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In years past, I might have been upset about this move. But I'm fine with it. We have to win now, plain and simple. I know it's stat head orthodoxy that closers aren't that valuable, that getting the last three outs with a three run lead ain't that hard, etc. But I also know that it increases my viewing pleasure considerably when I can sit back and watch a dominating closer come in and shut the door on other teams in the ninth. Frankie was probably the last one we had, and even he had a penchant for giving up walks and homers. Fuentes was a mediocrity, Rodney a semi-disaster, and Frieri just plan un-usable by the end. I am looking forward to seeing a closer who comes in, throws strikes, and doesn't allow base runners. And I remember reading that in the post season, the two most important players are the #1 starter and closer. With Richards and Street, we're in good shape.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/trade-alert-angels-finally-get-huston-street-from-padres.html

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The smart thing to do, considering how the team is currently structured, is to just pay the luxury tax. Just sign Garza or Feldman and go all out on Tanaka.  But that would be an ownership decision, and the ownership of this team does not have a track record of making smart decisions. If we don't come away next week with at least one decent starter (Garza, Feldman, or Arroyo - I doubt any SP that would cost a draft pick is in play), then the best alternative would be to pick up a couple of solid relievers like Balfour or Benoit and Axford, Ryan Webb or Downs and take chances with cheap SPs like the A's did with Bartolo Colon and hope and pray they pan out. Pelfrey, Maholm, maybe even Daisuke (esp. if he's cheap) and Wada might be worth a shot. 

8 months, 4 weeks ago on Alternative routes for the Angels to acquire pitching

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Very insightful article.  I agree that the Freese trade sets things up for Howie to be moved.  I have to assume that Dipoto shopped his available guys hard the last couple of months and concluded that the only guy who will bring back the pitcher he wants (and clear the salary space he needs to sign a decent free agent SP) is Howie.  So, as Garrett said, he moved Pete for Freese to pick up a replacement for Howie's production in the infield while filling a huge hole at 3B.   I'm hoping that the fact Kinsler brought back a good return in Fielder bodes well for a solid return for Howie.  The prices for free agent infielders (a rumored 4 years and $52 million for Peralta?!) also make me think that Howie will bring back someone good.  OK, the Freese/Bourjos trade is done and I'm willing to live with it, but if Howie only brings back a Jeff Locke-type, then I will be really pissed...

9 months, 1 week ago on Fallout from the Freese-Bourjos trade

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I was in a rage yesterday after the trade, but this article and Keith Law's take on the trade have calmed me down quite a bit.  Maybe, as Keith states, the market for Bourjos was "very limited" because "most scouts think he's an 80 grade defender who can't hit and thus will find it hard to stay in a lineup" and that Freese "[a]ssuming his back is healthy again, [is] a good candidate for a rebound year, something like .280 AG / .360 OBP / .430 SLG."  I'm more willing to give Dipoto the benefit of the doubt and assume that he got the best deal he could for a player he had to move now, though I still think he could have done a lot better than Salas as the second component of the deal... at least get Maness if not Siegrist if you're also giving up Grichuk in the deal and the extra year of control of Bourjos at cheaper prices than Freese.  But as this Garrett says here, it is pretty easy to see Freese as a replacement for Howie's offensive production in the infield.  I gotta think Dipoto is on the brink of moving Howie now that Freese is in hand.

9 months, 1 week ago on TRADE: Angels swap Peter Bourjos for David Freese

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Very interesting and well thought out predictions.  I really like the KC/Ventura scenario, but I'm guessing that Dipoto is looking for a young pitcher with some success already in the majors.  I'm guessing Trumbo gets dealt to the Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi and a reliever like Ryan Webb, and that's the only major trade we make this winter.  Then we bring back Dan Haren on a fairly cheap, one year deal with a vesting option for a second year.  And I'm guessing despite what he's said about not spending on closers, Dipoto will swoop in and sign Grant Balfour to a reasonable deal in a market with a closer glut.  Bourjos stays, but will be the Angels' primary trade chip next summer.  I think you're absolutely right (unfortunately) about the Angels being unable to sign Tanaka, that they will let Vargas walk away without seriously pursuing him, and that Blanton stays.  And I sure hope they sign Trout to an extension this winter so I can quit worrying about it!

