Angel Off-Season Moves - Update
Many things have been written about possible Angels' off season moves. I've written a little about what I think might or should happen, but here's my updated thoughts on what I think will happen. I have no inside information or special skills that make my predictions carry any weight, but I read a lot of information and I do have some common sense. I've rated my predictions as: ●●●●● = Done Deal, ○○○○○ = Ain't Happenin'.
Angels Do Nothing (●○○○○)
The easiest thing the Angels can do is nothing. Don't sign any free agents, don't make any trades and let the season start with what they already have. This wouldn't be the worst thing to happen as the Angels already have a good team with deep pitching and adequate replacements for their departing free agents, plus the additional picks they would receive for other teams signing their free agents would help rebuild the farm system . They are fortunate to be playing in the weakest division in the American League where no other team is likely to put any pressure on the Halos for the top spot. Oakland has made one big move so far this off season by adding Matt Holliday, and look to be in the hunt for Rafael Furcal. The A's are the best team to challenge the Angels and with the addition of one or two players, they have the ability to make the division race very close. Projected line-up:
|C - Napoli||SP - Lackey|
|1B - Morales||SP - Santana|
|2B - Kendrick||SP - Saunders|
|SS - Aybar||SP - Weaver|
|3B - Wood||SP - Mosely|
|LF - Figgins|
|CF - Hunter||CL - Arredondo|
|RF - Guerrero|
|DH - Matthews|
Not bad, but would need breakout years from Brandon Wood and Kendry Morales, and a healthy Kendrick to have any chance in the postseason. Maicer Izturis would provide some infield depth, but they would lack proven outfield help except for Reggie Willits.
Angels Sign Mark Teixeira (●●●○○)
I'm not as convinced of Teixeira's return as I was a month ago. I was previously 90% certain Teix would re-sign with the Angels, but now that Boston has seriously entered the Teixeira market, I'm not so sure, as the Red Sox have the means to put up the cash to get him. In a Fox Sports article by Ken Rosenthal, there is a poll with the question; Where Will Teixeira sign? 46% answered "Red Sox" (23% answered "Angels") Of all of the things I've read recently, none of the articles state that the Angels have even made an offer. Today I read this. The writer of this article doesn't say who the source is, but writes the Angels are reluctant to offer Teixeira more than 6 years because they've seen "something in his knee that bothers them". If there's something wrong with his knee then why even offer him any contract? Others claim the Angels are now focusing their attention on signing C.C. Sabathia in order to make Teixeira/Boras think they're starting to lose interest. I don't think Arte Moreno does business that way and if they truly are now looking into signing Sabathia, then so long Teix.
Angels Sign C.C. Sabathia (●●●○○)
New articles (here, and here) out in the blogoshere claim the Halos are now focusing on Sabathia. Signing Sabathia would give the Angels the best starting rotation in baseball, plus it would give them depth to trade for an impact bat...or else they could have Sabathia DH on his days off (just kidding...kinda). I still think the Yankees will make him an offer he can't refuse.
Angels Sign Manny Ramirez (●●○○○)
For 3 years and $78M. Some people state it'll take 3 years and $90M to sign Manny, but I just don't see that happening. There is already rumblings about the economy and player contracts, without any player signings. I may be naive, but I think once that first big contract gets inked, we'll be hearing a lot more complaining about salaries. And not from just fans, but from baseball and media people, enough to depress contract amounts. Not a lot, but a little. Anyway, Manny in Anaheim? HELL YEAH!
Angels Trade For Jake Peavy (●●○○○)
I don't think this will happen for two reasons; 1) Peavy wants to stay in the National League, and 2) I don't think the Angels have the depth to trade away what the Padres want in return for Peavy...unless they sign Sabathia.
Angels Sign Adam Dunn (●●●○○)
Dear Tony Reagins - Please sign Adam Dunn. Thank you. Okay, let me clarify that. Please sign Adam Dunn to a reasonable contract and have him bat behind Guererro (who is hitting behind Teixeira). 40 home runs and an .386 OBP would fit nicely into the Angels batting order, regardless of the number of times he strike out. It's kind of weird looking at Dunn's stats, he's got a horrible batting average, but in 4 of the last 5 seasons he's driven in at least 100 runs and scored 100 runs (okay, 99 in 2006). It might be hard for some fans to look past the batting average.
Angels Sign Pat Burrell (●○○○○)
Dear Tony Reagins - Please do not sign Pat Burrell. Thank you. See Adam Dunn, but 3 years older and worse in the field.
Angels Sign Sabathia and Trade for Peavy (●●○○○)
How awesome would that be?? "That's two Cy Young Award winners (Sabathia and Peavy) from 2007 and three All-Stars (Lackey, 2007; Santana and Saunders, 2008): five starters capable of winning 18 to 20 games each, all 28 or under as the 2009 season opens", writes Lyle Spencer of MLB.com. The 2009 Angels would essentially be the same as the 2008 Angels, except Kendry Morales would take over at first base, Chone Figgins would replace Garret Anderson in left, and Brandon Wood would become the full-time third baseman.
Angels Sign Somebody (●●●●●)
You know it, I know it, Tony Reagins knows it, everyone knows the Angels will sign someone. It might be the big splash of one of the players listed above, or a minor signing of a player such as Randy Johnson or Raul Ibanez. The Angels will sign someone.
Angels Sign Teixeira, Sabathia, Ramirez, and trade for Peavy (○○○○○)
Payroll would approach $160M, but come on...how frickin' AWESOME would that be? If that team stayed healthy, who could beat them? Imagine how fun that season would be...ahh, a guy can dream can't he?