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2019 Where to spend the money?


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I am happy we will be seeing the end of guys like Kinsler and Valbuena, as well as a guy like Jim Johnson, that will free up $25 million more in salary.  Here is what I worry about, where do we spend the money.  We know we have holes at 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  We also have to decide to re-sign Maldonado or sign a Grandall type to catch.  We also have holes in the rotation and the bullpen so what are we going to do?  

On the offensive side, we could probably handle it in house, and promote Ward, Rengifo and give every day at bats to Fletcher like we are now.  We could bring up Thiass, or JMF, to handle 1st base along with Albert.  Then we could go out and get a quality 4th outfielder.  We could do all this and it would take on very little money.  

Here in lies the problem, next year, assuming we have health from Ohtani, we will have another short bench.  So if Fletcher is the 3rd baseman, and Rengifo is the 2nd baseman.  Cozart is the utility (for the sake of creating this line up).  So now we have Albert and Ohtani and DH and 1st, who gets the other two spots?  Ward and Briceno?  Thiass?  

The bigger question is if those new guys are major league average at their positions, is it enough?  Should we sign a LeMahieu to play 2nd, if so who gets third, who do we trade to fill other needs?  Is that offense enough to just go for it?  Would we be better off signing someone to play 3rd and use Fletcher and Rengifo at 2nd?  Or do we simply run with our in house solutions for the infield, and spend all of our resources on pitching in the offseason?  Do we sign a big bat for 3rd or 2nd and trade for a starter and a bullpen?  So many damn decisions and so many different ways to go.  In a weird way we have a lot of options.  Maybe the answer is making a move for a solid infield piece for the future at the deadline, someone like a Scooter Gennet.  I really don’t know what we are going to do, but it is going to be interesting.  In a weird way, I have more faith in Eppler making a trade than I do in him signing a free agent.  

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Strad, you continue to play GM, and I’ll continue to play fan.  

Europe was good.  Had been to most of the cities I went to, but my kids were more concerned about snapchatting what they saw, than actually enjoying it.   Little disappointed, but I’m a middle aged man, and they are teens.  

Back to the locker for more meat   

 

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Regarding the infield...
I fully expect a Maldonado extension, probably around $8-$12m AAV for 2-3 years.
Not sure the Yankees have the pen need anymore, but dealing a reliever to NYY for Drury would help the Halos quite a bit - they could use him in a role like you mentioned with a LeMahieu signing and it would cost significantly less. They've reportedly offered him when discussing Machado, Hand, and Britton, so they're inclined to move him. 

Obviously LeMahieu is an All-Star, a fantastic hitter, and a better defender, with a career slash of .300/.353/.404/.757 but his OPS+ signifies the Coors effect: it's only 93, and he's topped 100 only once. Drury also has played in good hitting environs, ARI and NYY, and his career slash isn't as impressive - .267/.316/.439/.755 - but the career OPS and OPS+ (92) are right on par. Take the fact Drury will be arb-eligible through the next few seasons, he'll be a lot cheaper $$$ than LeMahieu, and has at least one more option year. He'd provide some MLB-tested IF depth should Rengifo, Fletcher, Ward, and JMF struggle and fill a role we'd be likely exploring via FA anyways. 

Regarding the outfield...
I expect the Angels to sign a vet 4th OF and Herm continue to serve as a AAA shuttling option. 4th OF are cheap and it's added depth. Could be anyone - Brandon Guyer, Leonys Martin - but they won't cost much. Guyer plays good defense and hits lefties well, so I could see him being an option. 

Regarding the pitching...
There will be numerous vet SPs available in FA who will likely be signing one-year deals. I think with Richards out and Ohtani questionable, we should be focused on signing one of them, unless we trade for one this deadline/offseason with some prospect currency, which feels realistic still. Happ, Harvey, Sabathia, Hellickson, Holland, Eovaldi, Cahill, Ross, Ryu, Tillman, Sanchez, Pomeranz, Liriano, Lynn, McCarthy, Gio Gonzalez, Hamels, Moore...any vet that Eppler sees fit on a reasonable 1 year deal to hold down the back of the rotation is fine with me. 

And for the pen...I can't see Eppler suddenly spending big bucks on big names to fix the pen. I think he'll add a vet arm or two, maybe an elite closer with no-name/freebies filling out the rest, but it'll depend a bit on who he sells at the deadline. I really think he's on the right path again with Robles, Pena, Cole, Anderson, and truly can build a pen cheaply, it just wavered a bit this season and was amplified by the rotation/offense problems. Fix those and you have more breathing room to work on with the pen.
 

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Lots of the moves you mention scare me.  Ward.  Thaiss.  Rengifo.  Fletcher.