9 months, 4 weeks ago on Predicting the Angels off-season

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Nice plan.  Absolutely agree that we need to land Tanaka.  Angels need high upside pitching in the worst way, so signing guys like Vargas with no upside for good money would be a huge mistake.  In that vein, I would look at trading a bat to the Orioles for Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter.  Their trade value is low right now, both being basically situational relievers.  But they both have a lot of upside and could end up being helpful starters, though with Butcher being brought back, it is less likely.  At worst, you have two good pen arms.  Or a trade which nets Yordano Ventura and a solid reliever would be ideal, but Royals probably not moving Ventura.  I'd love to land Greg Holland somehow, Frieri anchoring the pen is still a recipe for disaster.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Fixing the Angels for 2014 in seven steps

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Anybody else see Keith Law's comments in his chat on ESPN yesterday?  He was asked whether the Angels should offer Trout a 10 year, $250 million extension this winter, and his response was that he had heard enough stories about player discontent with Scioscia that he wasn't sure Trout would even take it.  He thought Trout might just say screw it, clean up in arbitration, and become a Yankee or Dodger at age 26.  And then I read Scioscia's comments about how he felt due to the Angels' (non-playoff) record and his year not being exceptional enough (though it is), Trout shouldn't be MVP.  Scioscia needs to be supporting Trout, not undercutting and diminishing him.  He (and the whole organization) needs to be kissing Trout's behind at this point.  If Arte ends up keeping Scioscia, and Scioscia ends up driving away Trout, it will be easy for me to blow off the Angels.  Let's hope all these meaningless wins they've been racking up doesn't prevent Scioscia and his staff from getting canned.

11 months, 3 weeks ago on Halo Headlines: Bees, Travs and 66ers all advance to championship series, who is the Angels' best trade chip?

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With Calhoun's emergence, I can easily see the Angels moving Trumbo this winter.  The Rays might be a good fit, since they are perpetually looking for power hitting in general and first basemen in particular.  Maybe Trumbo for Hellickson - they each have three years of team control remaining.  And I can see the Angels and Royals revisiting talks for Howie Kendrick.  Maybe Howie for a SP prospect and a reliever - Yordano Ventura and Luke Hochevar or Greg Holland and a lesser SP prospect  might work.

11 months, 3 weeks ago on Halo Headlines: Bees, Travs and 66ers all advance to championship series, who is the Angels' best trade chip?

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Nice analysis.  Agree on all points.  I agree with you that the money owed to Scioscia has been overblown as a reason to keep him.  I would be surprised in a contract of that length if there weren't buy-out provisions of some sort, and even if there aren't, I would assume Scioscia would be able to get a job relatively quickly and that his new salary would off-set a lot of the money still owed to him by the Angels.  And Arte has invested so much in this team already, I really doubt that he lets an amount of money about the same as he will be paying Vernon Wells this year and next not to play for him dictate his decision.

I'm wondering to what extent Arte has been bad mouthing Dipoto.  I'm sure everyone remembers this interview he gave to USA Today just a couple of months ago where he said he really liked the analytical systems Dipoto has put in place and how Dipoto needs time to "get our system going": http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/angels/2013/06/23/arte-moreno-angels-josh-hamilton-mike-scioscia-jerry-dipoto/2450849/.  I'm guessing Arte has been grumbling about signings like Blanton, but I would be very surprised and concerned if he fired Dipoto.  It'd be hard to stay a fan if he fired Dipoto and kept Scioscia.

1 year ago on Who will Arte Moreno fire?

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Hoping Dipoto pulls some moves.  Trade Aybar and Frieri to the Tigers for Porcello and a minor leaguer.  Aybar could play 2b or SS if Jhonny Peralta gets suspended, so Detroit should want him.  All signs point towards Masahiro Tanaka being posted this off-season.  He has the upside of a #2 pitcher.  Bite the bullet, bid $40-50 million for the posting fee.  Then sign him for around $10 million a year, control him for six years.  Would much rather take a chance on Tanaka turning into Darvish-lite than throw money at the mediocre FA starting pitching that will be available.  A rotation of Weaver, Wilson, Tanaka, Porcello, and Richards/Blanton wouldn't be bad.  Sign Brendan Ryan cheap to play SS.  Then sign Koji Uehara, who doesn't seem to mind going year to year, to a one year deal to close.  There.  Fixed. ;)

1 year, 1 month ago on Series Preview: Angels vs. Rangers vs. Deadline

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Burnett's a nice pickup, but would have preferred Uehara or Adams.  Hopefully we can pick one of them up if we have money left over, but I'm assuming that's not going to happen.

1 year, 8 months ago on Angels nearing deal with Sean Burnett, bullpen nearing not being awful anymore

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Totally didn't see this coming, but it makes a lot of sense.  If anything, Blanton is a reliable source for 200 mediocre innings, with some upside (I like how his k/9 has been consistently trending up and bb/9 consistently trending down).  I think Dipoto has his eye on an injury risk starter like McCarthy (hopefully) or Marcum to fill out the rotation as the #3, and having an innings eater like Blanton helps minimize the risk.  I agree with your thoughts on what this does to Richards.  

