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The Mercurial Miami Marlins Moving Money Making Moves: Angels Add Additional Assets to Arsenal, Alliterations Abound

go ahead and do a quick google search for "will smith welcome to miami".... waiting.... now tell me he hasn't had that video taken down or altered at every turn. He has this type of pull. I believe it.

UPDATE: Loria throwing money for his club til the players show him love

 

This is why you wait.  More Alliteration!

I planned on writing about the flurry of activity for the Miami Marlins.  They have gone out and obtained an outstanding manager, an excellent closer, a dynamo shortstop and one of the most reliable lefties in the game.  They’ve committed almost 200 million dollars to these folks in the hopes of creating considerable interest as they move into a new ballpark.  This was going to be the story, and an interesting one at that.  You can say one thing for the Marlins in 2012 – things are going to be exciting.  The new-look Miami Marlins are looking to make a splash.  I’m hating myself a bit for that pun, but alas, it had to be done.  It’s great the Marlins are moving into a new house and have lots of shiny new toys (personally, I dig the new logo and hats), perhaps they will be a better team, perhaps not.  If we’ve learned anything the past couple of years in sports, buying a bunch of singularly talented players does not equate in a championship (see the Eagles and Heat of Philly and Miami, respectively).  That excitement I’m anticipating stems not from their success but rather their turmoil, their trials.  Already, Hanley Ramirez has expressed his distaste for being asked to move positions- and Ozzie Guillen backed him up, kind of.  Though he is expected to move to third, Hanley is a crybaby (as I’ve said before, a few times) and Ozzie Guillen is no fan of bullshitters- sounds like a recipe for some fun and soundbites to me… oh, did I mention they’re making Reyes cut his dreadlocks?  Hilarity forthcoming.

But I digress.  Yes, I initially thought I would be writing an article (with an AMAZINGLY CLEVER alliteration for a title).  I was going to go on and on about the Marlins, what they were trying to do, and what they mean for baseball.  I still will, later on in the article, but the Winter Meetings, and baseball in general, have taken a drastic turn.  In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California just signed Albert Pujols for 10 years.  For over a quarter of a billion dollars (if my math is correct).  Clearly, new Angels GM Jerry Dipoto was not going to waste time making an impact.  Despite evidence of budgetary constraints (specific article here) or that the Halos were going to obtain one ‘ big’ name impact player, likely a pitcher, Dipoto has locked up Albert and seems to be close to signing C.J. Wilson to an almost $78 million, 5 year deal.  Once again, some simple math tells us the Angels are locked into over $325 MILLION for two players going forward, and all on the last day of the meetings, no less (oh, they traded for Chris Ianetta, too.  He is a damn good catcher in my opinion.).

This is a very wealthy man. Dare I say a Mexican Jack Donaghy? Look at that mustache. I have invented a new name for him. I hereby dub thee, Arte "F#@% it, let's boogie" Moreno. Now look back at this pic and tell me that name doesn't fit....

There are a handful of issues with the Angels offseason so far.  To clarify, these are ‘issues’ in the sense that they need to be addressed in some way, not issues like the issues Dave has with the ladies.  BAA-ZING.  Nailed it.

For one, the Angels now have three desirable first basemen.  It would be foolish to think in baseball that you could have too much of a good thing.  Life, that’s a different story (too many Skittles?  Bad news.).  Obviously, Pujols will start at first.  I’d bet a quarter of a billion dollars on that one.  Kendry Morales was great before his injury and figures to be good again after rehab.  Though Mark Trumbo lost the AL Rookie of the Year to the very deserving Jeremy Hellickson, Trumbo had a stellar rookie campaign, slugging 29 homers and 87 RBI and was named team MVP.  I understand he would never unseat Lord Albert, however this is an interesting predicament the Angels have, as Trumbo is under team control for several more years and is therefore an additionally useful player.  Normally, the Angels could shift him to a corner outfield spot but the Angels find themselves in a logjam in the outfield as well.  This is a good situation for the team, but it creates an odd dynamic when they look to make more moves.  Other teams know the Halo’s have to trade someone.  There is simply not enough room for all those players on the Angels.  Just sayin’.  How the Angels deal with their seeming surplus is an intriguing storyline to follow up until the season.  The team will also have a good two-headed monster at catcher with promising Hank Conger and Chris Ianetta dueling for at bats and have a slew of young talent, headed by Mike Trout, looking to put a stamp on the big leagues both offensively and in the bullpen in 2012.

I hate disappointing just one person. And I really hate disappointing everyone. But I love Burlington Coat Factory. You go in there with 645 dollars, you are literally a king.

I will argue til I am blue that signing C.J. Wilson to a five year deal was financially imprudent.  Only two years removed from being a set-up man, I think it is unrealistic that he will be the same pitcher 5 years down the road.  This is less a reflection of Wilson’s talent (he is an excellent pitcher, undeniably) and more a statement on the fragility of pitching in general.  Poo-Pooing aside, it took me a moment after reading Wilson had signed with the Angels to fully comprehend the video game-worthy pitching staff the team has assembled.  Not that the order particularly matters, these pitchers are all likely to get hot at any given point in a season, but here’s the basic 1-5 for the Halos: Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, and Ryan Seacrest.  I think I’m kidding.  But my point is this: their fifth starter could be anyone, really.  Jerome Williams showed flashes in 2011.  Brad Mills was recently acquired for Jeff “Mendoza Line” Mathis and shows promise.  They could bring someone else in or a prospect could emerge.  Who knows?  But take a look at that starting 4 again.  Every team not located in Philadelphia would KILL to have Ervin Santana as their number 4 starter!  Hmm… let me think… as a Red Sox fan, would I rather have John Lackey or Ervin Santana?  The Yankees, Freddy Garcia or Ervin Santana?  Lackey is a bad example because I would rather have Pee-Wee Herman start for me than that fat goof at this point, but still.

There are certain variables we cannot know.  We don’t know what the chemistry of either the Marlins or Angels will be like.  Both have strong managers so one would think that is not going to be an issue, but as I said, history tells us that throwing money around at excellent players does not necessarily mean the team will succeed.  We don’t know how positional movement and changes will affect the teams mentally and roster-wise.  What we do know is this: both the Marlins and Angels just became serious, serious players in their respective leagues.  My father and I debated all through the 2011 playoffs about the value of a singularly talented player in the playoffs.  He argued that someone, like Pujols, can completely alter the DNA of a series simply by being that good.  I firmly stuck to my notion of baseball being a team sport and pitching winning championships.  I was wrong.  Pitching determines winning and players like Pujols and Reyes alter pitching.  It’s an equation worthy of the transitive property.  Both teams have good if not great closers.  Both have good managers.  Both have lineups with power and superstars.  Given the new playoff system, I would be extremely wary of meeting either team come September.  Money in both life and baseball does not mean success.  But it undeniably alters landscapes.  The baseball landscape has just changed, folks.  Here’s to hoping Ozzie has lots to talk about.

-w

No Will Smith, but the best I could do:

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Filed under Baseball, BOOMSHAKALAKKA, Cajones, first base, MLB, offseason, Pickups, Posted, shortstop

Offseason Changes (and staples): the los angels de los anaheim in the greater los angeles area and such

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…

 

 

sadly, this is not what the owner of the Angels looks like

 

 

Carl Crawford/ Jayson Werth

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.

 

Howie Kendrick

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.

Side note: watch  Peter Bourjos, I just think with that name, he’s bound to be a player.

Jered Weaver

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,

 

laters,

 

-w

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, offseason, Opinion