If this team shows up in April of next year thinking that group of bodies replacing 3 or 4 marginal players is going to make this a postseason team, then I don't even know what to say.

When I want to upgrade my 3 year old Mazda, getting a new Kia doesn't really do it.

Those are not impact players in real wins and losses.

Need to aim higher.

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14 minutes ago, The Ghost of Bob Starr said:

Strad, you continue to play GM, and I’ll continue to play fan.  

Europe was good.  Had been to most of the cities I went to, but my kids were more concerned about snapchatting what they saw, than actually enjoying it.   Little disappointed, but I’m a middle aged man, and they are teens.  

Back to the locker for more meat   

 

In this scenario we’re  both pretending

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1 minute ago, Dtwncbad said:

Lots of the moves you mention scare me.  Ward.  Thaiss.  Rengifo.  Fletcher.

If this team shows up in April of next year thinking that group of bodies replacing 3 or 4 marginal players is going to make this a postseason team, then I don't even know what to say.

When I want to upgrade my 3 year old Mazda, getting a new Kia doesn't really do it.

Those are not impact players in real wins and losses.

Need to aim higher.

I sort of agree - it's hard to really determine where we can aim higher. Do we add to infield when we have so many intriguing IF prospects ready to play? 
Spending to 'fix' RF doesn't make much sense with Adell looming and Calhoun seemingly bouncing back. 

Spending money on relievers? Virtually every FA RP last offseason has sucked. Familia didn't draw much back in a trade, and Kelvin Herrera hasn't been that good in Washington. No reliever is a safe bet. Corbin and Keuchel will be the best avail FA SP, but do we need another lefty? Other teams will be ready to spend on those guys too. 

A lot of this gives me reason to think that Eppler will look to the trade market, taking some of those intriguing IF prospects and turn them into a known commodity to fix one of these needs, likely SP or IF, or I suppose C - probably not Realmuto, maybe Hedges? Barnhart?

 

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#1 and #2 Bullpen, #1 legit closer, and #2 1 or more quality setup.
#3 legit 1B option if we dont feel Thaiss or others are ready or able. 
#4 Bring back Maldonado
#5 Look for upgrades or possible splash candidates.
 

Edit, regarding splash candidates, aside from the obvious candidates, Machado for 3B and Harper for RF, if we dont bring back Maldonado try to trade for Realmuto, hes one guy i would trade the farm for reasonably speaking.  or hell just get all of the above and start selling playoff tickets in May  :)  

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Eppler needs to play the kids now to see how advanced they are and promote where appropriate.

First, they need to find anyone he can to take on the rest of Kinsler's salary and open up a spot for Rengifo at 2B.  So far between A+ - AAA, he's put up:

.319 .422 .911 OPS 55 BB 48 K 37/10 SB/CS

Have him lead-off and see what he can do.  If he succeeds, it solves two problems in one - 2B/Lead-off.  If he struggles or is exposed, we can go to plan "B" in terms of looking to trade prospect currency for 2B and/or lead-off options.

Next, release Marte and Valbuena and have Ward get starts at 3B and David work as a super-utility as he can be moved to either SS, 2B, 3B, or OF.

Ward tore up both AA and AAA to the tune of .354 .450 1.000 OPS 55 BB 74 K 17/2 SB/CS and reportedly developing well defensively at 3B.  My take, if we could handle Escobar and Valbuena there the past few seasons, we can give Ward a shot.  Ward has always been a guy that walked a good amount, so the OBP is not much of a surprise, but the power and speed are new - likely a result of fresher legs as a result of moving from catcher.  

Fletcher has been invaluable so far as a guy who can put the ball in play and provide solid defense wherever he's positioned.  It appears he won't walk much and doesn't have much power but he's valuable so far as his 0.8 WAR entails through only 32 games.

Thaiss looks like he's still a half or full season away from being a consideration from contributing as he appears to still be working on his swing to provide more pop from the 1B position.  

Go with:

1) Rengifo/Fletcher 2B

2) Trout CF

3) Upton LF

4) Pujols 1B

5) Ohtani DH

6) Simmons/Fletcher SS

7) Calhoun/Fletcher RF

8 ) Maldonado C

9) Ward/Fletcher 3B

We have 60 games worth of audition to provide these guys.  If they can handle it, we have solid talent at league minimum and we can start looking spending money to upgrade at other areas.  In this scenario, I spend money on:

- Starting Pitching - check in the cost of Corbin and Keuchel.  If it's ridiculously overpriced, which is very possible, then move on to some 1-2 year potentials in Eovaldi, Lynn, Harvey, Cahill...someone to provide depth on the cheap while Suarez and Canning continue to work at AAA.

