Thursday, December 08, 2005

- As you certainly know by now, the Angels have declined to offer arbitration to Bengie Molina and Jarrod Washburn. Though this is no surprise in relation to Wash, this is a turnabout on Bengie, as the Angels were expected to offer him arbitration.

Seitz is pretty upset about this, and, well ... Seitz has a point. Offering Bengie arbitration would have brought him back for one year and one year only. He likely would not have been too expensive. He likely would have accepted arbitration, as all of his likely suitors (Mets, Orioles, and Diamondbacks) have already acquired catchers. And this would have allowed Jeff Mathis one more year of maturation, which I think he likely needs. It seems like the ideal situation -- but, alas, 'twas not to be. Hopefully Jeff and Jose Molina can pick up the slack.

- Rob links to this (registration required) Riverside Something article that basically says Kotchman-for-Sweeney ain't happening and was never going to happen and that Darin Erstad is likely to return to center. Let's hope so.

- There will be one less player on the roster as Erstad Injury Insurance, in that case, as -- sorry, Maya -- Jeff DaVanon has been designated for assignment and is expected to be released. Jeff was a solid back-up for a couple of years there, but his average and power bottomed out last year, and he found himself losing playing time to Juan Rivera. With Chone Figgins and Steve Finley both able to (theoretically) play center field, DaVanon's one back-up niche is basically gone. Anyway, I wish him well -- back-up outfielders can bounce around from year-to-year because of their relatively scarce at-bats, and I wouldn't be shocked if he managed to help out someone as a fourth- or fifth-outfielder next year.

Does this also mean that Nick Gorneault may get a shot at making the team? Maybe ... but there's not really anything he can do that Rivera can't do better, so I wouldn't count on it, so long as everyone is healthy.

- It is also reported that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays might be interested in trading for Josh Paul. I guess Joe Maddon needs someone to do his laundry.

- Also via Rob, this here be the results from the Rule 5 Draft. A couple of former Angels pop up -- the Padres selected former Halo first-round pick Seth Etherton from the Royals, and from the Blue Jays the Devil Rays have picked ... wait for it ... STEVE ANDRADE!!! That's right, the Chronicles poster boy who has been dominating AA since the Carter Administration gets a chance to skip right up to the majors. This is a good pick for the Devil Rays -- I smell the hand of Joe Maddon in this one -- as it's no-risk and a potentially high reward. This guy has 2002-2003 Brendan Donnelly written all over him, and he deserves his shot. STEVE ANDRADE IS FREE!!!

Except that Donnelly threw hard in '02-'03, while Andrade doesn't.
Eldred is retired.

Too bad there's so little on the free agent market now that will improve the Angels, who aren't a good hitting team anyway.

Nomar is probably the best bet, though if Tejada is available (he wants to be traded now) the Angels should offer some good prospects (though not Wood - NEVER Wood) plus O Cab to get him.
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