The December 15th, 2011 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Angels interested in Darren Oliver, no bid submitted for Darvish, trade ideas for Morales and Trumbo and much more...
The Monkey Says: Old Man Oliver is a great all-around reliever, but I'm not sure the Angels really need a third soft-tossing lefty out of the pen. In my opinion, they still need a reliever that can come in and strike someone out when they really need it.
The Monkey Says: Not a surprise. Darvish is probably going to pull in at least $40 million for the posting and then maybe even more than that on a six-year contract. The Halos have loads of money now, but not that much.
The Monkey Says: I don't think the Angels can trade either of them for strictly prospects or salary relief, not when the Pujols and Wilson moves are so clearly "win now" moves. The Wade Davis idea is definitely one worth investigating, but I'm not sure the Rays would actually take on Abreu's salary.
The Story: Why would anyone pitch to Albert Pujols now?
The Monkey Says: The idea of lineup protection has been largely debunked by sabermetric studies and teams issuing intentional walks usually backfires, so this probably won't be as big of an issue as some will make it out to be.
The Monkey Says: This article is sponsored by Captain Obvious.
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The Angels, in the Scioscia/Stoneman/Reagins era have had the awful habit of helping the offense one day, then draining it the next. (Most recently was after the 2010 season. The team already needed offense, then let both Napoli and Matsui go...then replaced then with Vernon Wells. Yes, they added a guy who had a big 2009...at the expense of 45 home runs from the line up.
it would be just as stupid to add Albert Pujols to your line up...then subtract your leading home run hitter within a couple of weeks. Your net gain would be 8 home runs...to a team that finished, what, 12th in the league, And, for God sakes, Trumbo is under team control for the next 5 years.
Scioscia was foolish enough to play Abreu enough to vest a ten million dollar option for a guy who can't run, could never field, has lost his speed and power and now is not even a league average hitter. One more mistake Arte will have to pay for. Give some team $8 Million and Abreu's contract and problem solved.
Trumbo is too valuable. And, who's to say that OBP won't improve with experience? Abreu's the odd man out.
This headline at MLBTR that Fielder is looking at a contract commensurate with Pujols' is hilarious! The Cubs do realize they are basically bidding against themselves, don't they? "Here, five years, 20 per. If you don't like it you can osculate my posterior." What's the big deal? He could still squeeze another contract out after that. Epstein is an idiot if they fall for this.
A headline Mr. The Monkey mentioned yesterday didn't get enough play, I think, due to the fact it appeared to be all about Albert's contribution to the infield defense. I only glanced at it until I heard Mark Simon (the author) talk about it on the podcast yesterday. It was mis-labeled a little and is really more about how Mark Trumbo performed better than most of us probably realized. And the potential for a little overall drop-off next season with Albert there (shocking, huh?).
Turns out he led all of baseball with 41 "out of zone" plays at first. He was also "a plus-7 on balls hit to that part of the field [the first base hole] in BIS’s plus-minus rating, third-highest in the majors behind Joey Votto and Mark Teixeira. That means he got to seven more balls hit to that area than the average fielder." There was some general agreement that he might not be terrific moving in on bunts but the AL is not really designed to hurt him there. If Josh Hamilton wants to waste an AB by bunting, I'll go along with it.
My point is that Trumbo may very well have skills transferable to playing third base. The combination of backhand fielding ability and that cannon arm could be very helpful. I realize he'll never reach that level but remember that Brooks Robinson was just another somewhat underpowered third baseman until those '66-'71 World Series appearances and it was really that backhand play that made him famous. Same for Graig Nettles. And if Trumbo can defend the line his assistance to the pitchers could be invaluable, since Callaspo is pretty weak there.
He got rushed to the big club so quickly he must have a few years of options left. I wonder if optioning him to the Travs or the Bees for a month to play third daily might not be a way to at least see if it could work. I'll betcha those guys who thought he could never play third would be a little surprised at how well he did at first last season, and in the bigs! As I mentioned earlier, some of those skills have to be transferrable. It's a matter of experiencing the new angles enough times to make him proficient.
It was also fun to see Mark's assessment of Howie's new-found fielding ability. I remember commenting here early last season that he looked quicker and more decisive in getting to more balls. I guess he kept it up throughout the season. Good for him!
@Rick K. What Simon didn't mention is that advanced defensive metrics typically need more than one season worth of data to be able to draw any conclusions. I know that is the case for UZR, not so sure about DRS and the OOZ stuff he was referring to, but I think there is enough randomness in defensive performance to not read too much into what Simon quoted. I should also point out that Trumbo was near the bottom of the league in digging throws out, so that should factor in as well.
I think it is safe to say that Trumbo isn't the fielding disaster many claimed he would be, but I don't think there is anything that can be done to predict how Trumbo will play at third. I am more hopeful than I was three months ago though.
@monkeywithahalo I'd just like to see what the experience could do for him before we ship him off for some relief pitcher. And, guess what? He won't have near as many throws to dig out at third. Another plus!