1 year, 8 months ago on Angels 'on the verge' of signing Joe Blanton, who is definitely not Zack Greinke

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Maybe the Angels are taking a page out of their 2002 playbook.  That team had a solid offensive (that was at times explosive), a kick ass pen... and a mediocre rotation.  Jarrod Washburn was our low wattage "ace."  Who else did we have again?  Ramon Ortiz?  John Lackey for part of the year?  Aaron Sele?  Kevin Appier?  If I'm forgetting anybody, well, that was a pretty forgettable rotation.  At least we already have a bona fide ace in Weaver and a pretty good wing man in Wilson.  Dempster would be a nice add... he definitely has his warts, but he'd be a solid number 3.  He is a bit old, but he spent years as a reliever...maybe the front office likes closers turned starters.  

1 year, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels interested in Dempster, Marlins covet Bourjos, David Courtney passes away

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Of course, we would have to account for the 90 IP of 3.54 ERA Greinke himself provided down the stretch, but full seasons out of Weaver and Wilson plus improvements from FA pitchers (starters and relievers) should hopefully fill that hole.

1 year, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels complete Madson signing, unlikely to sign Greinke, Weaver a cause for concern

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I kinda had  my doubts about the Angels bringing back Greinke to begin with, but now that it appears pretty clear that he will get his asking price of 6 years / $150 million (if not more), I really don't see this happening.  I don't think the Angels have a problem paying any SP more than Weaver, but $150 million is pretty close to what they are paying Weaver and Wilson combined.  But I'm not too worried.  We were, what, 4 games out of playoff spot with a crap bullpen and a spotty rotation.  As a baseline, the Angels should be looking to improve on the 176 IP of 4.33 ERA that Haren gave them and 178 IP of 5.16 ERA that Santana provided.  Maybe it won't be easy, but it's not Mt. Everest, either.  I see them going after a mid-rotation type with no health concerns (I'd probably prefer Dempster over Jackson in that Dempster will probably be cheaper; Sanchez asking for crazy money) and a high upside guy with injury issues (hopefully Brandon McCarthy, maybe Shaun Marcum), and taking a cheap flyer on Daisuke for depth.  But the cheapest and easiest way to improve is to strengthen the bullpen.  Love the Madson signing, but we need one more good reliever, especially since we most likely won't be able to get Greinke.  I slightly prefer Uehara to Fujikawa because we know he can shut down MLB hitters, but would be very happy with Fujikawa as well.  But I definitely hope Madson isn't the only bullpen move we make.

1 year, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels complete Madson signing, unlikely to sign Greinke, Weaver a cause for concern

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I'm actually expecting fairly big things from Callaspo.  I think he has a better shot at putting up next season the type of numbers Torii put up this year than Torii does.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the two hole if we don't bring back Torii.  And I really hope Frieri isn't our closer next year.  His second half numbers don't bode well now that the league knows what he's about - a one pitch pitcher who can't command his one pitch.  Dipoto isn't going to pay $10 million a year to the likes of Rafael Soriano or Papa Grande, but he better not go super cheap and end up with scrap heap relievers and repeat the mistakes from last season.  Koji Uehara, please!

1 year, 10 months ago on Halo Headlines: Imagining an A-Rod-Angels trade, Rodney named Comeback Player of the Year, how the Cardinals thrived without Pujols

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Nice write up, as usual.  Looking at this, I'm thinking the top three destinations for Greinke will be: 1) Atlanta  2) Texas  3)  Angels.  I didn't know the Braves had such tremendous payroll flexibility, but I guess it shouldn't be surprising.  They have a lot of good, young, cost-controlled players (esp. pitchers) so they could afford to pay for an ace to lead their staff.  And Greinke seems like a player who values personal comfort a lot, so even if the Braves offer less than other teams, I can see him going there if they are his first choice, just like how CJ took less money to sign with us last winter.  And it looks like Texas will have money to spend - I just don't see them bringing back Hamilton, so they will most likely compensate for his loss by bolstering their staff.  They need Greinke more than we do.  I would love to see Greinke come back, he was my favorite Angels pitcher to watch last year, but I've already prepared myself for a member of the Band Aid Brigade like Haren, Marcum, or McCarthy.  

1 year, 10 months ago on Previewing the Zack Greinke sweepstakes

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 @ScottyAllenLAAI Woops, meant to reply to this post earlier.  Marcum, Iwakuma, McCarthy, DiceK would all be worthwhile buy-low targets.  What do you think about bringing back Haren?  Would he be a better risk than Marcum or McCarthy?  I suppose he'd be more expensive than either.

