Daily Links for the LA Angels Moreno talks (and lies?) about the Crawford negotiations, the Halos make a big offer to Beltre, the Greinke trade fallout and much more...
The Monkey Says: Wow, this is a big story, and not one the reflects very well on Mr. Moreno. First Arte claims that the Halos never even got a chance to make a real offer to Crawford because he already had a deal with the Red Sox when he showed up for the Winter Meetings. This is an interesting assertion, to say the least. First off, there have been NUMEROUS reports that the Angels did, in fact, make at least one, possibly two offers to Crawford. So that means either all those stories are based off lies or Moreno is lying here, which I am inclined to believe as he has real motivation to save some face. If Arte isn't lying, it isn't much better for the Angels, because it means they were asleep at the wheel and waited too long to move on their top target. After that, Moreno just keeps digging a hole by trying to play the financial wisdom card, only he does it in a pandering fashion, saying he would have had to raise ticket prices to accomodate Carl Crawford's asking price. Nice try, Arte, appealing to the fans wallets when it was really yours you were worried about. This was yet another statement meant to save face, but it only serves to underscore that the Angels just aren't the big spenders they try to pretend to be. Sorry Arte, maybe consult Tim Mead and the PR boys before your next interview.
The Monkey Says: Moreno revealed this as well in his interview, only he didn't specify the details that an intrepid reported ended up unearthing. The important part here is that Beltre turned the offer down. If this is all true, Scott Boras is clearly overplaying his hand. The article states that Boras is looking for six years, $90 million for beltre, but other sources have pegged his asking price at five years, $75 million. Considering the lack of suitors for Beltre, this seems like the best offer he is going to get and he should've taken it. This all assumes the reported offer is actually true and not a four-year deal with a fifth year option or something of the sort. What I find truly interesting though is that the Angels went public with the fact that they made a "significant" offer, as Moreno stated. This is very unlike Angel management, who normally plays things very close to the vest. If they are really feeling the need to negotiate through the media, it suggests to me that they are starting to get impatient with Boras and Beltre and hoping to pressure them into making a decision.
The Story: Are the Angels going to pinch pennies?
The Monkey Says: Let the national Moreno bashing begin! Comparing Arte to Peter Angelos is a bit much, but great points are raised about if Moreno is ever going to be able to come around and accept that the going rate for star free agents is astronomical, but also not going to decline anytime soon.
The Monkey Says: You mean aside from skunking the Rangers on yet another of their off-season targets? The Greinke deal does set the market a bit for a potential Jered Weaver deal (which is a minor possibility down the line), but the X-factor is that Weaver is represented by Scott "No hometown discount" Boras, so any team trading for Weaver is going to do so knowing that they might not be able to re-sign him, unlike Greinke.
The Monkey Says: That is not 100% true, as they have bolstered the bullpen nicely. I also don't think things are nearly as bleak as Rosenthal suggests. Yes, the Crawford Catastrophe hurt badly, but the Angels have been smart since then and wisely not panicked and made some rash moves born out of a need to hide their embarrassment. They still have to do some major wheeling and dealing, but in their current situation, being patient and waiting out the market actually might be a pretty good strategy.
The Monkey Says: That is hardly an awe-inspiring choice, but given what is out there, it might be the best the Angels can do. Damon does still seem to have some gas in the tank and might work well as a one-year placeholder until Mike Trout is ready to come up and take over left field in Anaheim.
The Story: Some unsolicited advice for Arte Moreno.
The Monkey Says: This one is just downright funny. Pleading with Moreno to sign Weaver and Kendry Morales to contract extensions? HA! They are both Scott Boras clients and Boras would rather lop off his own genitals than sign one, much less two, potentially prominent future free agents to contract extensions. Thanks, I needed a good laugh.
The Monkey Says: Budde was recently waived to clear a 40-man roster spot and will need some luck to land a big league job in the Great White North this season.
The Monkey Says: This has been a popular notion, but I'm not buying it. Papelbon appears to be slipping and will soon be due a big paydays, thus Boston's eagerness to let him go. This reminds me too much of when the Halos let K-Rod walk, so I can't imagine the Angels would be getting a great return on any trade they made for Papelbon. I say hold on to the assets and hope Jordan Walden can step up this year. If there is a closer the Angels should go after, it is Joakim Soria, but that's an idea for another day.