In essence, Dipoto inherited a burning house when he signed on to be the Angels GM. The frame of the house was still intact but most of the interior had already perished in the flames. The Angels were a decent team, but little did most people know that because of faulty management, this organization was headed for certain collapse unless something was done. The Angels lost their Latin American presence due to scandal, had a plethora of tremendous "misses" despite multiple 1st round picks and had a team talented enough to compete, but never truly challenge for a crown. If Dipoto had done nothing, the Angels would have been a decent squad fore two more years until free agency took Aybar, Kendrick, Morales, Weaver etc. Payroll would've expanded but the team itself would've rot from the inside out.
So what did Dipoto do? He bought a few support beams to make this house structurally sound and began to work on rebuilding the interior. Those support beams are now Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, C.J. Wilson, and though virtue of luck, he inherited Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. Admittedly, Wilson, Hamilton and to an extent, Pujols have struggled mightily in their attempt to provide stability to the Major League squad. Still, the logic behind the moves is the same.
However, you didn't think Dipoto would gut the interior of the house without the intention of rebuilding it did you?
The first thing Jerry needed to do was re-establish a Latin American presence. The Angels missed out on this gold mine of ball players for two or three years because of their lack of scouting, infrastructure and communication down there. I'm sure you've heard recently that the Angels hired a new scouting director for that area and have committed to building an entirely new, state of the art complex down there to house potential future major leaguers. In the mean time they've gone about aggressively promoting and signing Latin American prospects. Previously stagnated prospects have been sent stateside by the Dipoto regime to see their worth, thus system has been infused by the likes of Pedro Toribio, Daniel Hurtado and Gabriel Perez. Meanwhile, the Angels have inked highly regarded prospects (and promoted them) SS Jose Rondon and Arjenis Fernandez.
Next, the Angels have taken their first steps toward reloading their interior by adopting a different draft policy. Under scouting director Eddie Bane, the Angels tended to draft a lot of high risk, high reward high school prospects. This resulted in a couple of home runs like Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo but also resulted in countless whiffs, the likes of which you've never heard of because they simply couldn't make the adjustments. The year before Dipoto was hired, the Angels promoted Ric Wilson to be the scouting director. Wilson was kept in place because he tended to favor many of the same prospects Dipoto did. This new drafting policy has taken root in the Angels system and in a few years, Dipoto fully intends to use them to stock the system. It seems likely that the approach of trading away prospects is finished. Still, the Angels system is currently stocked from Ric Wilson signees. C.J. Cron, Nick Maronde, Michael Roth, Austin Wood, R.J. Alvarez, Alex Yarbrough, Eric Stamets, Mark Sappington, Reid Scoggins and Mike Morin are a few of the mor prominent prospects Wilson has brought into the fold. The majority of these prospects are collegiate athletes that may lack the ceiling but possess more "finish" than their high school counterparts.
To sum it up, Dipoto's convinced Arte Moreno to spend big in free agency in the short term, yet was creative enough in his negotiating to keep the Angels payroll well under 150 million. This policy seems likely to fade over the next few seasons as contracts will inevitably become more expensive and the Angels will need to focus on keeping their younger players (Trout, Trumbo, Bourjos, Richards) away from free agency. This is done to keep the Angels competitive in the short term. The policy of trading away prospects for rentals also seems as though it's likely met it's conclusion. Now that Dipoto has the minor league personnel and prospects in place, I believe he intends to preserve the Angels system in much the same manner that former GM Bill Stoneman did. In essence, I'm saying that because Dipoto is trying to keep the major league squad competitive while building from scratch a minor league system, he's gone about RELOADING this organization, and not REBUILDING. The difference is subtle, yet considerable.
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@TurbosLady9493 Not a bad article considering the direction of the #BadShipLAAlipop... http://www.monkeywithahalo.com/2013-articles/may/jerry-dipoto-angels-rebuild-reload-plan.html
This article has to be one of the best and, to my way of thinking, most accurate depictions of the vision Jerry DiPoto has for directing the long-term future of the franchise.
My only alternate-reality viewpoint might be that I somehow feel like he must have felt some pressure, if not suffered outright intervention, to sign Pujols and Hamilton in order to keep the limelight on the Angels in L.A. This may even be true of the Greinke trade. It could just be me wishing for what I wanted but I think his goal might have been realized more efficiently by utilizing K Morales and, later, Mark Trumbo at first base and (name a player; Calhoun?) in right. Maybe even converting Segura to the outfield to fill the hole.
While any GM would probably have welcomed both of these marquee free agents, I'd still have to posit that these two big-name signings may have thrown him off a little with the loss of draft picks and the resulting loss of funding to maybe sign some slightly better second tier free agent pitchers and backups. I think he can recover but we have to be ready to endure the fits and starts these roster additions have caused, assuming they don't integrate quite as smoothly as one might have hoped (as they have not so far).
That was all just speculation, of course, on my part. The main point of the article seems spot-on to me.
How could DiPoto intend to win this season with a bench and bullpen full of scrap-heap rejects and minor leaguers? This team has no depth. We lost proven talent like Morales, Hunter, Izturis, Wells, Santana, and Haren and replaced them with Shuck, Harris, Jimenez, Blanton, De La Rosa, Mark Lowe, Enright, etc. How is this a plan to "stabilize the team in the short term"? If this were truly his plan, he'd be better off saving the money on the big contracts and using it to replace players where we had deficiencies, like in the bullpen. Was Trumbo lost on him? We had the fortune of a ROY candidate hitting 29 HR's in his rookie year and Kendrys Morales coming back from injury so we sign ANOTHER FIRST BASEMAN? Torii Hunter's bat kept the team in the race last year, so we let him go so we can overpay another outfielder? His big plan to shore up the bullpen, their most obvious weakness in 2012, was to sign a pitcher who didn't play at all last year coming off of Tommy John surgery?
I think a better argument could be made that they wanted to make big name signings to compete with the media attention given to the new ownership of the Dodgers and their spending. In order to save money, they cut any players who wasn't a starter or star (bench, pen and back of rotation), and replaced them on the cheap (career minor leaguers, rookies who aren't ready, the injured and other teams' rejects).
This is exactly the formula to de-stabilize a team.