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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

MAKE THE STUPID STOP
The LA Times reports today that the Angels have upped their offer to Paul Konerko to a five-year deal close to $60M, which would average out to roughly $12M per year. It had been previously reported that the ChiSox had offered Konerko four years at an average of $13M per, so who knows.

The fact that the Angels are still in this is kind of frightening. Odd deduction from the LA Times report: "A successful pursuit of Konerko would probably push first baseman Darin Erstad back to center field and block the path of promising first baseman Casey Kotchman."

While pushing Erstad back to center would be wonderful beyond compare, how exactly would Kotchman be blocked?

Let's say we end up with Konerko, and he insists on playing first base. What's wrong with this lineup:

Kennedy, 2B
Kotchman, DH
Vlad, RF
Garret, LF
Konerko, 1B
McPherson, 3B
Cabrera, SS
Erstad, CF
Mathis, C

Of course, that would never happen. We'd likely end up with:

Erstad, CF
Cabrera, SS
Vlad, RF
Garret, LF
Konerko, 1B
Kotchman/Rivera, DH
McPherson, 3B
Mathis, C
Kennedy, 2B

At least until Erstad gets hurt and replaced by Figgins.

Anyway, there would be no need for Kotchman to be blocked by acquiring Konerko, at least for 2006. The blockage problem starts in 2007, when Kendry Morales will likely be ready to play, and when Garret Anderson may need even more time at DH. And guess what? Unless we move Erick Aybar there or Legs Figgins makes it permanent, we won't have a center fielder at all. (That's me assuming we don't sign Erstad to some ridiculous contract. If we sign Konerko, maybe that's a bad assumption to make.)

The problem with Konerko is not 2006; he likely would improve us next season, even if overpaid. The problem is a long-term problem, one where we would have too much money invested in too many guys at too few positions, all of which are blocking guys cheaper, younger, and probably better.

We need to stop the madness.

***

An interesting tidbit from that same LA Times article:
Though the Angels don't plan to match the three-year, roughly $18-million offer the New York Mets gave to Bengie Molina, there is still a chance they could retain the free-agent catcher.

According to a source, the Angels will offer Molina salary arbitration in December.

If free-agent catcher Ramon Hernandez, who also received a three-year offer from the Mets, commits to New York first and Molina doesn't receive any other lucrative offers, Molina could accept arbitration and attempt to spin a lucrative one-year contract with the Angels into a two-year deal.
Were Bengie to accept arbitration, that would likely be the best outcome possible for 2006. The Angels would only be obligated to sign him for one year, giving Mathis another year to master AAA before being thrown to the AL wolves, and it's doubtful that Bengie's one-year salary would be too out of line for his services.

But, given Mathis' imminent emergence and Bengie's advancing age "spinning" that into a two-year deal would likely be a mistake -- though not one of Konerkian proportions.

Comments:
Kotchman/Rivera at DH? No way would we be so lucky. DH would be all Finley, all the time.
 
The Kotchman for Mike Sweeney trade rumors are circulating again. The Angels, I'm afraid, are on the brink of doing something incredibly stupid.
 
If Bengie agrees to arbitration, let him break in Mathis, and trade Jose. Jose should bring in at least a good reliever.

On the pursuit of Konerko, I was originally hoping Stoneman was using that as leverage to trade for Manny. Then this "report" that Stoneman has increased his offer comes out. If we end up with Konerko for five years, I'll be pissed. If they're going to throw money away without making the team appreciably better, they should start shooting money into the stands instead of those crappy "Finley" t-shirts.
 
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