The January 31st, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including MLB executive say whether they would choose the Pujols or Fielder contracts, over/under on Angels wins in 2012, Vernon Wells has been working with top hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and much more...
The Monkey Says: These comparisons have been done to death, but this is a great way of looking at it since the feedback actually comes from real decision makers. Clearly most of them prefer Fielder's youth. But that's all kind of boring compared to guessing who the exec that grumbles about "having lived those deals" really is. I mean, it has to be Brian Sabean venting about the Zito contract, right?
The Monkey Says: How do you not bang the over? I want to know what sports book he saw 87.5 at, because I would fly to Vegas just to take that bet. Seriously, this is a team that won 86 games last season then added Pujols, Wilson and Hawkins while losing nobody of consequence. You're telling me that isn't worth at least four more wins?
The Monkey Says: This both excites and worries me. It is great that he is seeking out additional help and taking his struggles very seriously, but it is also very concerning that he feels the need to rebuild his swing "from scratch" at this stage of his career, despite his old swing making him a very wealthy man. Tweaks are one thing, but a complete overhaul smacks of desperation. It also makes me worry he is going to be a mental mess again this year as he constantly tinkers with his new swing. Let's not forget that Brandon Wood went down this same road the off-season before the Angels released him.
The Monkey Says: Also known as Fraudriguez, he was brought back on a minor league deal after being dropped from the 40-man roster earlier this off-season. He is a longshot to win a bullpen spot out of Spring Training, but he should be on the short list to be called up if injuries strike mid-season. The best part of this transaction though was seeing MLB Trade Rumors tweet that he had been signed, but simply saying "Francisco Rodriguez" without bothering to note it wasn't K-Rod. Let's just say that some of the less informed fans on Twitter were very confused.
The Monkey Says: Nothing out of the ordinary here, but what I really like is their "Best Tools" section. Specifically, the notion that Kole Calhoun has the best plate discipline and not Mike Trout, who has previously been lauded for his discipline. Also, apparently Lay Batista has the best change-up in the system even though I have never heard of him.
The Monkey Says: Who hits around him in the lineup will be a concern for a long time, not just this season. They may not have ideal leadoff men or great protection for him, but they will still benefit from just having him around.
The Monkey Says: An interesting incentive is that Howie Kendrick has a limited no-trade clause. A funny incentive is that Alberto Callaspo can get $150,000 if he wins AL MVP.
The Story: What will the Angels do with Mike Trout?
The Monkey Says: Nobody can answer this question. It seems pretty likely he'll open the season in the minors, but for how long? Everyone assumes that if Vernon Wells flops, Trout will get the call, but doesn't account for the Angels still needing to find at-bats for Bobby Abreu and Mark Trumbo. I would think Jerry Dipoto is smarter than that, but you never know.
The Story: A look at the all-time Kings of Baseball.
The Monkey Says: This is a great read and I am so glad that Pujols is the current king because it gives me an Angels-related excuse to link to it.
The Story: Do the Angels have a depth problem?
The Monkey Says: I subscribe to the camp of everything working itself out. My main justification for this is that Abreu seems like a smart and savvy veteran who won't complain about playing time since he has to know he is well past his better days and Mark Trumbo will be kept involved enough through spot starts and maybe even a platoon with Kendrys Morales, who even if healthy has been somewhat ordinary against southpaw pitching and only just started taking swings right-handed anyway.
The Monkey Says: RIP Nick, Courtney and Henry.
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