The December 21st, 2011 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Dipoto still looking at bullpen upgrades, Angels showing interest in Dioner Navarro, Angels and Rangers get the tale of the tape comparison treatment and much more...
The Monkey Says: That's nice to hear because I still don't trust this bullpen. Even with LaTroy Hawkins added, it seems they could use another right-handed power arm, preferably one that could take over as closer if Jordan Walden fails to bounce back mentally from his late-season meltdowns.
The Monkey Says: Why? Who the hell knows. Navarro is miserable hitter and possibly overrated defender. In other words, he is a switch-hitting Venezuelan version of Jeff Mathis. With Bobby Wilson already on the roster as a back-up catcher, I fail to see what the Angels think they need Navarro for, unless they think they are going to trade Wilson.
The Monkey Says: I agree with almost every part of this until he calls Mike Scioscia versus Ron Washington a draw. That has to be a joke, right? THere have been a lot of these comps between the two teams and in most the Rangers come out on top. That makes sense, but I lean towards the Angels because A) I'm horribly biased and B) it seems to me that several Angels have a good chance of improving this season (Wells, Trumbo, Bourjos, Morales, Hunter, Aybar, Iannetta) while several Rangers appear more likely to regress (Napoli, Young, their entire rotation).
The Monkey Says: Oh, dear God, please no! Giving Coco anything scares the hell out of me. His K/9 rate was a joke at 5.43 last season and his BABIP of .214 was well below his career rates, suggesting that his 2.45 ERA last season was founded on a lot of good luck. Despite having closer experience, there is a good chance that Cordero would only be the sixth best reliever in the Angels pen if they signed him.
The Monkey Says: I have absolutely no inside knowledge, but my guess is that the discrepancies are based on some sort of incentive clauses in the contract. The good news though is that even at its worst, the Angels are still set to at least double their previous TV revenue. At best, they triple it. Tripling would be a lot better, but I think they can survive just fine on $100 million from TV alone.
The Monkey Says: I think the gut response here is to go with Darvish because he is younger. But when you factor in that he will be at least $25 million more expensive than Wilson, I'm not so sure that the smarter move isn't to just go with Wilson since he is a known quantity. Darvish definitely has more upside, but the track record of Japanese import pitchers suggests there is at least a reasonable chance that Darvish ends up as nothing more than back-of-the-rotation pitcher.
The Story: What is next for the LA Angels?
The Monkey Says: This was basically answered above in that Dipoto is searching for bullpen help. And as reader Rick predicted, it does give me a chance to rant about the notion of the Angels trading Peter Bourjos. Saxon's premise of not wanting to waste Trout's speed does make more sense than the other arguments in favor of dealing Bourjos, but not by much. I mean, does anyone complain about Carl Crawford's speed being wasted in left field? No, not really. Trout definitely can be a very good center fielder, but Bourjos is already established as an elite defender. I would also argue that Trout's body type makes him prone to losing his speed sooner than the more lithe Bourjos. That's a problem for ten years from now, but it has to at least factor into the equation a little bit.
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