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Tag:American League
Posted on: October 27, 2009 6:08 pm
 

Memo to Arte Moreno, Reagins and Scioscia

The Angels enter the off season with $50 million in expiring contracts. The club, roughly, had a payroll of $114M in 2009. I will give my suggestions on what the team needs to do as they prepare for 2010. Note: Current player age in parenthesis, followed by 2009 salary.

Vladimir Guererro (35) $15M - Vladdy had a good post season, but his bat is slowing down and the injuries continue to mount. The Angels would be wise to look hard at replacing Big Daddy at DH with Hank Blalock, Aubrey Huff or Adam LaRoche (Gives the club the option of moving Kendry Morales from 1B to RF if they can't resign Abreu).

Kelvim Escobar (33) $9.5M - Halos can replace his power arm internally with Jose Arredondo ($400K).

John Lackey (31) $9M - Lackey is a horse and, unquestionably, a bull dog on the bump, but is he worth upwards of $80M and five years? I believe the club will make a Lackey a strong offer, but some cheaper, albeit, riskier alternatives are out there in Brett Myers, Erik Bedard, Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, Tim Hudson (mutual option with Braves for 2010), Brad Penny and Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman.

Chone Figgins (32) $5.77M - Love Figgins' versatility, but as an everyday third baseman Figgy is valuable but not at the reported price tag of five years and $50M. I'd roll the dice on Brandon Wood and, worse case scenario, have Macier Izturis as a platoon - back up option. If Troy Glaus can prove his shoulder is healthy, he'd be welcomed back in Anaheim on an incentive laden deal.

Bobby Abreu (36) $6M (including incentives) - The Angels should offer Abreu a one-year contract with an option for $8.5 M. If that doesn't get it done, and it likely won't, the club should make a serious play for Jason Bay or Matt Holliday to play LF, moving Juan Rivera to RF.

Darren Oliver (39) $3.7M - D.O. might retire, he'd be worth a one year deal at about the same terms. The free agent market is heavy with quality south paw relievers  Mike Gonzalez, Joe Beimel, Billy Wagner and John Grabow.

Rob Quinlan $1.1M - Quinny has seen his role decrease the past few years. He's still a decent bench bat and can play the corner infield and OF spots. The club could offer him another one year deal or fill the same role internally. Juan Uribe might be an interesting choice to replace Quinlan and provide insurance for the Brandon Wood experiment at 3B.

The $50M ($41 if counting the salary due Scott Kazmir) can wisely be spent on four very good players - Hank Blalock ($8.5M 2 yrs + option), Jason Bay ($18.5M 4 years + option), Rich Harden ($9M 2 yrs + option), John Grabow ($3.7 M 2yrs) - still leaving room for extensions, in season trades and the draft budget. The Angels will get back Scott Shields to fortify the bullpen.

What are your thoughts? 

Posted on: December 23, 2008 4:02 pm
 

Fix This Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels currently have a player payroll of $72 million (including the Juan Rivera signing) - that number will increase to $75.5 with the pending arbitration case of Darren Oliver. All that said the club has roughly $45 million dollars to play with to match the 2008 payroll of $120 million.<o:p></o:p>

At the end of 2009 the Angels face losing Vladimir Guerrero ($15m), Kelvim Escobar ($9.5m), John Lackey ($9m), Chone Figgins ($4.75m) and Rob Quinlan ($1.25m). That totals $39.5 million dollars. So it’s a safe assumption the Angels are sitting pretty looking forward to the pending free agent class of 2010. They have approximately $84.5 million dollars to improve the club the next two seasons without eclipsing the payroll of last year. <o:p></o:p>

This a condensed list of potential free agents after the 2009 season:<o:p></o:p>

1B: Aubrey Huff, Carlos Delgado, Adam LaRoche<o:p></o:p>

2B: Brian Roberts, Mark DeRosa<o:p></o:p>

SS: Khalil Greene, Miguel Tejada<o:p></o:p>

3B: Adrian Beltre, Hank Blalock, Figgins, Chipper <st1:place><st1:city>Jones</st1:city>, <st1:country-region>Chad</st1:country-region></st1:place> Tracy<o:p></o:p>

