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How bad was the Angels' offseason?

Jan 21, 2010, 12:20 PM EST

Bill Baer of Baseball Daily Digest thinks it was pretty damn bad:

In essence, the Angels have swapped gimpy designated hitters,
downgraded from Lackey to Piniero, lost Figgins and gained Rodney.
Meanwhile, Roy Halladay went to Philadelphia, Cliff Lee went to
Seattle, and Aroldis Chapman went to Cincinnati. The Angels wanted an
ace pitcher and they ended up with Joel Piniero. It’s the kind of
dream/reality contrast one would expect to find with the New York Mets,
not the L.A. Angels.

I think going from Guerrero to Matsui at DH was an upgrade, and I’m not at all certain that going from Lackey to Piniero will be as much of a falloff as some think, but yeah, I suppose it’s been a rough winter for the Angels. Less so because of what they did themselves and more so because of what the Mariners did. 

This doesn’t make them the Mets. But in my mind it makes them more likely to be battling the Red Sox, Rays, and Rangers for the wild card than to be battling the Mariners for the division crown.

  1. Dan - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Yes they went from Lackey to Piniero, but they also presumably will be getting a healthy Ervin Sanatana for the whole season, something they didn’t have last year. And they will also have a full season from Scott Kazmir, who may not have been 100% healthy last season either.

  2. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Jeez Bill, and I thought the Boston Globe writers had a negative outlook and bad attitude. Don’t forget that in swapping Pineiro’s contract for Lackey’s they saved beaucoup dollars. They also get the 4 compensation picks from Figgins and Lackey, both developed within the Halo’s system. At worst they’ll be trading chips to get someone cheap at the deadline. Godzilla is at least 20% less crippled than Vlad, and next year they’ll sign someone 20% less crippled than that. The Amazing Jack Z has been pretty amazing, but there’s nothing legal that they can do about that.

  3. ecp - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    “…it makes them more likely to be battling the Red Sox, Rays, and Rangers for the wild card than to be battling the Mariners for the division crown.”
    I’m not ready to anoint the Mariners yet, nor am I hurrying to have Jack Zduriencik canonized as so many others are doing. I’d go into the reasons why, but Rob Neyer already captured them for me:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/2066/are-the-mariners-really-that-good
    Don’t get me wrong, I like what they’ve done, but let’s play the games first.

  4. J. McCann - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    And they gained a ton of draft picks, kept within their budget, and have enormous flexibility in the years going forward.
    This all hurts them for 2010, but helps tremendously in the years as they go by.

  5. Mike - Jan 21, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    “This doesn’t make them the Mets. But in my mind it makes them more likely to be battling the Red Sox, Rays, and Rangers for the wild card than to be battling the Mariners for the division crown.”
    The Red Sox are easily better than the Mariners are. Deeper rotation, much better offense and similar defense and bullpens. It’ll be easier to win the AL West next year than the AL Wild Card.

  6. David Chase - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    (i)And they will also have a full season from Scott Kazmir, who may not have been 100% healthy last season either.(/i)
    Is there such a thing as a full season of healthy Kazmir? Just get used to lots of walks, lots of deep counts and a good amount of general frustration to go along with the occasional brilliant start. At this point he is like Rich Harden Light.

  7. HaloFan - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    The Angels didn’t overpay for two homegrown talents who are unlikely to live up to their contracts. They didn’t overpay, in terms of prospects and major league talent, for an elite pitcher (as much as I would have liked Lee or Halladay) that may have only been around for a single season. They didn’t bite on other big-name free agents that didn’t seem to be a good fit. They made an upgrade at DH for a very reasonable amount and length, fortified their bullpen (not to mention the return of Scot Shields), filled their 5th starter spot with the best guy on the market, cleared room for their highest ceiling prospect, and saved a ton of money for next year’s free agent class. Overall, I’m very pleased with their long-term vision. The Mariners have a long way to go . . . that offense scares no one.

  8. Daniel - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    The Angels scored the second most runs in the AL last year. They upgraded slightly from Vlad to Matsui and they downgraded moderately from Figgins to Wood/Izturis. Even with some regression, the Angels should still score 800 – 850 runs, which is 200 more than the Mariners scored last year. The Mariners did not make 200 runs worth of upgrades to the offense, especially considering Branyan is gone (probably).
    Also, the top two of the Mariners rotation is fantastic, obviously. But I would say that all five of the Angels starters are better than the Mariners’ bottom three (Rowland-Smith? Petit? Snell? Vargas?).
    I’m not denying the Angels got worse and the Mariners got better. Clearly that happened. Texas and Oakland both got better as well. But to say that it’s unlikely they’ll be battling Seattle for the division seems silly at this point.

  9. Old Gator - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    Baghdad. 1/21/10. AP:
    In a frank and wide-ranging interview given this afternoon to Christian Amanpour, Baghdad mayor Sabir al-Issawi said that, despite the renewed waves of bombings, assassinations, sabotage and sectarian strife plaguing his city, “this job sure beats being the General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This place may be the shithole of the universe but at least we know which shithole we actually live in.”

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