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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For those who know me, I'm rarely in a foul mood and I'm a tad on the optimistic side. I never lose my composure and courteous to others. However, if Peter Bourjos was traded (I don't care what the package) ALL of that would go out the window and I would freakin' lose it.
@ScottyAllenLAAI As I have made no secret of my unhealthy mancrush on Speedy Petey, I am +1 to this times 100.
I wouldn't mind signing Francisco Cordero. I mean the idea is probably to spell Walden if he doesn't progress enough. Cordero has maintained a good ERA this late in his career. I see him as one of those relievers that is gone by August.
Don't forget that Bobby Wilson is out of options. If they DFA or trade him, signing Navarro will give the Halos more roster flexibiity, should the Angels opt to keep their depth with Abreu and Morales, as well as calling Trout up and and down, and even carrying an extra pitcher once in a while. I say sign Navarro, DFA or trade Wilson, and then put Navarro at AAA as an emergency C.
@RyanWKrol I just don't see what is wrong with Wilson? He is a good defensive catcher and he can't really hit, but neither can Navarro. As a back-up who will only play 40 games, I'd rather have Bobby than Navarro, who will cost 2 to 3 times as much and may not be any better.
@monkeywithahalo I totally agree. It's options issue that makes this difficult. If Wilson wasn't out of options I would say 'no way' to Navarro. There's more upside to Wilson.
@RyanWKrol@monkeywithahalo I don't see anything wrong with Wilson as a backup except the numbers issue. While I do see the argument against my original idea of starting Conger and using Wilson as a backup due to inexperience, I don't see how they could have done worse than the Mathis-led mob of last season. With Ianetta here I'd suggest Conger will have to be the backup or co-catcher. It's time, Conger needs ML at-bats.
If they can trade Wilson and Callaspo for something, fine. If they can DFA Wilson and he gets through waivers and be sent to triple A, fine. But Wilson should not be on the opening day roster now with Ianetta on board.
A nicely arranged series of articles. The Angels want to upgrade the bullpen but, in the next story, want to downgrade the catching. Somebody thinks Conger is nothing but trade material. I hope it's not JDP.
Two things from this morning's Hot Stove replay. One is they had Harold talking to a guy who played with Darvish in Japan. He was well-spoken and offered interesting analysis about how Darvish might be expected to perform in the U.S. He felt 12 wins would be great and more would be phenomenal. I don't know if he thought that just for Darvish's first, "acclimating" season but paying that much for an annual 12-game winner doesn't seem like a very good investment.
Also, John Hart went over both the Angels' and the Rangers' pitching staffs. I can now see why the Rangers lacked serious interest in Wilson. They already have two lefty starters, three is an invitation for every team to load up a righty lineup, which is much easier than finding a lot of lefty hitters. The Angels really didn't look that horrible with three effective switch-hitters, assuming Morales can play.
The second point about Wilson was that he is noticeably older than the other two. I guess the Rangers figured they would save a bunch of money with a rotation that is all pre-arbitration compared to the $50MM the Angels are paying in '12 for their rotation. Teams that haven't drafted well aren't as lucky as the Rangers (at this moment, it will catch up with them).