OF: <st1:place><st1:placename>Jason</st1:placename> <st1:placename>Bay</st1:placename></st1:place>, Carl Crawford, Jermaine Dye, Guerrero, Matt Holliday, Xavier Nady, Magglio Ordonez, Jayson Werth<o:p></o:p>

SP: Josh Beckett, Eric Bedard, Rich Harden, Tim Hudson, Lackey, Cliff Lee, Brett Myers, Brandon Webb, Brad Penny<o:p></o:p>

RP: Mike Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg, J.J. Putz, Rafael Soriano, Jose Valverde<o:p></o:p>

There are other good players that I left off the list. Needless to say 2010 is a much deeper class than this current free agent crop. I think that is an important fact to consider when assessing the Angels needs going forward and how to evaluate their inactivity so far. It makes sense for the club to not overpay or reach for players when they have other options available.<o:p></o:p>

The Angels are willing to gamble that Howie Kendrick finally stays healthy and that Guerrero is motivated to post great numbers in his walk year. Likely the team extends Lackey’s contract to say four years at $15.5 million per, that still gives the ball club and operating budget of $69 million. The middle of the Angels batting order is still predominantly right handed, so I'd go hard after a young, consistent home run hitter like Adam Dunn (LF/DH/1B) to balance out the lineup - three years at $13 million per season would likely do the trick.

Find out if Kendry Morales is ready to play 1B everyday. If he succeeds there, the club is probably going to target Matt Holliday to fill Guerrero’s OF spot at roughly the same amount of money they were looking to invest in Mark Teixeira ($21 million a year – 7 years). That leaves the Angels approximately $35 million left to spend.

The club will have a better idea of what Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver and Joe Saunders are capable of before making a decision on whether or not they are worthy of extensions. Nick Adenhart might get a sniff at the fifth rotation spot at some point during the 2009 campaign. That is a young rotation all under team control. Leaving the team with young arms to trade for a bat to fill 3B, and then turn some of those resources around to acquire perhaps a Brandon Webb or Josh Beckett level arm.<o:p></o:p>

What I’m pointing out is that these decisions on the major league level aren’t made in a vacuum. The Angels have a ton of roster/payroll flexibility because they have a deep minor league system and are allowing their younger players to grow. The Angels have a competitive advantage over the rest of the AL West and aren’t compelled to compete directly with the other big market clubs in the league. Give Tony Reagins and Arte Moreno some time to build a competitive team this year, and one that is in a better position than the Yankees or Red Sox entering the free agent period next season.<o:p></o:p>

Posted on: December 23, 2008 2:51 pm
 

Don't Panic Angels Fans...

The Angels currently have a player payroll of $72 million (including the Juan Rivera signing) - that number will increase to $75.5 with the pending arbitration case of Darren Oliver. All that said the club has roughly $45 million dollars to play with to match the 2008 payroll of $120 million.<o:p></o:p>

At the end of 2009 the Angels face losing Vladimir Guerrero ($15m), Kelvim Escobar ($9.5m), John Lackey ($9m), Chone Figgins ($4.75m) and Rob Quinlan ($1.25m). That totals $39.5 million dollars. So it’s a safe assumption the Angels are sitting pretty looking forward to the pending free agent class of 2010. They have approximately $84.5 million dollars to improve the club the next two seasons without eclipsing the payroll of last year. <o:p></o:p>

This a condensed list of potential free agents after the 2009 season:<o:p></o:p>

1B: Aubrey Huff, Carlos Delgado, Adam LaRoche<o:p></o:p>

2B: Brian Roberts, Mark DeRosa<o:p></o:p>

SS: Khalil Greene, Miguel Tejada<o:p></o:p>

3B: Adrian Beltre, Hank Blalock, Figgins, Chipper <st1:place><st1:city>Jones</st1:city>, <st1:country-region>Chad</st1:country-region></st1:place> Tracy<o:p></o:p>

