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Angels far better off without Tony Reagins

Sep 30, 2011, 5:55 PM EDT

Anaheim Angels general manager Tony Reagins, helps three-time all-star and twelve-year veteran Vernon Wells, whom they acquired in a trade last Friday with the Toronto Blue Jays, to put on his new uniform jersey at a press conference in Anaheim Reuters

While the Angels’ much-hyped prospects didn’t always pan out, Tony Reagins had a very good record as the team’s director of player development from 2002-07. As a general manager, the 44-year-old was simply overmatched. It’s safe to say he didn’t resign Friday on his own terms.

Reagins’ legacy will be the Vernon Wells deal. It was viewed by many as a terrible risk at the time, and through one year, it worked out even worse than anyone could have imagined. Not only was Wells one of the league’s worst regulars, hitting .218/.248/.412 with 66 RBI in 505 at-bats, but Mike Napoli, who was simply given away, came through with a .320/.414/.631 line and 75 RBI in 369 at-bats for Texas.

And the Angels still owe Wells $63 million over the next three years.

Reagins also made a habit of assembling expensive but mediocre bullpens. After Francisco Rodriguez left, he signed Brian Fuentes for $17.5 million, Scott Downs for $15 million and Fernando Rodney for $11 million.  Only Downs worked out from that group. Of his three biggest starting pitching acquisitions, again, only one worked out (Dan Haren did, Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro didn’t).

On offense, Reagins never addressed the Angels’ biggest weaknesses — catcher and third base — instead splurging on the outfield. Ironically, even if Wells had put together a solid season, he’d already be obsolete: the Angels best outfield next year would have Mike Trout in left and Peter Bourjos in center.

Now, Reagins certainly doesn’t deserve all of the blame.  No deal like the Wells trade goes down without ownership playing an active role, and Mike Scioscia certainly had a big say in the catching situation.  Reagins should land on his feet; there figure to be several teams interested in him in a player development position.

The Angels, though, shouldn’t have to look too hard to find an upgrade in the GM role.

  1. scareduck - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    “Angels far better off without Tony Reagins”

    Also, water wet, sky blue.

  2. scareduck - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    For reference, the Angels changed their re-up date for season ticket holders from January to October 15. They were facing a bloodbath if they didn’t make it very plain the front office had some accountability.

  3. derekjetersmansion - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    See, I think Vernon Wells trade worked out because they had a better record than TOR. Flame away!

  4. Barnes - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    $63 mil for the next three years…. I just puked in my mouth a little.

    • schlom - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      Probably better than owing Carl Crawford $128m or Jayson Werth $112m the next 6 years.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:41 PM

        Except that Crawford figures to rebound…

  5. notsofast10 - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    This mornings LA Times quotes him “The Angels will be “creative and aggressive” this off season”. Looks like Mr Moreno is the one who was aggressive!

  6. mplsjoe - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    The Twins will not fire Bill Smith as GM. However, if Reagins is interested in the job, the Twins should hire Reagins to run player/personnel, or be a talent evaluator, or whatever other title they can come up with. Smith, who has a terrible record as a GM, has admitted he’s more of an administrator. Rob Antony, Smith’s #2, is more of a contract-negotiation guy. The team doesn’t have a talet evaluator. Vernon Wells aside, Reagins would fit in pretty well.

  7. APBA Guy - Oct 1, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    I don’t know if Reagins legacy will be the Wells trade or the Napoli trade, but put both together and he had to go. Of course, some (most?) of the culpability for Napoli leaving belongs to Scioscia, but with offense becoming more rare, losing an elite power source like Napoli was poor thinking, at best.

  8. 4d3fect - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    Wonder where Arte is planning to put him (TR staying in the org)? Director of nacho development? Pest management?

    • unknowneric - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      All I know is that if Reagins isn’t Director of Nacho Development, I totally want that job. Call me, Arte!

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