

If Anaheim is serious about adding Alex Rodriguez, then the Yankees will have one fewer very dangerous competitor for Miguel Cabrera's services.  Of course adding AROD wouldn't necessarily preclude the Angles from making the same offer to the Marlins and shifting Cabrera to 1B, would it?

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