1 year, 10 months ago on GM for a day, the Monkey's fool-proof 2013 off-season plan for the Angels

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Interesting discussion.  I actually don't think the Mets would be interested in a Niese for Bourjos deal at this point.  I would love to bring back Greinke but I just don't see how we can really afford him in the future.  And though I'm leaning towards keeping Torii, I do share the Monkey's uneasiness about doing so.  I'd hate to see both of them as Rangers, but it's quite possible that one of them will end up in Texas.  The more I think about it, the more I see Dipoto letting BOTH Greinke and Torii walk and using the $30 million or so we would save by signing a bunch of undervalued pitchers, given how much Dipoto has talked about increasing our pitching depth.  Marcum, Iwakuma, and McCarthy would be good targets (and even DiceK).  I like Anibal Sanchez the best out of the non-Greinke SPs, but he is rapidly getting more expensive with his post-season exploits.  Maybe Hiroki Kuroda would be interested in returning to LA - he would be attractive not only because of his talent, but because he would only require a one or two year deal.  I really like the Monkey's Lindstrom idea and Rauch wouldn't be bad.  The one free agent I really want is Uehara, who could close (I don't want to see Frieri and his shaky command in the ninth inning).  I can see Dipoto doing some very creative things this winter. 

1 year, 10 months ago on GM for a day, the Monkey's fool-proof 2013 off-season plan for the Angels

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Dipoto is absolutely right about the unpredictability of relievers.  I learned that the hard way this fantasy baseball season trading for John Axford, thinking he would anchor my pen.  I just want a guy who has good command of more than one pitch, misses bats, and doesn't walk people.  So I want Koji Uehara and his career 8 k/bb ratio (14.3 last year) in the worst way.  But even he is not without risks, being old and injury prone.  He even had a stretch with Texas that was so bad he was left off their post season roster last year.  But he won't cost nearly as much as Papa Grande or anybody who has the benefit of the "closer" label, though the Angels probably couldn't afford him if they bring back Zack Greinke.  But Uehara may be too obvious for Dipoto - I agree that it's very likely he takes a page out of the Kevin Towers playbook and digs up a reliever or two who are currently undervalued.  Or work out creative contracts with guys coming off major injuries like Soria or Madson or minor injuries like Mike Adams.

1 year, 10 months ago on What will Jerry do with the Angels bullpen?

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Nice analysis.  I'm not so sure, though, that Dipoto is that focused on bringing Greinke back.  I thought his statements so far have been kind of vague, actually, along the lines of being interested and getting in touch with Greinke's agent soon.  I think what he will do is make a reasonable offer (along the lines of $80-90 million over 5 years) and move on quickly if and when it gets rejected.  It looks like Greinke is in line to make Matt Cain money (6 years, $127.5 million, plus a $21 million option year), and I just don't think the Angels will spend the money to add another $20 million player.  They will owe Weaver, Pujols, and CJ over $60 million in 2015 and 65.7 million in 2016, and Trout will have reached his arbitration years by then.  If they add Greinke, they'll be spending $80 million on four players alone starting 2015, three of them being starting pitchers.  I think I'd rather have Dipoto sign Anibal Sanchez for 4 years and $60 million (their career numbers and their AL performances this season are pretty similar) and use the extra money saved to sign Uehara for the pen and maybe a back-end starter like Iwakuma.  Angels already have an ace in Weaver and a solid #2 (when he's right) in Wilson.  They need to fill out the staff with quality pieces rather than another shiny, very expensive top of the rotation type.   

1 year, 10 months ago on What will Jerry do with the Angels rotation?

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I agree that they will most likely bring back Hunter and use Bourjos as trade bait.  Forgot who suggested this (maybe it was you?) but a deal with Tampa Bay involving Bourjos for pitching help would make sense.  No way the Rays bring back BJ Upton, so Bourjos would be a great fit for them in CF, especially given their emphasis on defense.  Don't think they can get a SP for Bourjos, though.  Maybe Jake McGee?  Had a great year in relief and still has some SP upside.  Wade Davis is likely too expensive for a reliever.

1 year, 10 months ago on What will Jerry do with the Angels lineup?

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I hate to be a negative Nellie, but I don't think Hunter comes back next year.  Other teams will see his shiny .300 plus BA, his superb defense in right, and his "intangibles" and come close to offering him the "Abreu special," a two year deal with a vesting option for a third year.  I can easily see Texas letting Josh Hamilton walk, signing Torii to play right, moving Nelson Cruz to left, and making do with a Gentry / Martin platoon in center.  Torii will hit .300 again in that ballpark, feel even more rejuvenated playing in his backyard, and Napolize us up the rear with regularity.  I'm just hoping that we return the favor somewhat by signing Koji Uehara (who will most likely become a free agent, the option is his) who should help firm up the soft underbelly of our team. 

1 year, 11 months ago on What will it take to re-sign Torii Hunter?

