Arte Moreno is on the verge of putting together a 4 Billion dollar TV deal out on the fairer coast,according to Peter Gammons. Let me write that number again. 4 Billion dollars. I listened to the interview and from the sounds of it, that deal is done, just needs to be finalized. Moreno is moving in on disenfranchised and sad Dodger fans in a biiiiiiiiiig way. That means the Angels will be MAJOR players for free agents this year, and with a spot in the outfield needing to be filled… they’re going to get a heck of a player one way or another. So, without further ado, some thoughts on what the Angels will be doing with their new monies…
Call them choice A and 1A. Both the Red Sox and Angels figure to be big players for both outfielders, as do the Yankees. That is teams with big money will be seeking these guys for probably numbers close to 100 million dollar deals, at least that’s the talk in Crawford’s case. Crawford wants to be a 3 hitter, according to Gammons again, making the case for the Angels interesting as that’s where he’s the best fit. The Sox, as much as it pains me, will likely not stay in play for him if the bidding gets up around 100 Million and as crazy as it sounds, where do the Yankees put him? The Angels are the leaders for Crawford in my book, which would be great for his fantasy purposes. In that smart and disciplined lineup, there would be ample opportunity for Crawford to both run and score in front of Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales and also drive in plenty of runs. The Angels simply make sense for him, stat-wise. But if they fail to land Crawford, Jayson Werth is not a bad consolation prize, as he too fits the Angels’ outfield as a great speed AND RBI guy (Werth is the quietest 20-20 guy who everybody’s heard of). In LA once again, and in that lineup prominently, Werth would easily get his 25-30 homers, 90-100 RBI and 20-30 steals, making him once more a highly coveted fantasy option. Though the better player is Crawford, and not just because of his triples-hitting ability that makes me salivate, the Angels are in a great, wealthy spot and figure to be able to land several impact players this offseason, whoever they may be.
aka Kowie Hendrick
How good is Howie Kendrick? This is a question my friends and I have debated for several years now and we are left still guessing. Is he a .300 hitter with 40 double potential? Can he steal 20 bases? Or is he a .280 streak hitter with little power and questionable speed? These are the questions that cause me to toss and turn at night. Kind of like why we drive on parkways and park on driveways. Don’t think about that one too much. Seriously. But back to Kowie. He often seems like a legitimate #2 hitter, spraying the ball and putting up numbers like this August, hitting .320 with 8 doubles and an OPS of .795. At Second Base, a whole season of that would be great, but that’s the point- Howie can’t seem to string months like that together and strikes out waaaaay too much for me to believe he ever will. If they sign Crawford or Werth and plant the signee in the 3 hole and Kendrick in the 2, watch and see how he produces. He could be a steal for doubles and runs late if he actually puts it together this year and turns into a 30 double, .300 hitter. By the by, I’m a big Howie Kendrick fan so take all of this with a grain of salt. Like how I saved the disclaimer for the end?! To be fair, the development of Kendrick is closely related to the development of Erik Aybar, who has progressed into a pretty nifty player in his own right (think late round steal in 8-12 team leagues).
Kendry Morales Return
Kendry Morales had one of the freakiest injures you will ever see on a baseball field. From the highest of highs, his season was lost in an instant. “I remember jumping, hitting the ground, looking at my foot and feeling I had broken it,” He is quoted as saying. But all signs and rehabbing point to a return by spring training, and that’s great news for the Angels both from a production standpoint (he was MASHING last year) and attractiveness to free agents standpoint (think they aren’t watching that closely when deciding whether or not to go to the Los Angeles Angels of the Anaheim/LA area located in California?). Morales gives the Angels some serious thump in the middle of a pretty average lineup otherwise (until they sign the aforementioned triple machine) and figures to be back to mashing in time for 2011, whether it be right out the gate or more cautiously. Morales figures to be a steal in many drafts as people fear injuries like his, regardless of the reports on his return/rehab. His return and the time it takes him to regain form will be crucial to not only his fantasy season, but likely whatever free agents the Angels sign and Torii Hunter’s as well. Be aware this offseason for Morales news.
‘Young’ Brandon Wood’s Development
Brandon Wood has been a hyped prospect for what feels like 10 years and was a major disappointment for the Angels last year, hitting a measly .146 in 2010. I wish there was some split that I could point to that made me think he just needed adjusting, but he sucked equally home and away, versus righties and lefties, on and on he just kinda blew. SO this new 2011 season is an interesting one for Wood. His minor league numbers would indicate that he should at the very least be a Kevin Kouzmanoff-type where the power translates to the majors (31 in 2008, 22 in 2009 in 99 games both in AAA), and the kid showed some speed in the minors to boot. Alas, he has disappointed in the majors. 2011 could be a big year for the Angels in terms of expectations and Wood could be looking at a make or break season here. Heck, he could be out of the loop by the time you read this if the Angels are really down on him and go after a FA third baseman like Adrian Beltre (good luck to ’em if they do). If Wood starts slow he’s out, I’d say, and is worth nothing more than a late round flyer in deeper leagues (read: 10+ teams) if at all. His time is now to put up or shut up. I just don’t think the Angels are dumb enough to sign Beltre long term, so Wood should have a shot somewhere prove he can actually mash in the big show. We shall see.
Will he continue to be dominant? Will he have a silly haircut? Yes. But honestly, the staff will be a strength of the team with Jered and Haren anchoring a solid staff.
there it is, my instant musings on the Angels as the offseason looms. I know its haphazard and kinda sketchy but it’s a start. Here’s an EPSN article if you want some more insight into the team… (with exciting video!)
I am so so so so so excited to watch Halladay- Timmy tonight. DVR be warned. Hope ya’ll are tuning in, all 13 of you, enjoy the game and enjoy the black keys,