Thursday, November 22, 2007


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.

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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