Okay, first off: Explain my absence, to those reading this. I couldn't help but be frustrated with my Angels, especially considering that the other AL West team is in the WS, so no sense in coming here bitching/ranting about our season and turning off new members. But, I'm back, even though its the offseason, which I hope we have a great one of.
Allow me to go on topic, and begin.
Our pitching staff is fine. We have one of the best, if not THE best rotation in baseball. We got Weaver, HAREN, Santana, Kazmir, and Joel Pineiro. We shouldn't mess with it at all, baring a serious injury/struggle/chance of an upgrade, of course. Our bullpen is decent. Walden and Kohn showed a lot of promise, and part of the spoiledness in me couldn't help but wish we signed Rafael Soriano last season to close. But hey, he's gonna be available this offseason. Fuentes and Rodney were awful, and I honestly cant see another candidate other than Jepsen for the job. Yes, he had his share of struggles last season, despite showing promise 2 seasons ago. I still see the potential. Blazing velocity, nice control, etc. If we're not looking in the FA/trade market for a closer, my pick is Kevin Jepsen in a heartbeat. Kohn, Walden, Palmer (and maybe Jepsen included if he doesn't get promoted), sounds decent, but it can still use a reliable arm or two.
Offense: Our infield is questionable. Can Kendry Morales, play like he did 2 seasons ago? When is Kendrick gonna finally step up? How about Aybar... can he be consistent? Is Callaspo the long term answer? I fully support a major infield change. Everyone should be touchable, except Morales. The most noticeable hole, is 3rd base. Callaspo is just flat out awful. My top choice, would be to trade for Adrian Gonzales. Give up what you have to give up for the guy. Trout, Conger, Reckling... whatever it takes. I remember there was a time when the Angels were so hesitant to trade Wood, and now he has 0 value. I never understood why teams preffered preparing for the future over the present. Especially if the prospects have proved nothing in the bigs, like some GMs think. Gonzo and Morales on each corner sounds LETHAL. That's gonna be a major boost to our offense. Remember how the Angels struggled to find a compliment to Vlad? Now that he's a Ranger, he has Hamilton, Cruz, and Young. Where are they? In the WS. Don't get me wrong, a legitimate MVP candidate like Hamilton shouldn't be available. But they stil have guys lie Cruz, Young, and Kinsler there. That's being generous, and showing dedication. Other options: Konerko, Dunn, Beltre (Don't overpay him)
DH: I cant say signing Matsui was a bust. Relying on an aging, 36 year old with a bad knee, to save your season and to be your best player, is pathetic. But I also cant say we should resign him. If we can get Carl Crawford to come here, like many are predicting will happen, then I like putting Bobby in the DH spot, and moving Crawford to LF. But I'm not opposed to re-signing Matsui, especially if we're in the playoffs next year. If Im the Angels, I also give Manny a call. He shouldn't be too expensive, and I'd love to see him DH for us too.
Disclaimer: I'm not counting the Angels to sign all these guys. Our GM isn't Pat Riley. But the one guy I want the Angels to aggressively pursue, is Adrian Gonzalez. Give them ANY prospect they want. I'm hungry for a WS and I'm sure all of you are too. If we can sign him, or any of the offense boosters like Gonzales, Cawford. Konerko, Dunn, or Manny, should do wonders for this team.
If I'm Reagins, I'm pushing hard for this to happen:
Rotation: Weaver, Haren, Kazmir, Santana, Pinerio
Bullpen: Kohn, Walden, Palmer, Jepsen, Bulger, Rafael Soriano, Billy Wagner.
Since we TRADED for Gonzo, we don't lose the big money available to sign Crawford. If Moreno is as hungry and determined as he says he is, I want a serious closer like Soriano to close, and a veteran reliever like Wagner who should be cheap. If we make this happen, best believe I want Matsui here. I dont think I gotta explain why. Thoughts?
11/01/2010 - 11:32 PM PST
Great post! Hopefully we can land Carl Crawford as you said- he would be an awesome addition what the Angels try to do w/ his speed. Got some pop and can drive in runs too, not to mention terrific glove. He kind of reminds me of Torrii Hunter but with less pop but more speed. Adrian Gonzalez would be another great choice, but I think Crawford would be the best fit for the team.
