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The solution is very simple: "Begin with the end in mind," as Stephen Covey says. The bullpen blew 22 saves. Cutting that to half alone would have probably won a playoff birth for the Angels. In the midst of the Pujols and Wilson signing, I kept asking myself: "Game 7 of the ALDS playoffs and who closes the game? Walden? Then midseason they signed Frieri. Frieri?" The first thing the Angels should have done was to get a closer that HAS gotten it done, where they want it done -- THE WORLD SERIES. Papelbon with his experience with the Sox would have been perfect. Right now the closest available closer with consistent performance and experience in the playoffs would be Valverde. Get him and all of a sudden your bullpen becomes powerful with Jepsen/Walden in the 7th, Downs as the situational lefty, Frieri in the 8th, and Valverde in the 9th. Case closed. As for the offense, there are two main weaknesses: there are more hackers than a hacking convention in Vegas, and it's too right-handed. If you look at the Championship teams the past 5 years, balance has been predominant: Yankees with Teixera and A-Rod, Phillies with Howard, Werth, Utley, and Cards with Pujols and that switch hitter, etc. To fix the lineup, I would "make an offer they can't refuse" and trade Wells (yes Wells -- the deadest of dead weight), Trumbo and Ianetta to Minnesota for Mauer and their next-most expensive player. Then re-sign Hunter. Your lineup would be: Trout, Aybar, Mauer, Pujols, Morales, Hunter, Kendrick, Callaspo and Bourjous: Speed up top and at the bottom, switch-hitting power in the middle. As for the rotation, Greinke should definitely be re-signed for a rotation of: Weavy, Greinke, Wilson, Richards, and the ubiquitous "Player to be named later." That'll be your Angels Championship lineup for years to come. Peace out.
2 years ago on What will Jerry do with the Angels lineup?