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I just don't see Dipoto trading 4 years of Bourjos for another 10-14 starts of Cole Hamels, or any other rental pitcher.  I think the Angels are counting on off-setting the effects of Wells's salary by having a starting OF of Trout, Trumbo, and Bourjos, who will make appx. $ 1.2 million next year (combined) vs. Wells at $21 million.  I might take a chance on Torii next year on a year deal, but he will still get "Abreu money" of around $9 million, which would represent a 50% cut for him.  I suspect what they will do is work out an extension with Haren as long as he shows he is healthy (they can probably get the SoCal discount with him that they did with Weaver and Wilson), and part ways with Hunter, Santana, and Morales. 

 

Anyway, the only way I see Bourjos being traded is for a pitcher like James Shields, who would still be under team control through 2014 on a very reasonable contract.  Per Jayson Stark, the Rays want a combination of high-end young pitchers, a young catcher, and a controllable hitter for the likes of Shields and Jeremy Hellickson.  The Angels could offer Bourjos (a controllable hitter to step in for BJ Upton after he walks), Hank Conger (since it looks like Scioscia doesn't like him anyway), and Hellweg / Pena, though I suspect the Rays would demand Richards, which would probably be too much.

2 years, 1 month ago on The expendability of Peter Bourjos | July

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I think your suspicions are correct about Haren not coming forward about his back earlier because Weaver and Williams were already on the DL.  I'm sure he knew how thin we are in terms of SP depth in the minors and figured that even with some stiffness in his back he could provide more and better innings than some AA or AAA scrub.  Unfortunately, he couldn't.  It does chap my behind, however, how a lot of people are calling him selfish about not coming forward earlier and how he put his ironman streaks ahead of the team.  I think he was doing his best to gut it out for the team during a time of need, and think he should be applauded for it.  I'm hoping that they let him just rest his back for a couple of weeks and suspect he will come back strong as Weaver did.

 

In the long run, this may help the Angels retain Haren, who has made it clear he wants to stay.  If, for some reason, this injury leads to an extended absence, I think they can just pay him his $3.5 million buy out and bring him back next year at a reduced rate, like an additional $6 million or so.  And if he comes back strong like I suspect he will, they might be able to work out an extension at a slightly reduced rate.  As long as he doesn't have some sort of catastrophic injury, which this doesn't seem to be, I see the Angels bringing him back one way or another.

2 years, 1 month ago on Halo Headlines: Haren admits to back problems, Iannetta ready for rehab again, Frieri trails in Final Vote balloting | July

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I'd have to say that I would love for us to get Ryan Madson, even if we have to give him a 3 year deal. With the Red Sox acquiring Bailey yesterday, I'd have to think we are the front-runners for him. I can see something like a 3 year, $27-30 million deal. Boras is probably negotiating for an easily obtainable vesting option for a 4th year. I'm probably putting the cart before the horse but having a shutdown closer in the postseason (where the most important players seem to be the #1 starter and closer) is invaluable, perhaps even necessary. I'm a bit nervous about relying on a bullpen of guys in their mid-to-late 30s (Downs, Hawkins, Takahashi) and a kid closer with command issues. And heck, we've spent this much, why not spend a bit more to get a closer who can be a difference maker in the post season?

If Vince Gennaro says the Pujols deal was a good one, then I believe it. I read his book "Diamond Dollars" about the economics of baseball some years ago, and it was a very interesting read. I would trust his judgment about whether the Pujols contract is a good one over that of, say, Mitch Williams.

2 years, 8 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels Might Be Front-Runner for Madson Now, Words of Warning for the Pujols Contract, Napoli Getting Sued | December

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@monkeywithahalo@Rick K. $3 billion...wow. That's a lot of lettuce! What I suspected was that Pujols was Arte's move, and Wilson, Iannetta, Hawkins, etc were Dipoto's moves. Arte probably put $15-20 million in an envelope marked "Dipoto / Baseball Operations Money" and gave it to Dipoto to make the moves he saw fit to improve the team. It seems that Pujols was more of a business decision while the other moves were more baseball decisions. That doesn't mean I don't think Pujols was a bad baseball decision, just that the impetus for the move came from ownership rather than Dipoto and the baseball operations people. And I totally agree with Rick's earlier comment about building through scouting and the draft. I suspect one reason Arte felt comfortable spending so much money yesterday was that he has confidence that Dipoto and Co. will have the scouting savvy to develop through the draft and make good "value" acquisitions in the future.

2 years, 8 months ago on Halo Headlines: Special Pujols and Wilson Edition! | December

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I have to admit that my first reaction to the Pujols deal was concern over the contract rather than euphoria. But it's impossible for us fans to really know how the contracts of players affect the management of a team since we don't have access to a team's books. I think it's fair to say that a contract isn't really an albatross unless it prevents a team from making moves to improve itself. I thought the Wells contract would be a massive albatross... Boy was I wrong! Maybe in 7-8 years Albert's performance won't be commensurate with his pay, but after what happened yesterday, I doubt his contract will prevent Arte from investing money in his team in his quest to win rings. And for that I am thankful...and euphoric!

