Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It is alleged that the Angels have offered Alfonso Soriano a six-year deal worth $80M.

Mike DiGiovanna, in the above-linked report, also says:
Though the Angels appear set at Soriano's two primary positions, left field (Garret Anderson) and second base (Howie Kendrick), they could move Kendrick to first base, Anderson to designated hitter or open up center field for Soriano.
Seitz is all over the, shall we say, suboptimal nature of this, but on parsing the language it sounds much more like speculation than an actual plan.

Soriano, for all his physical gifts, is a poor defensive second baseman; there is every reason to believe that Kendrick could make a good defensive first baseman with enough time, but why waste his talents there? He's already shown good athleticism at the keystone, and his bat will be much more valuable in the middle of the infield than on a corner. And such a move -- wrapping up Soriano for six years -- also negates the existence of Casey Kotchman and Kendry Morales, most likely putting Kotchman on the trading block (when his value, coming off his debilitating sickness, will be at its lowest) and consigning Morales, who showed some good leather around the bag last year, to DH work if he sticks around.

Not to mention that this plan doesn't address center field or third base. The only real way pursuing Soriano makes sense is if he is envisioned as either a center or left fielder. He took fairly well to left field last year, and with his speed and arm might even hold his own in center. If not, he can always play the corner, with Garret being the primary DH and Reggie Willits being the late-inning defensive caddy for Juan Rivera in center.

That's not the best-sounding defense in the world, but at least there's some pop in the bats, and Reggie Willits to salve some wounds.

I also wonder if Soriano would really go for a six-year deal in lieu of a five-year that is worth more dollars per year. I'm not convinced he's actually worth the ~$13M we may have offered, but I think perceptions of his ability are such that he can pull down more than Aramis Ramirez's $15M per.

I'm beginning to worry a bit about what this team has up its sleeve. After thankfully losing out on the ill-advised pursuit of Paul Konerko last winter, it almost seems like Bill Stoneman wants to do something for the sake of saying he did. But tossing money at old players who would block our cheaper (and soon to be better) players ... that ain't any kind of plan. So hopefully it isn't ours.

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it almost seems like Bill Stoneman wants to do something for the sake of saying he did.

I didn't say it, but I wish I had. I get the exact same feeling. Spend a bunch of money and hope it makes the team better. Worse yet is that it seems as if a lot of HH denizens would be happy with that strategy. I don't like making moves for the sake of making moves. Upgrading the offense at all costs without accounting for the effects on other areas of the team does not sound like a winning strategy to me.
Stoneman gets chastised for his patience, yet, for once, patience needs to be exercised.

This offseason could get real ugly real fast. Let's hope not...
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SI is reporting this evening that the Angel offer to Soriano is in the $80M to $90M range and, that if they don't get Soriano, an Ervin Santana for Carl Crawford trade is "a good idea". Somebody please slap me and stop the nightmare!
Let's talk Kotchman. What would it take to get Casey from the Angels?

I'm going to assume for the sake of this exercise that Kotch is not healthy enough to start the season - that he won't have his strength up until mid-year.

Ok Angels fans, tell me your overrated, er, umm, expert valuation of Kotchman knowing he is a 2+ year player with 114 AB's and heading toward 1st year arb and *assuming* he is still not healthy enough to play everyday 1B.
We got lucky. We may be idiots, but the Cubs are bigger idiots.
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