Napoli, Rivera Traded for Wells and Cash

So reports that the Angels
are going to deal with the Toronto Blue Jays with Vernon Wells.    We
would get Wells and in turn would get some cash and give them Juan
Rivera and Mike Napoli.  Some very interesting news from the Angels
considering their very relaxed Hot Stove absenteeism and their off
season less than competitive arbitration offerings.  This will however
leave the amount of players left in arbitration down to 1, Jared Weaver
who if they don’t keep during the money talks will be another kick right
in the 2011 season crotch.

Wells is a 3 time Golden
Glove winner out in center field yes, but the last win was in 2006,
however he was in the 2010 All-Star game.  While I’m not going to worry
too much about losing Rivera, I hope that Wells proves worth the trade
of Napoli.   I wanted him to stay at least another year.  Napoli could
have been a good DH or an improved baseman.  In 2010 he showed his
diversity by leaving the catchers position and taking over 1st base for
Morales after his injury.  Napoli made some really good first base plays
and defensively helped keep the Halo’s alive during the regular
season.  Then take his strong bat showing 26 home runs and 68 RBI’s.  So
why trade him?  Because of clout, because of Morales.  So here we are
with a surprising change in faces for the new year.   Changes are
needed, especially after the 2010 season but what will this do.  Will
this take Abreu out of the defensive playing field and put him into the
designated DH spot if Bourjos takes center and Hunter in right?  Its
going to be a roster line up that will be interesting to watch.

Other rumours that are
making me a bit ill are that the Angels have interest in Manny Ramirez. 
WHAT???  That whining piss-bag of a Major League Player?  Can we be
serious?  Leave him to the Dodgers, the White Sox, the Minors would be
better.  We don’t need him anywhere around the 50th Anniversary
celebration making it a mockery with him in it.

With anticipation and
excitement I greeted the offseason for a glimpse of some big lineup
changes, but the rumours and the new changes are making me more
concerned.  I am hopeful however as always.

Abreu as Designated Hitter?

Yes the rumors are out there that the Angels are possibly going to pursue Carl Crawford for the 2011 season.   The free-agent left fielder is a hot prospect for the team but that leaves a bit of a problem out in that spot.  Bobby Abreu.

If the Angels were to capture Crawford, would that force Abreu into the primary designated hitter spot?  Most likely.  A position I would not like to see the 36 year old veteran play.  Abreu has talent in his bat for hits and rbi’s but not enough for a DH and being taken off the outfield.  This of course hinges on if Peter Bourjos who has the speed and hits enough in the off season to secure center field and keep Torii Hunter in right.

Abreu, with his boyish smile, is not one to complain about the possible change, leaving it up to the big guy Mike to decide what is best for everyone saying.. “If it’s something that’s going to make the team better, I’m for it. I’ve got no problem.”  From what we saw in 2010, it obvious we need a good and powerful DH in our lineup, but I don’t think Abreu is the answer.   Mike Napoli could take that spot and do very well.  The past season showed his ability to hit not only home runs, but also good rbi’s.  He has power and even with his 6 mil price tag, he could give us some runs next year.

Yes its true that Abreu tied Willie Mays in 2010 for playing at least 150 games for 13 consecutive seasons and its Abreu’s wish to break that record.  However he has had is worst season since he was a rookie but I think he still has a lot of out fielding left in him.

So do you think putting the left fielder in the DH spot is a good choice just to have Crawford?  Sound off now below.

Will Angels bring back past players?

Angels baseball news
is a fire with stories of all the changes in the ball club system.  From
General Manager Assistants and bench coach positions and what they are
all about is the return of some previous Angel players.

The latest headline is
about Gary DiSarcina who played for the Halo’s from 1989 through 2000
was named as special assistant to the general manager officially on
Wednesday.  The former shortstop has been active in coaching and manger
spots through out the major leagues.  Then there is Rob Picciolo who
played for the Athletic and Angels from 1977-1985 who is named to take
Ron Roenicke’s spot as bench coach.  I’m curious how front office past
bad players and worrisome new bench coaches are going to help the same
ball club that in 2010 had one of their worst seasons.  It’s no wonder
that fans are asking the big questions now.  “Can we get some of our
2009 players back?”