2 years, 8 months ago on Halo Headlines: Special Pujols and Wilson Edition! | December

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Looks like we will be signing Albert Pujols to a 10 year deal for $250-260 million: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/angels-to-sign-albert-pujols.html. Wow. That is a scary contract, but I am excited. I am putting my faith in Dipoto and company that this is a good baseball decision and in Arte that this is a good business decision.

2 years, 8 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels Still Bidding on Pujols, Waiting On Wilson Decision, Dipoto Playing Coy | December

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I like this trade. I like being on the receiving end of a trade that sends us a patient Italian American catcher with power who was underappreciated by his manager. Not only do I love Iannetta's patience at the plate, I like his versatility. It looks like he's played some 1B and even some 3B, so I can see days where we have both Conger and Iannetta on the field. I suspect, though, that Conger will start the year in AAA to get his catching reps in. And sure, Chatwood has potential, but at this point I am going to trust the ability of Dipoto and his lieutenants (esp. Director of Pro Scouting Hal Morris) to properly evaluate talent. I'm sure this was a well thought out decision rather than a desperation move. Dipoto said he wanted to upgrade the catcher position and add OBP to the infield, and he wasn't kidding.

2 years, 9 months ago on BREAKING NEWS: Angels On Verge of Trading Chatwood for Iannetta | November

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@Rick K. I can't really see Trumbo playing 3b, but I can see his bat being similar to Williams, though that wouldn't be as valuable at 1b. I'm thinking Kendrys is through, we won't get Fielder or Pujols, and that Trumbo is our 1b until Cron is ready. Schoenfield is actually chatting right now and said he thought the Angels were the front runners for CJ Wilson.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels Talking to Orioles About Guthrie, Have 'Serious' Interest in Aramis Ramirez, Inquired on Iannetta | November

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I like David Schoenfield's work, and found his analysis of Trumbo pretty enlightening. I can see Trumbo turning into a Matt Williams-type, good but never great player whose home run prowess obscures his more serious faults. I also found it interesting how Schoenfield seems to feel a Fielder signing would benefit the Angels most. I heard how the Cubs now are pursuing Pujols and Fielder despite not being contenders next year because of the dearth of available FA impact bats in the next few years. I still don't see Dipoto committing $20 million plus a year on one player, but I have to admit I am getting a bit nervous seeing some good players come off the board. I thought the John Jaso trade was a good one for the Mariners, and he seemed the type of catcher the Angels would be in on. Nathan is gone, and not it looks like Broxton is as well. Looks like CJ Wilson is kind of holding our winter plans hostage. I think I read that Wilson's agent did say that CJ will decide by the end of the winter meetings, so the teams that made him offers probably did put that as a deadline.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels Talking to Orioles About Guthrie, Have 'Serious' Interest in Aramis Ramirez, Inquired on Iannetta | November

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@ScottyAllenLAAI@monkeywithahalo I would certainly be happy with a Wilson / lesser reliever (though I don't like Dotel) or Kuroda / Madson scenario. It sounds pretty plausible as well. Arte may have to go over $20 million to get the Kuroda / Madson scenario done, however.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels Wine and Dine C.J. Wilson, Show Interest in Linebrink and Madson, Rangers Appear Done With Wilson | November

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@ScottyAllenLAAI This sounds like a reasonable time line. If I were Wilson's agent, I would wait to see what the Yankees do if I was going after top dollar, and the Yankees are in no hurry and are waiting to see what Darvish does. I suspect Darvish is the Yankees' top target, and that they will not pursue Wilson if they get Darvish. And we just can't wait around for Wilson to see what the Yankees do. Sheesh, I think I made this sound way more convulted than it is... Anyway, agree that the end of the Winter meetings sounds like a good time to go after other fish if Wilson isn't signed.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels Wine and Dine C.J. Wilson, Show Interest in Linebrink and Madson, Rangers Appear Done With Wilson | November

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I agree, we should make one solid but reasonable (around 5 years, $80-85 million) and move on if Wilson wants to shop around more. The Nathan signing was a good one. Aside from the Adrian Gonzalez fiasco, it seems every trade / transaction that Jon Daniels has made has worked out in spades. This is probably another one. I was hoping the Angels would be in on Nathan. Need to move on quickly from Wilson before other good alternatives become unavailable.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels Wine and Dine C.J. Wilson, Show Interest in Linebrink and Madson, Rangers Appear Done With Wilson | November

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Sorry for the typo. "I" think Darvish, not "U."