OF: <st1:place><st1:placename>Jason</st1:placename> <st1:placename>Bay</st1:placename></st1:place>, Carl Crawford, Jermaine Dye, Guerrero, Matt Holliday, Xavier Nady, Magglio Ordonez, Jayson Werth<o:p></o:p>

SP: Josh Beckett, Eric Bedard, Rich Harden, Tim Hudson, Lackey, Cliff Lee, Brett Myers, Brandon Webb, Brad Penny<o:p></o:p>

RP: Mike Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg, J.J. Putz, Rafael Soriano, Jose Valverde<o:p></o:p>

There are other good players that I left off the list. Needless to say 2010 is a much deeper class than this current free agent crop. I think that is an important fact to consider when assessing the Angels needs going forward and how to evaluate their inactivity so far. It makes sense for the club to not overpay or reach for players when they have other options available.<o:p></o:p>

The Angels are willing to gamble that Howie Kendrick finally stays healthy and that Guerrero is motivated to post great numbers in his walk year. Likely the team extends Lackey’s contract to say four years at $15.5 million per, that still gives the ball club and operating budget of $69 million.<o:p></o:p>

They find out if Kendry Morales is ready to play 1B everyday. If he succeeds there, the club is probably going to target Matt Holliday to fill Guerrero’s OF spot at roughly the same amount of money they were looking to invest in Mark Teixeira ($21 million a year – 7 years). That puts the Angels at $48 million dollars.<o:p></o:p>

The club will have a better idea of what Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver and Joe Saunders are capable of before making a decision on whether or not they are worthy of extensions. Nick Adenhart might get a sniff at the fifth rotation spot at some point during the 2009 campaign. That is a young rotation all under team control. Leaving the team with young arms to trade for a bat to fill 3B, and then turn some of those resources around to acquire perhaps a Brandon Webb or Josh Beckett level arm.<o:p></o:p>

What I’m pointing out is that these decisions on the major league level aren’t made in a vacuum. The Angels have a ton of roster/payroll flexibility because they have a deep minor league system and are allowing their younger players to grow. The Angels have a competitive advantage over the rest of the AL West and aren’t compelled to compete directly with the other big market clubs in the league. Give Tony Reagins and Arte Moreno some time to build a competitive team this year, and one that is in a better position than the Yankees or Red Sox entering the free agent period next season.<o:p></o:p>

Posted on: December 2, 2008 4:09 pm
 

The Angels: Financially Speaking

The Angels had a player payroll of $119 million in 2008. The free agent losses of Juan Rivera (2M), Darren Oliver (2M), Frankie Rodriguez (10M), John Garland (12M), Mark Teixeira (12.5M) and Garret Anderson (14M) gives the Angels an operating cap of $52.5 million for 2009. The Halos offered Garland and Oliver arbitration strictly as formality to (a) secure draft selections if those players leave, (b) fix operating cost before they head into the Winter Meetings next week in Las Vegas. Teixeira and Rodriguez are expected to sign with other clubs.

Moreno figures to raise the Angels payroll about 7 million for 2009. The club will eventually have to lock up its young nucleus or face a fire sale after the 2010 season when all those guys begin their arbitration eligible years . Currently the Angels are spending only $3.53 million on Napoli, Mathis, Weaver, Saunders, Santana, Kendrick and Aybar! This number will certainly grow substantially after 2010. This plays a huge role in how the Angels account for their future player procurement.

Vladimir Guerrero is in the last year of his deal (15M) as are John Lackey (9M) and Chone Figgins (4.75M). What the Angels look at is those players contracts totaling $28.75 million to go along with the $52.5 they have to play with right now. The Angels would like to sign two big named guys to basically slot into Guerrero's and Lackey's slots for 2009 (Peavy and Teixeira?) and add C.C. Sabathia with the money they are freeing up with Escobar's and Garlands salaries totaling (21.5M). The club essentially has enough money to achieve this and, potentially, lock up Lackey longterm. The prospects for keeping Vladdy after 2009 aren't as rosy.

I'm only pointing this stuff out to assist Angels fans make sense of all the rumors and free agents signings. The club will be a player for Matt Holliday after 2009, if it fails to acquire Teixeira or another big bat this off season. Stay tuned.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com