http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_4702721

Indications are that the Angels are closing in on acquiring center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. in a deal that could be worth $55million for five years.

The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that according to an unnamed baseball executive, the Angels' focus is on the Texas Rangers' free agent who set career highs in batting average (.313), home runs (19) and RBI (79) this past season.

With an already thin free-agent pool drying up quickly, the Angels options for signing a player are limited. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez and outfielder/second baseman Alfonso Soriano, both coveted by the Angels, signed deals with the Chicago Cubs.

If Matthews is not signed, the Angels nearly are at a point where they would have to make a trade to acquire the impact player they seek. It's a route that general manager Bill Stoneman has not gone to very often.

"Ideally, you'd like to acquire something without giving up something other than money," Stoneman said Tuesday. "But the two big guys are gone now so it becomes more likely, but not 100 percent, that it will come from a trade."

Stoneman said the Angels' main objective is to improve the offense at either third base, first base or center field. They are not looking to acquire somebody who is exclusively a designated hitter.