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Thursday, December 01, 2005

READY FOR THE FALLOUT
Mike DiGiovanna in the Times explores today the options the Angels have now that they have missed out ondodged signing Paul Konerko.

From the horse's mouth:
Konerko's decision will send Stoneman back to the trade market, where he is expected to explore deals for Boston slugger Manny Ramirez, Kansas City first baseman Mike Sweeney, Texas second baseman Alfonso Soriano and possibly Arizona third baseman Troy Glaus or Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre.

The Angels might also look into free-agent infielder Nomar Garciaparra or free-agent catcher Mike Piazza.
Incidentally, I like how Manny Ramirez's position is defined as "slugger."

Anyway, going through these one-by-one:

1. I think we all agree that Manny would be desirable if, and only if the price weren't too steep, and if he were brought in to DH on a nearly exclusive basis, only taking the field in case of emergency. I think the odds of such a favorable arrangement materializing are small, even given the fact that Boston may feel they "have" to move him.

2. I have spoken about trading for Mike Sweeney recently; in summary: boo.

3. Alfonso Soriano? Um, okay ... my only guess it that the Angels would take him to either DH or convert him to center (as a good athlete but poor defender at second, Soriano has long been rumored to be a good candidate for a conversion to the oufield). Either way, this doesn't excite me very much; Sori's got some pop, but isn't really all that great a hitter. Don't get me wrong, his bat is more than enough to cover a decent center field defense, but who knows if he could provide that. Would he hit at his best as a DH, just concentrating on hitting? I don't know. But he would command around $8M and probably cost us one of our top middle infield prospects, so this option doesn't seem particularly appealing or likely.

4. Troy Glaus. Now, this is interesting. He would have to DH ... he'd be a good one, just like Manny would, but he would likely cost a top prospect or two. The Snakes are loaded at corner infield, so they likely wouldn't be interested in Casey Kotchman, which means we would be facing a positional logjam in a year with Glaus-McPherson-Kotchman-Morales-Garret. And Troy has a pricey contract. I love the guy ... but this doesn't strike me as all that desirable or likely, either.

5. Adrian Beltre? Adrian Beltre? What the hell are you talking about? Come on.

6. Nomar. Hmm ... his health is a huge risk, his offense has been in decline the past few years, and he doesn't have a defensive position. Maybe you could get him to a cheap incentivized contract, and just see what happens. He's a local product too, and one who was oft-linked to the Angels in rumors during his last few Boston seasons. Though this mention seems like DiGiovanna making stuff up, this might be a dark horse candidate. Whether or not the risk is worthwhile would be wholey dependent on the terms. Not my favorite option, but not as disastrous as some of the other mentioned possibilities.

7. Mike Piazza. I think he's done, after a 108 OPS+ two years ago and a 103 last year. He's 37 years old, and has beat up his body with years of catching. I guess the plus would be that he could be Mathis insurance, but still ... this doesn't excite me.

8. Frank Thomas. Yeah, DiGiovanna doesn't mention him. But I do.

The article goes on to say: "If Stoneman can't acquire a middle-of-the-order bat to bolster the Angels' inconsistent offense, he said he would be 'comfortable' with Kotchman and Juan Rivera again sharing DH duties. Kendry Morales could also emerge as a DH candidate next spring."

I hate to harp on this, but: WHY IN ALL HELL WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO MOVE ERSTAD TO CENTER TO ACCOMODATE A DEFENSIVE MEDIOCRITY LIKE PAUL KONERKO, BUT NOT TO MAKE ROOM FOR A VERY GOOD DEFENDER AND HITTER IN KOTCHMAN?

(Sorry, but it has to be said. Maybe some Angel front office staffer will stumble across this blog when Googling "Alfonso Soriano" "center field" or something. Or "Jeanne Zelasko", from which I get a bizarre number of hits.)

Anyway, that's where we are today. Hopefully Bill Stoneman won't squander where we'll be in tomorrows yet to come.

Comments:
Big Joe McDonnell is reporting again today that the Angels will be focusing on Mike Sweeney, having lost out on Konerko. McDonnell says that "Mike Scoscia thinks very highly of Mike Sweeney."
 
I assume the Angel brass read the L.A. Times. I hope so because Mike DiGiovanni very helpfully points out that Casey Kotchman out-hit Mike Sweeney during the final months of the year.
 
I'm guessing Big Joe is getting his info from Scioscia, not Stoneman. Mike, you'll recall, was keen on re-signing Bengie to a multi-year deal....
 
If its Scioscia and not Stoneman making noise about Sweeney, I'm glad Stoneman's the GM.

I regret that in mid season I was for a Kotchman-Sweeney trade.

It would have been a bad one, and now that Casey has shown he can hit a little in the bigs, I want him doing it for the Angels.
 
Just realized that in 1993 a 22 year old played 47 games, hit 7 homers, and knocked in 22.

Casey's exact numbers last year. The other player?

Jim Thome.
 
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