Slugger beginning to draw attention

With Scott Spiezio unlikely to return, the Angels are giving Rafael Palmeiro a long, hard look.

Updated: December 3, 2003, 12:32 PM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
One would think that a free agent with 528 career home runs would generate more press than Rafael Palmeiro has this offseason, but the headlines have stayed relatively free of his name. Now that appears to be changing. Mark Saxon of the Orange County Press is reporting that the Angels are giving him a long, hard look.

With incumbent first baseman Scott Spiezio unlikely to return and Brad Fullmer a thing of the past, the Angels are casting about for someone to pick up the power slack that plagued them in 2002. Only two teams (Tampa Bay and Seattle) hit fewer home runs than the Angels did and a proven 35-homer man like Palmeiro would go some way to helping that situation. Garret Anderson led the team with 29 home runs last year.

As a pure DH, Palmeiro is not worth the kind of money he made last year ($9 million). However, he has stated that he would like to return to playing first base on a full-time basis and that would increase his value somewhat. With that in mind, Saxon reports that there are also three National League teams that have expressed interest in him. Moving to the N.L. would remove the temptation to stick him at DH and allow him to fulfill his desire to become a full-time fielder again.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at