11/02/2010 - 03:10 PM PST
^ We still need more depth offensively though. We actually got a challenge in the AL West now, and after losing a WS, Ryan is bound polish that team.
Crawford wont be enough. I think with that roster, we got a legit WS chance.
12/11/2010 - 04:29 AM PST
What Tony Reagins should do, version 2.0
What a disappointing (To say the least) start to the offseason. We've solidified our bullpen with the additions of Takahashi and Downs. BUT, we still a huge gap to fill offensively.
Crawford, Gonzalez (Who I BOTH wanted in Red next season), are gone to the hated Red Sox. Werth was given that ridiculous contract by the Nats, but Beltre is still around. If I'm Reagins, I got no other choice but to make peace with Boras, resulting in making our club better.
Beltre provides some pop in our infield, and elite defense. Angels have a National League style offense, and we all know what Beltre did in his last year with the Dodgers. I'm not saying its gonna happen, but its still worth mentioning. If I'm Reagins I sign Beltre to provide a nice 1-2 punch in the infield. Morales and Beltre on both corners, sounds awesome.
There's also a possibility of Vladimir Guerrero coming home. Big question is, can he stay healthy? This season, Vlad has shown what he can do when healthy. Its a gamble, and at the same time, I don't know if we should go for it. Here he'd be a DH, reducing the risks of an injury. But I cant recall exactly how many time Vlad has been hit by a pitch, and him having a derailing injury. Again, it all depends on Vlad's health. Idk, but him still in the market, is pretty discouraging. Something's got to be up, or else he'd have a ball club by now. If I'm Reagins, I say, "Sorry Vlad, we're sticking with Matsui". Matsui has pop, and has that clutch ability in the playoffs.
Perhaps our biggest hole, is in the outfield. I don't like Hunter being moved to right, after so many successful seasons playing Center, just to start a rookie. Bourjos got some pop, but he isn't worth SLIDING HUNTER to RF. If I'm Reagins, I think about possibly adding Magglio to play RF, and sliding Hunter back to Center. Some may think he's washed up, but he was off to a great start this year, before an injury killed his season. One thing's for sure though: Worst case scenario is that he plays like the washed up Magglio. But the guy can REALLY hit. In his first BAD season with the Tigers, he hit .310. We at least get good hitting with Magglio.
Our starters and rotation should look like this:
1B - Kendry Morales
2B - Howie Kendrick
SS - Erick Aybar
C - Mike Napoli
3B - Adrian Beltre
LF - Bobby Abreu
CF - Torii Hunter
RF - Magglio Ordonez
DH - Hideki Matsui
Scott Downs - LP
Jordan Walden - RP
Kevin Jepsen - RP
Hisanori Takahashi - LP
Fernando Rodney - RP
Michael Kohn - RP
Average age would be 31 though (On offense). But thats what happens when you miss out on relatively young talent like Crawford and Gonzalez who are in their prime.
12/12/2010 - 06:13 PM PST
We've certainly had better teams in recent history.
I have nothing eye-opening to say, but in the end it all comes down to our offense. Our starting pitching has been excellent for years and our bullpen (although less consistent) has been productive. Our last two signings solidify our bullpen, we shouldn't need any more additions to the bullpen. Our batting needs to step up this season. Bolstering the batting order with a couple acquisitions will help.
I agree with you that we should resign Matsui over Guerrerro. Vlad is less reliable in terms of injury and we all know how capable Matsui is in the clutch. After signing Beltre, I'm not sure who else I would want us to sign. As you've already outlined, we've missed most of our opportunities this offseason. I guess saving a little for next offseason would be better than signing someone for the sake of making a change.
This is pure speculation, but assuming Arte Moreno is unsatisfied with the absence of any major signing, a mid-season trade is possible. I don't have any particular teams or players in mind, but its something we've done in the past.
EDIT: I agree 100% that we should be more open to trading our prospects for proven talent.
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