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Thursday, November 22, 2007

AFTER SLEEPING ON IT 

I just made this post at BTF, reflecting my current feeling on the deal:

The more I think about it, the better I feel about this deal:

1. Hunter is probably good for a +5-+10 season above average, offensively.

2. Hunter is, at worst, an average defensive center fielder, and quite possibly +5 or +10.

3. Add it all up, and he's like 3-4 wins better than replacement. If wins above replacement are really close to $5M as guys like Tango and MGL are saying, his contract isn't out of line.

4. Ceteris peribus, Orlando Cabrera-for-Torii Hunter is an upgrade, possibly of 1.5-2.5 wins.

5. This doesn't really afffect the value of Matthews; sure, he gets the positional knock moving over, but he'll also get a gain in defensive value, which will likely balance out.

The potential problem isn't years 1 and 2, but years 4 and 5 (the same is true of the Matthews deal). In five years, Hunter may be a below-average hitter who can no longer handle CF, and then what are you doing with your $16M? In year 4, both he and Matthews will be in that boat (though Hunter will probably be better while Matthews is cheaper). And during this span you need to re-sign Vlad, Lackey, (hopefully) Howie, Kotchman, etc. ... I'm worried about tying up that much money in two guys in their 30s.

But I do think the Angels are better this week than they were a week ago, and I have to believe that one of the Miguels is on their way.

Comments:
The market has moved, tra la. The assumption is that large revenue teams can afford to make these kinds of errors, and that's what this is, a mistake. When your calculation is that the majority of your tall dollar contract will potentially or assuredly be a flop, the FO's calculator needs to be thrown out. I didn't like the 2006/7 offseason, and I'm beginning to hate the 2007/8 one.
 
What I hope I'm seeing with the recent moves is preparation for a major deal or two...maybe an outfielder and a starting pitcher are headed out in a trade for one of the Miguels?

If not, I still like the Hunter acquisition. It upgrades both the outfield defense and the DH slot in the batting order. Not too crazy about that 5-year contract, though, for the same reasons raised in the original post.
 
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