I’ve been seeing some
chatter out there from the beat reporters and fan sites that they all
what Vlad back.  The question is would the Angels re-sign Guerrero
again?  It unlikely as we have seen in the past that once a player
leaves Disneyland, they don’t come back.  Besides as Lyle Spencer put it
“Mike Scioscia has been about developing young talent and promoting
from within, staying relatively young with a blend of veterans” and
thats what we really saw in 2010.  The previous season was a more
seasoned unit.  Veterans Hunter, Abreu, Rivera and Willits are still on
board along with the younger Bourjos and Trumbo working up the ranks. 

Would the return of
players past like Guerrero or Figgins be what is needed for another
pennant in 2011?  Perhaps, but more in Scioscia’s plan is more
development of the younger players and a big spend on a couple new key
players which just might net us the AL flag next year.

Hunter Denied 10th Glove but Pro Anyway

Originally posted on Angels Baseline Site
Its a shame not only to Angel fans like me, but to the game of baseball that Torii Hunter was denied his 10 consecutive Gold Glove on Tuesday.  It was a way that the MLB and the Managers were looking for big plays and big highlight reels instead of the integrity and character that make baseball stars hero’s.

Torii has always been a great center fielder with many highlights to his name during his career.  An American League All-Star for 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2010.  Silver slugger awards and of course the Gold Glove award from 2001-2009.  None of that meant as much as when, during the later half of a very disappointing season, Hunter moved over to right field and made room for the talent of Peter Bourjos.   Knowing quite well that the ESPN’s and other sports channels would be showing Peter on the recap reels.  He did it for his team.  Not for him.  That I think deserves a Golden Glove award.


Free Agent Season Opens Sunday

With the 2010 season in the books, the free agent race will begin at 12:01 ET on Sunday.  This year the pool is well filled with over 160 players in free agent status available for open negotiations between them and the ball clubs looking for help.

In the number 1 spot right now is Ranger left-handed starter Cliff Lee.  Lee has been in the past two postseasons for two different teams.  Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth for out fielding positions as well as what became another household name Adrian Beltre for third base.  If you’re a Yankee’s fan (though I don’t know why) you might be happy to know that while Darek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are part of the pool, its unlikely that they will leave the New York team.

For the Angels, currently in the pool are Hideki Matsui and Scot Shields.  Matsui’s future is very uncertain and most are not expecting him to wear an Angels uniform in 2011.  That could all change though during the race and soon the draft n the lookout for a new DH on our roster.  For Scot Shields who didn’t increase his performance enough to shadow the 2009 season will likely either retire or not be re-signed by the Angels.  With the ousting of both of these players, the Angels will likely pool that money for a big hitter in the offense lineup.


Tulare Native Gets Angels Recognition


everal MiLB (Minor League Baseball) players, including one from my current city of residence, made some news on the Angels site yesterday.

Gabriel Jacobo who plays for the Angels MiLB affiliate team Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, received the Minor League Defensive Player of the Year award by the Halo’s.  The Angels took time to hand out organizational awards to Minor League players.

Jacobo, who had a .998 fielding percentage for the Quakes and just two errors in 118 games has been working his game rather well in the Minors.  A Tulare, California native who attended Tulare Western High School and Cal State Sacramento was a 10th-round draft pick in 2008.  While not yet an Angels Major prospect, his strong batting muscle with a .296 avg while hitting 22 hoers with 107 RBI’s.

Some of the bigger awards given out by the Angels were to Mark Trumbo who was able to get some exposure with an Angels uniform on.  During one of the last games in Texas against the Rangers, Trumbo hits a two run single in the top of the 9th inning helping to make the Halo’s win more cemented.  Trumbo was awarded with the Angels 2010 Minor League Player of the Year award.

Tyler Chatwood received the Minor League Pitcher of the Year award.  Chatwood is a native of Fontana, California.  He was the Angels top choice in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.