23 December 2009

thoughts: Rodney, Yankees, and the M's (again!)

Just some tidbits:


So the Angels signed Fernando Rodney today. I'm ambivalent about this signing. While yes, Rodney helps to bolster a very bad Angels bullpen (that's already lost 'Dondo and Oliver, but gains Shields back from injury), it's not even close to a slam dunk.

The side that hates this deal says:
First of all, Rodney isn't what you'd call a lights-out reliever. He closed for the Tigers last year to the tune of 37 saves (out of 38 tries) and 2-5 with a 4.40ERA. Not pretty numbers, especially if you notice the declining K/9 rates. Add in the reputation of being erratic, and well, the save percentage doesn't look as appealing. Most backers would argue that most of the damagae to his numbers came in non-save situations, but uh, isn't he coming to Anaheim to set-up??? I can't imagine that Sosh will rock the boat and displace Fuentes unless Fuentes is really bad. Add in the fact that they're spending another $5-6M for a reliever, and the Angels have one pricey bullpen (Fuentes = $9M, Shields = $5.35M, Spier = $5.25M). The Angels had a tradition of a lockdown bullpen earlier in the decade, but well, weren't those built on cheap young talent or reclaimation projects? Throwing so much money at a relief pitcher seems like such a waste of resources.

The optimistic side says:
Rodney is a power arm (which Sosh loves in the bullpen) and has closer experience. He'll push Fuentes for the closer gig, and if Fuentes really sucks, bumping him to the set-up role can prevent his 2011 option from vesting. He's an established closer with great stuff - a mid-90s fastball and a fantastic slider. And he was the best relief option on the FA market. Most other FA relievers have signed elsewhere (Soriano, Saito, Wagner, Capps), unless Valverde and his crazy contract demands sounded appealing. For a bullpen that was in shambles last season, Rodney gives it a good to great addition.

Rodney was the best option out there for the Angels and I guess doing something is better than doing nothing in this case. But I just can't like this signing. Its too many dollars for a relief pitcher that doesn't have a consistant track record. I just hope that I'm wrong.


21 December 2009

thoughts: Lackey, M's, Oliver

Just some tidbits:


I can understand Lackey testing the FA market. I can understand that him getting as much money as he can. I can even understand him following that money to Boston (though I don't like it). What I can't understand is comments that indicate he wanted to go to Boston (and that he and his agent worked hard to convince Theo). I get that the RedSox win a lot (at least in this decade), but don't you think its a big FU to Halo Fans when you say things like "I was always interested in coming here. Winning was definitely my first priority of a team to go to." He's in a tough position - trying to win over RedSox fans, who have definitely disliked him for a long time, (remember he said that the Angels were the better team after '08 ALDS loss) is probably quite hard. But while he's doing that he's alienating Halo fans. It's like he can't wait to burn that bridge between Angels fans.

I'm beginning to really dislike players creditting their wives for helping them make FA decisions. I thought that Teixeira's comment that his wife told him to be a yankee was absolutely stupid. Sure, the NY fans are gonna love her, but now you basically unleash the hatred of 3 fan bases on her. Instead of owning up to your decision like a man, you let her take the responsibility. It seems like Lackey has taken that route too, mentioning his wife's northeastern roots and her family's RedSox fandom. Sure, its gonna endear you to BoSox fans (and help convince Theo you're serious about coming to Boston), but man, it makes it easier for bitter Angels fans to spread the hatred.

You can read the transcript of Lackey's Boston press conference here.


15 December 2009


I went a little loony in my last post, but I think all Halo fans should be given some latitude after the events of today.

It was bad. Bad mostly that the Angels' #1 priority (Lackey) went to a rival, the #2 was taken off the board (at least he went to the Phillies rather than say, the Yankees), and who could have possibly been #3 went to a division rival. Basically, the best options for what the FO was trying to address (pitching) are gone.

But after taking some time to wallow in the sadness and thoughts of what-ifs, sanity returns.