- Relief pitching - I check to see what the prices on Kimbrel, Herrer, Allen, Britton, Warren, Familia, and Ottavino but, knowing the volatility of relievers, try not to commit crazy money if possible but we need an established BP presence near the end of the game.

 

- Catcher - I'm fine with re-signing Maldonado to an extension but I think they should definitely explore Grandal and Ramos.

If they find that Rengifo, Ward, and Fletcher are not providing the impact they are looking for they can start using some prospect currency in exchange for established players/pitchers/relievers:

 - Trade for a front-line starter.  Doesn't have to be an ace but maybe a 1a or 2 that can give you 180-200 IP.  Check in on DeGrom and Archer (yeah, I know, not likely, but give it a shot), check in on the many starters in the Braves system, Urena from the Marlins, maybe check in with the Pirates on Nova...

 - sign a 2B like LaMahieu, Dozier, or Cabrera. 

 - Not many 3B options.  You can see if someone like Eduardo Escobar or Donaldson are cost prohibitive.

 

  

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I would trade anything other than Adell and potentially Canning for Arenado (Marsh, Jones, Ward type package). trade for Scooter Gennett (probably have to include Fletcher here, but he becomes dispensable with Gennett and Arenado). Sign Kimbrel and Ottavino. See about upgrading Maldonado...maybe Briceno is enough or try to sign Grandal.

Gennett

Trout

Arenado

Upton

Ohtani

Pujols

Simmons

Briceno

Calhoun

 

Cozart becomes an expensive super utility inf unless you can't land Gennett or Arenado.

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I really hope we stop making average to below average signings and really focus on signing top caliber (younger than 30) players and letting the rest of our spots be filled by our strong farm system. Signing guys like Young, Kinsler, Cozart, Marte, Valbuena, etc. do very little to actually improve the team and may actually hurt the team in the long run by blocking the path for our younger minor leaguers.

For me the number one signing I would like to see us go for is Kelvin Herrera, or someone of that age and quality. Also, if we end up trading Parker, Bedrosian, or Alvarez, I would like us to sign a second relief pitcher. Obviously this team needs a quality bat but I can't see us going after Machado or Harper and I don't know how many other options out there are clear upgrades. For me the two players I am most interested in going for are Arenado and Gennett, both free agents in 2020 so I think there's a chance they can be pried away with some trades (or we can just wait an extra year and go all in on the 2020 season for Trouts likely last year).

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14 minutes ago, Angelsfan1984 said:

I would trade anything other than Adell and potentially Canning for Arenado (Marsh, Jones, Ward type package). trade for Scooter Gennett (probably have to include Fletcher here, but he becomes dispensable with Gennett and Arenado). Sign Kimbrel and Ottavino. See about upgrading Maldonado...maybe Briceno is enough or try to sign Grandal.

Gennett

Trout

Arenado

Upton

Ohtani

Pujols

Simmons

Briceno

Calhoun

 

Cozart becomes an expensive super utility inf unless you can't land Gennett or Arenado.

Arenado is overrated 

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I honestly think the best thing the Angels could do for the major league team money wise is put an end to the Albert Pujols nightmare.  Eat the 70 million or whatever and be done with it.  If that causes them to not sign anyone next year so be it.  Let some of the younger players (Thaiss, Ward, Fletcher, Rengifo) get a half season or more of AB’s and reassess what we need externally.  The idea that we’ll have to deal with another entire season or more of Albert Pujols clogging the base paths, occupying a middle of the order spot in the line up.  I mean, it makes me sick.  That’s sort of hyperbole.  But also it’s not.  Enough is enough.  Let him be a cheer leader or a coach or whatever.   But get him out of the line up. 

That’s sort of my dream and I know it won’t happen.  Since it won’t, I think they have to pump money into the lineup.  Machado is unrealistic but a nice fit if he’ll play 3B.  DJ LeMaheiu is an almost perfect fit.  

 

Edited by UndertheHalo
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35 minutes ago, 2020worldseries said:

Arenado is overrated 

Still take that over what they've been trotting out there...the OBP is still very nice home and away. We could watch another year of Valbuena and Cozart at 3b if that makes things better? Perhaps spend 30 mil a season on Donaldson just to watch it burn away after 2 months of the contract. At this point I don't want to see anyone with an OBP hovering around 300. The team needs people on base in a bad way.

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I see multiple people mentioning LeMahieu and I have to ask why? He's had one season over 100 ops+ in his entire career, how is he going to be that much of an upgrade on Fletcher? Fletcher's OPS+ right now is 107, I know small sample size, but why spend money when you already have a minimum salary guy playing better and also have Rengifo who has an OPS of 1.019 in AAA and posted an 897 OPS in AA in 40 games earlier. Am I missing something because I find LeMahieu to be one of the most overrated of all the Rockies players.

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