2 years, 9 months ago on LA Angels Hot Stove Update: Wilson, Relievers and Back-Up Catchers, Oh My! | November

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You are right that it is concerning the Rangers aren't exactly wringing their hands over the possibility of losing Wilson. I think we have a good shot at Kuroda if we move quickly enough. U think Darvish, the top pitcher in Japan, only made $7 million this year. Kuroda will make almost twice that if he stays here. I suspect Dipoto will make a fair offer for Wilson and move relatively quickly to other alternatives like Kuroda or maybe even Edwin Jackson if Wilson doesn't take it. I agree a lot of teams are stalling Wilson and his agent to see what Darvish will do.

2 years, 9 months ago on LA Angels Hot Stove Update: Wilson, Relievers and Back-Up Catchers, Oh My! | November

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Not that big of a deal that Wilson is visiting the Angels. After all, he lives in LA, he will probably stop by Angel Stadium in shorts, flip flops, and a Minor Threat t-shirt after having lunch with his folks in OC. Then he will get a haircut, put on his suit, and fly to NYC for his meeting with the Yankees...if they grant him one. I suspect the Yankees are going to stall him as much as possible to see if Darvish posts, so if the Angels really want Wilson, they should make a strong offer fairly early. Kuroda is a great Plan B, though, and the more fiscally responsible one. I'd like Wilson on the team, but not anywhere near the 6 year, $120 million he is seeking. That could potentially be Zito Redux.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: CJ Wilson Coming For A Visit, Hiroki Kuroda is Plan B, Callaspo Cleared in Paternity Lawsuit | November

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@Rick K. Also reminds me of hearing about how Rollie Fingers couldn't hack it as a starter because he would get so nervous the night before his starts he couldn't sleep. He'd be so tired the next day he couldn't get through the first few innings. John McNamara converted him into a reliever and the anxiety issue went away since he didn't know when he would be coming in. Kind of interesting because most relievers are converted because they lack a third pitch - Fingers had a full (good) starter's arsenal that he could use. It's awesome to watch those old A's - Dodgers World Series game replays where you would see Fingers being brought in the fifth or sixth innings and close the games out.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: DiPoto Won't Rule Out Big Name Free Agents and Hints at Adding a Closer, Trout Likely to Start 2012 in Triple-A, | November

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@Rick K. Great point that I'm certainly guilty of overlooking. Historically, the best relievers (esp. ones who can go multiple innings) are indeed failed starters. Hanrahan and Clippard, just to name two that come to mind, were starters throughout their minor league careers and early in their major league careers before they were converted and became dominant relievers. Dipoto and Co. surely have a list of both FAs and pitchers in other organizations who have put up marginal results as starters but who they feel have the stuff to be good relievers. It kind of sounds like Dipoto has in mind someone who has shown they can close already, but if they are too expensive in terms of money or trade swag, I can totally see him taking a chance on a failed starter, especially if it saves us enough money to really upgrade in another area. Can you see anybody curently in the Angels org who might fit the bill? Would Chatwood's fastball get even firmer and would his command get better if he stuck to two pitches for 1-2 inning stints?

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: DiPoto Won't Rule Out Big Name Free Agents and Hints at Adding a Closer, Trout Likely to Start 2012 in Triple-A, | November

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@alansmafra @monkeywithahalo Not so sure about Bell. He just turned 34, and though he had some great years in the past, Fangraphs had him contributing 0.5 WAR this year. His declining K rate is worrisome, and I'm just suspicious of fly ball pitchers who succeed at Petco. He will also cost a first round draft pick and will be expensive. Papelbon will be mire expensive, but I think he's way less risky than Bell. But I don't see the Angels putting out the necessary cash to get a FA closer anyway.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: DiPoto Won't Rule Out Big Name Free Agents and Hints at Adding a Closer, Trout Likely to Start 2012 in Triple-A, | November

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@bginsc Trumbo does have things going for him like his power and some metrics say his defense at 1b is good. I just think he is the likeliest to be traded because 1) he has enough value as a cost-controlled hitter with power to reel in a young shutdown closer 2) DiPoto has said he wants to increase OBP in the infield and 3) it is easiest to replace Trumbo via free agency. I personally am not expecting anything from Morales and would even consider non-tendering him. But we can sign a relatively cheap guy like Doumit, Willingham, or Johnson and stick him at 1b on a one or two year contract if need be until Cron is ready. I would think a second division NL team like the Pirates would love to get Trumbo and they don't need need a closer since they will finish under .500 with or without one.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: DiPoto Won't Rule Out Big Name Free Agents and Hints at Adding a Closer, Trout Likely to Start 2012 in Triple-A, | November

