Friday, November 19, 2004

The deeper I dig, the more I like it.

First of all, remember that the Angels were coming from a disadvantageous position, in that everyone knew they had to trade Guillen. That has to make dealing difficult.

In doing so, they acquired a player with much of the same skill set as Guillen, but who happens to be a few years younger.

      Guillen   Rivera

Age EqA Out EqA Out
23 .229 90 .235 64
24 .243 239 .259 129
25 .236 102 .279 273
Guillen kicked into gear at age 27, and his EqA last year (age 28) was .282.

According to Bill Stoneman on the press conference call (which you can listen to here), the Angels are looking at Figgins or someone from the outside to play center. He speaks of Rivera being a complement to DaVanon, and doesn't seem to consider either one (or a platoon) for CF.

Stoneman admits that Izturis has a shot at the SS job, or even playing 2B until Kennedy returns. Izturis has an interesting track record; he has a good defensive rep, and the fact that he's drawn more walks than strikeouts in his minor league career is encouraging.

I think there's a decent chance that both of these guys will be in the 2005 starting lineup. We could be looking at:

C -- Molina
1B - Erstad
2B - Eckstein
3B - McPherson
SS - Izturis
LF/DH - Anderson/DaVanon/Rivera
CF - Figgins
RF - Vlad

I'm not sold on that; I'm not sold on Figgins as an everyday CF; I obviously don't know that Izturis is ready. But Stoneman moved an obstacle for two intriguing young (and cheap) players, and I think it's a solid move.

UPDATE: Dan Szymborski's analysis at BTF gives Stoneman kudos, and also gives some very generous projections to the new Angel acquisitions.

Rotoworld speculates that Rivera could be part of a package sent by Anaheim to Arizona for you-know-who, and sees the same possibility for Izturis.

I get hugh bad vibes from a possible Randy Johnson trade. As a fan since 1974, I'm very familiar with the Angels' habit of going for the quick fix. It might be part of Arte's drive to make the Angels more "marketable" but from a baseball POV, I'd rather the team *gasp* actually keeps its promising young players instead of trading them away for an aging pitcher [see also: too many to mention]
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