The December 6th, 2011 Winter Meetings edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Angels still pushing for C.J. Wilson, getting stiff competition for Aramis Ramirez, backing off pursuit of relief pitchers and entertaining several trade scenarios and much more...
The Monkey Says: The Halos clearly still have Wilson as their top priority, but action is heating up with him as one team, supposedly the Nationals, have offered Wilson a six-year deal. The Nats are denying it, but everyone thinks some team that isn't the Rangers has gone to six years, which will probably be a deal-killer for the Angels. It seems like Wilson's market is peaking now, so one would expect him to make a decision pretty soon.
The Monkey Says: With a rich team like Philly involved, Aramis' price is probably going to get out of reach for the Angels, which is probably for the best. Still, Dipoto is starting to talk about landing a potent bat now and Ramirez is the most logical free agent fit, so don't rule them out on Ramirez just yet.
The Story: Jerry Dipoto refutes the notion that he made an offer to Heath Bell and speculates that the closer market is out of control right now, so he is not considering relief a priority at the moment.
The Monkey Says: Bell says the Angels offered a one or two-year contract, which is sensible, so don't be upset that they didn't pony up a third year with a fourth year vesting option like the suddenly cash-crazy Marlins. Rumblings are that Dipoto still like Ryan Madson, but until the market calms down, he is probably going to focus on lower-end relievers, at least in free agency. The trade market suddenly seems flush with closer options though (Street, Bailey, Storen and maybe Hanrahan), so that might be a more prudent route for the Halos to go.
The Monkey Says: The speculation here is that the Angels would move Callaspo if they were to sign Aramis Ramirez or land some other option at third base that could make Callaspo expendable. Looking at Toronto's roster, it doesn't appear they have a great trade match though. In fact, one would think something might've already gotten done if there was a match since the Angels just made the Mathis trade with them.
The Monkey Says: Stewart could be one such option at third base, but it would be a big risk. While he has good power and gets on base, he has always struggled to hit for average. In fact, he hit so poorly last season that he was demoted to the minors, finishing the MLB season with a .156 average. A lot of folks consider him a guy who just needs a change of scenery, but with him leaving Coors, that could backfire. Plenty of teams have already shown interest in him though, so he probably won't end up being as cheap as the Angels are likely hoping for.
The Monkey Says: Of course they do, anyone with half a brain would love to get Peter Bourjos. The Nats though have been desperate to get a good defensive center fielder that can leadoff. Before you go getting all excited about Ryan Zimmerman, please realize the Nationals are trying to become contenders and thus have ZERO interest in trading their franchise cornerstone. In fact, they almost traded their closer Drew Storen for Twins CF Denard Span last trade deadline, so that is probably the kind of deal they are looking to make now. The Angels need relief help, but Bourjos is worth MUCH more than a reliever, even a quality one like Storen or Tyler Clippard. Because of the Angel pitchers being such extreme flyball pitchers, Bourjos' stellar defense arguably makes him untouchable in trade.
The Monkey Says: See, this it the problem. People outside Anaheim completely fail to grasp how revered Speedy Petey is for his defense. I wouldn't even trade Wright for Bourjos straight up, much less include a prize like Conger. I'm not even sure that I would trade Conger for Wright straight up for that matter. Maybe it is just me, but I'm not a big fan of giving up major assets for a poor defensive third baseman with a bad back who might only stick around for one season. On a related note, Jim Bowden is f@#%ing moron.
The Story: The Angels have inquired on Andrew Bailey.
The Monkey Says: Makes sense. Bailey is great when healthy, but he isn't always healthy. He is also only just entering his first season of arbitration, so the Athletics won't be in too much of a rush to move him, meaning Billy Beane will probably only pulll the trigger if he gets an offer he can't refuse.
The Monkey Says: First off, welcome to Alden Gonzalez. Second, farewell to Lyle Spencer. This is probably the best move for everyone. In fact, it might even explain why Spencer was still railing in support of Mathis to the bitter end, knowing that he would soon no longer be covering the Angels and thus the constant target of insults from all across the internet. I've had the chance to have some private e-mail conversations with Lyle recently and he is a very nice guy who I think always meant well, so I hope he can find some peace in his new gig as his heads into the final years of a long, productive career. I just hope MLB.com doesn't reassign him to the Toronto beat.
The Monkey Says: Personally, I would have summed up Mathis' career with this video clip, but True Grich's works too.