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@Rick K. That was a good article. And I suspect that there's probably a certain snobbishness among the smarter GM about paying big bucks for a closer. The Rays are a great example of a team able to put together great pens out of scraps. If Trumbo does end up getting moved, I can also see Dipoto signing a guy like Kelly Johnson to a one or two year deal and sticking him at 1B until they feel CJ Cron may be ready. Or Kendrys, though I'm not counting on him at all.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: DiPoto Won't Rule Out Big Name Free Agents and Hints at Adding a Closer, Trout Likely to Start 2012 in Triple-A, | November

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Sorry, the twitter link didn't go through to Bowden's comments for some reason.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: DiPoto Won't Rule Out Big Name Free Agents and Hints at Adding a Closer, Trout Likely to Start 2012 in Triple-A, | November

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Finally, some stuff to sink your teeth into! Bowden also tweeted some things from his interview with Dipoto: http://twitter.com/#!/JimBowdenESPNxm. I know how giving a big contract to a closer is considered a bad idea given how often they get hurt, how few innings they pitch, and their history of not working out. But I still wouldn't have a problem signing Madson or Papelbon considering how important having a closer who can reliably protect slim leads is to our team. But I think Dipoto, having worked with master bullpen builder Kevin Towers, will go the trade route to secure a closer. I can see something like Trumbo for Hanrahan, then signing Ryan Doumit to play some 1B. But with his comments about prioritizing acquiring a RH impact closer/reliever and adding OBP to the infield, I think it makes the most sense to trade Trumbo to help fill the most holes. And if he wants an innings eating SP stabilizer, it doesn't sound like Bedard will be a target. Thank goodness we're not targeting Aramis Ramirez.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: DiPoto Won't Rule Out Big Name Free Agents and Hints at Adding a Closer, Trout Likely to Start 2012 in Triple-A, | November

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@Rick K. @Rick Totally agree, that Howard contract is an atrocity. Amaro doesn't seem all that sharp. Just spends a ton of money. Looks like Phillies ownership may not approve the Madson deal, probably tired of Amaro spending money rather than being creative.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Reagins Knew Napoli Would End Up in Texas, Wells Takes His Case to Twitter, Looking At What New AGM Servais Brings to the Table | November

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@Rick K. I have seen a lot if outrage expressed at how much Madson is getting, but I don't really have much of a problem with it. Especially in a world where Wells is getting over $20 million and Abreu $9 mil. Walden blew 10 saves and we went on to lose 6 of those games. And your closer and your #1 starter are your mist important players in the postseason. Getting a little tired of second tier closer types like Fuentes and Rodney...

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Reagins Knew Napoli Would End Up in Texas, Wells Takes His Case to Twitter, Looking At What New AGM Servais Brings to the Table | November

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I would love to get Madson, but I suspect Boras will get him elite closer money in the $10-12 million range. He does what Dipoto says he wants out of pitchers, which is throw strikes and get Ks and groundballs. I also hate the idea of throwing big money at relievers, but Madson might be the rare exception, especially if we don't land Fielder.

2 years, 9 months ago on Angels Off-Season Primer: Relief Pitcher | November

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Looks like the Mets didn't hear that Tony Reagins doesn't work here anymore. To trade 5 years of a 4+ WAR, cost-controlled CFer for one year of a $15 million 3Bman with a bad back would be insane. At least Vernon Wells had a decent year before Reagins & Co. magnanimously agreed to take his contract off the BloJays' hands. At this point, I'm actually glad that the Wells trade happened. Reagins's sheer incompetence would have forced a change at some point, but the Wells-Napoli disasterpiece certainly hastened the process by at least a year or two. Sevais sounds pretty impressive. Looks like our new and vastly improved FO is shaping up quite nicely.

2 years, 9 months ago on Halo Headlines: Mets Want Bourjos in a Trade for Wright, Servais Hired as Assistant General Manager, Bulger, Navarro and Pettit Granted Free Agency | November

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Actually, Kuroda is a righty, but he seems the most attractive "get" all things considered. He only pitched 117 innings in 2009, but he was good for 196 IP in 2010 and 202 IP this year, so I don't think he is an injury risk on the order of Bedard or Harden. He will, however, be 37 next year, and though his career ERA is 3.45 over 699IP, I don't think he'll be able to do that in the AL. But an ERA slightly under 4 seems reasonable. If he does want to stay in the US next year, we would only have to outbid the Dodgers for his services - I'm guessing his main concern is uprooting his family from the LA area (a comfortable place for Japanese people to live), and would strongly consider coming to the Angels. And he wouldn't require a multi-year contract, as he's been on record saying he wants to pitch his last professional season for the Hiroshima Carp.

Any consideration for Oswalt? Phils probably won't offer him arbitration so he wouldn't cost a draft pick, but his agent is seeking a multi-year deal and back problems for any player (esp. pitchers) are scary. Nice upside, though.

2 years, 10 months ago on Angels Off-Season Primer: Starting Pitcher | November

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