Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Open Question: Is There Something Wrong with Anaheim?

I live on the East Coast. I have very little insight into the goings on out West except for what I read (a decent amount). However, I am at a complete loss trying to explain why the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have only been able to lock up one free agent of note since 2007: Torii Hunter.
Sure, they have signed some decent relief pitchers - Brian Fuentes, Fernando Rodney, Darren Oliver, Scott Downs, Hisanori Takahashi - and overpaid a number of aging veterans - Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui, Joel Pineiro - but the team that has wanted to make a major splash each offseason has come up virtually empty.
In 2008, they reportedly made runs at CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn, and Derek Lowe. All four rejected any deal that was offered. The team also watched K-Rod flee for "greener" pastures in Flushing.
In 2009, the Angels reportedly went after Jason Bay and Matt Holliday without success while watching Chone Figgins (Seattle) and John Lackey (Boston) depart as free agents.
Now in 2010, they missed on Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, and Cliff Lee, three guys that would have helped their team immensely.
What gives?
Truthfully, I have very few guesses.
Organization: They have made the playoffs in six of the last nine season, including winning the World Series in 2002. No problems here.
Division: They play in the AL West, a division with only four teams, meaning they have a 25% chance to qualify for the playoffs in any given year - better odds than any other division in baseball. Sounds attractive to me.
Owner: Arte Moreno has given the impression that he's willing to spend money. That works.
Manager: Mike Scioscia seems like a players' kind of manager (runners have green lights at all times). I'm in.
Players: Despite some roster turnover, the players have been good enough to win 89 or more games in six of the last seven season. Great.
Location: Disneyland is within five miles, and LA is within 25 miles. No problems here... unless you hate children.
Even the Nats have been able to woo top talent. Anyone have an idea what's going on here?


  1. You know what you see is not what you get. Public perception may be good, but who knows what goes on in that locker room? Scocia was a hard ass as a ballplayer could be that he is as a manager, too. He could be a drill sergeant for all we know. The telling sign is Figgins, who was literally made by that organization for that organization, left via FA to a rival within the division!

  2. If you look at it a lot of they players they went after ended up signing somewhere else for more money..most of which got over paid. I mean honestly 96 millionat 6 years for a guy that has a career on base % of only .328. He's 32 his numbers are only gunna go down.. figgins was overpaid.. lackey was over paid.. they just don't want to be stuck in another Gary Matthews Jr. Contract..which I believe they are still paying for.

  3. It really isn't hard to figure out.

    The Angels have a budget with a cap for the talent they are interested in. Those players got more money going somewhere else.

    You don't blow your budget and overpay simply to appease the fans. If you look at all of those signings how many have truly worked out so far?

    -- Teixeira? - We get similar production from Morales for about 1/10th of the cost.
    -- Sabathia - Would be nice but the rotation is fine without him. Signing Sabathia would have most likely precluded a trade for Haren. I like Haren better due to his significantly cheaper salary.
    -- K-Rod has pitched well but wore out his welcome. Mike Trout is an Angel thanks in part to the Mets for sending over their pick to us.
    -- Dunn and Lowe ... if there was interest it wasn't very significant. The team signed Abreu instead of Dunn. That cost them $6m vs 2/$20m he received from the Nats. And at the time we had Vlad DH'ing so there really wasn't a spot for him.
    -- Bay has been a disaster. Holliday was solid. Of all the players listed Holliday was the one I had hoped the team would have gone after more aggressively.
    -- Lee was never a serious target. Crawford and Beltre just cost too much.

    The team is a year removed from the 2nd best record in baseball. A team that is largely the same (with upgrades to the rotation). I have my concerns about 2011 BUT I would rather them bog themselves down with a contract that is outrageous just so they can make a splash.

  4. Werth is grossly over paid (Rizzo is a FOOL)
    Crawford is grossly over paid b/c of Werth's signing
    Beltre is grossly over paid b/c of Werth/Crawford and has borASS as his agent
    Teixeira was offer a fair offer from the Angels but took the extra $20m from the Yankees(can't blame the Angels)
    Lackey wanted a 5 yr deal matching AJ $$(who also happens to be over paid) and the Angels don't give 30yo pitchers 5 yr deals and for good reasons
    Figgins took the money and ran (M's will regret that over payment)
    GMJ's final yr of $10 is still on teh books this year
    As disappointing as this off season was I don't blame the Angels for not being willing to OVER PAY for those players....that is smart business...the Rangers starting salary was much lower then the Angels so the Beltre over payment won't hurt them right now but wait til he ages and they need to resign some of their young players...
    Arte's comments made at the end of the season were just emotional and competitive...his actions are smart business and competitive....as a fan who goes to a lot of games I love how inexpensive it is compared to soooo many other teams and despite the negative nay sayers comments this team will still compete...