Season will prove off-season success

What one person calls dormant, the Angels are calling patience. And late moves are always an option as spring training nears.

With an offense that could be among the worst in the American League, the Angels have to hope some of their well-touted prospects force their way into the team's plans.

The man who appears closest to the majors, Kendry Morales, will have an opportunity to emerge as the everyday designated hitter. For Brandon Wood or Erick Aybar to get an everyday job, the Angels would need to trade veterans, meaning Orlando Cabrera or Adam Kennedy could wind up on the trading block.

"You have to stay open-minded. We're going into this spring with the idea we're going to take the guys we think will make us the best we can be," general manager Bill Stoneman said. "You've got to stay open-minded on that."

Pitching appears to be of little concern to the Angels, who had the league's third-best staff in 2005. In fact, the staff might be improved with left-hander J.C. Romero in the bullpen.

The Angels are also sniffing around to see if they can sign Jeff Weaver to a short-term deal. If they land Weaver, they would have five proven inning-eaters, something few teams can claim.

But the Angels aren't interested in signing Weaver to a deal beyond one season, fearing it will block the progress of their younger pitchers -- including Weaver's younger brother, Jered.

"I've stated pretty clearly that we've got some real good young players coming up, and I'd like to be in position to give each and every one of them an opportunity," Stoneman said. "I'll leave it at that."

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