On Lackey:
Losing Lackey will hurt the rotation, but its not the end of the world. The rotation still has a very good looking top 4, and any one of those four have the potential to step up and become an ace. Besides, now that the dollar numbers are known, there was no way the Angels would (or should) beat 5/$85M. So there's the silver lining, right? Yeah, its a good move for the BoSox now, but I'm sure, financial flexibility or not, they're going to be lamenting those 4th-5th years and that $16-17M/year. The Angels can better spend that money - especially if a top pitcher is available in FA next offseason. I'm just gonna hope that the BoSox defense/offense remains a mess (NO AGon) for the inevitable ALDS showdown.

Oh, and I gotta say, its gonna be interesting to see how Lackey integrates into the Boston clubhouse. He's known in Anaheim for his display of, um, displeasure of his fielders as much as he is known for his toughness. How's that gonna play in Boston, where the fans/media are rabid crazy and there's already a lead-dog pitcher (Beckett)? Like I said, it'll be interesting.

And I hope that Lackey is prepared to be boo-ed in Anaheim. While there will be some that won't fault him for taking the money (and remember 2002), I can understand the hatred that the Red Sox inspire in any Halo fan.

14 December 2009

the FO gets owned in one day...

So I've been gone for quite a while, tending to finals and other end-of-the-quarter things. So I was really looking forward to tomorrow, after I had submitted my fellowship application, to rehash all that I've missed, including the Winter Meetings and my opinion on the Granderson-Jackson blockbuster.

Well those plans just exploded in my face.

This morning I did my usual quick halosphere check for any major news and despite my distress over the Lackey news, I decided to finish up my work before I sat down and contemplated the effect on the Angels.

Well those plans just exploded in my face.

Checking for any updates on Lackey, I instead learned of the blockbuster Halladay-Lee trade. Talk about a one-two punch... The Halos emerge a clear loser in today's offseason dealings. After the FO made it clear that it was going to focus on pitching rather than Bay (which I thought was a good move), they lose out on all the best pitching options. Lackey was always my first choice, since I believed that Halladay would be too costly. But when Philly emerged a viable Halladay landing spot and Rosenthal suggested that Lee may be dealt, you can bet that Lee would be a fabulous (and less expensive) addition to the Halos rotation.

But today, all three are gone. Worse still, Lackey went to the BoSox and Lee to the M's.

The halosphere is up in arms, and understandably so. The FO just got its ass handed to it. And you can be sure that a Matsui signing won't placate them.

Deep breath everybody. Now is not the time to panic. But I'm sure the FO (and the fans) are wondering whether what's left out there is even worth pursuing.

04 December 2009

Figgy likely to the M's

Everywhere is reporting that Figgins will sign with Seattle.


It sucks that he's leaving, but I'm not as up in arms as some of the halosphere. As I stated earlier, BWood needs his shot. Most of those that are flat-out freakin out are *certain* that BWood is bad, just like Dallas McPherson, etc. Let's take a deep breath and consider some of these charges:

01 December 2009

arbitration offers for Lackey, Figgins

The Angels offered arbitration to Lackey and Figgins, which was certainly a no-brainer. Not offering to Vlad was another obvious choice since he would get at least $12M. (Though it pains me to think Vlad will have trouble finding a job, he would not be worth that salary. Sometimes a FO needs to execute painful decisions if it makes the club better.)

The head-scratcher was not offering to Oliver. Oliver is a Type A, so if he signs elsewhere, they could've gotten a first-round draft pick and a supplemental. More likely, he would have accepted since most other teams would balk at forfeiting a first-rounder for a middle reliever. Some in the halosphere point out that Oliver most certainly would have gotten a raise in arbitration. That would put him at ~$4M and much higher than what he would have gotten on the open market, since there's a surplus of relievers. If they're right, then this is a payroll move. Me? I'm not convinced it was a great move. They may save a few mil, but the FO be kicking themselves if they guessed wrong. Oliver was the lone lefty in the bullpen and was very effective. If he goes to another team (Texas??) then it would be a double blow when you think of those lovely draft picks they could've picked up.