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A Break from Regularly Scheduled Teixeira News

An actual signing. The Braves re-signed infielder Greg Norton this afternoon, inking the 36-year-old to a one-year deal for $800,000. If you think that's a far cry from shortstop Rafael Furcal, well, it is. Now, it's not as if the two players are interchangeable -- Norton is a pinch hitter while Furcal is a top-tier every day middle infielder -- but Norton is still the only good news the Braves have had this week ... assuming you consider him good news.

A more significant signing came out in Anaheim, where the Angels wrapped up the contract of free agent outfielder Juan Rivera. The former Angel will return to Anaheim on a three-year pact worth $12.75 million, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, a deal that seems a bit rich in both money and years at least for the current market and for a team that already has older outfielders.

Still, the more significant consideration may come in reading the tea leaves about Teixeira and the rest of Anaheim's offseason priorities. Anaheim GM Tony Reagins told reporters the team would move on with other offseason priorities while the Teixeira sweepstakes played out, but this would seem to take them out of any chance of using Manny Ramirez as a super-slugging fallback option.

The Angels were seen as a chic pick to sneak up and grab Manny if they lost out on Teixeira, but adding Rivera and Ramirez would give the Angels such a glut of corner outfielders that it would become almost impossible for Mike Scioscia to fill out a lineup card, even with using Vlad Guerrero as an everyday DH.

One more not to head you off on your weekend: another major leaguer is heading to Japan. According to NPB Tracker's Patrick Newhan, Tampa Bay's Dan Johnson has reached an agreement to join the Yokohama Bay Stars. Newhan gets the news from this report from Japanese media outlet Nikkan Sports, which doesn't have contract details or specifics about where the Bay Stars are likely to fit Johnson in. Newhan also makes a terrific point about why Johnson may assimilate to Japanese baseball more successfully than some others; his patience at the plate and procedural plan at the plate is eerily similar to the tact traditionally taught Japanese hitters.

By Cameron Smith  |  December 19, 2008; 6:41 PM ET
Categories:  Angels , Braves  
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Next: Why the Furcal Fiasco Might Ring a Bell


Newhan? Any relation to Ross and Dave?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 19, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Hx6MkxhW | December 20, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"Eerily" similar? You sure that's the adjective you want there?

I was also curious about Newhan's ancestry...

Posted by: fischy | December 20, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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