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Angelsjunky

Imagining a Cole-less offseason

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This is not a gloom and doom thread, but I do think it is worth considering the road forward if the Angels end up missing out on Gerrit Cole. As more and more top free agents sign with other teams--players like Wheeler, Grandal, and Odorizzi, all of whom would have fit nicely on the Angels; not to mention Hamels and Moustakas, or even Gibson--there is a sense of pressure about the "need" to sign Gerrit Cole. Colelessness seemed more palatable if Eppler had signed a Wheeler-Odorizzi-Grandal tandem; it would have still seemed quite possible for the Angels to win 90+ games and compete for a wildcard. But as more and more top and mid-tier free agents sign, the pickings are getting slimmer really--and suprisingly--quickly.

But let's try to be postive, or at least dispassionately strategic. What would your Coleless plan be? Do you blow the Nationals out of the water and try to grab Strasburg? Do you go after Ryu, Bumgarner? Do you put together a package for Boyd and/or Ray? Or do you resign yourself to 2020 being another "wait and see" year and sign fill-ins (e.g. Wade Miley?) and clean peanuts, and focus on 2021-22 and beyond?

What my approach: I know a lot of people won't like to consider this option, but I'd take that last, more conservative route. Maybe not if I'm Eppler and on the hot seat, but if I had some job security--and could sell my plan to Moreno--I'd focus on not damaging the future in any way, try to make a few savvy signings and trades, and continue building the team from within. I wouldn't overpay for Strasburg; I'd avoid Bumgarner and probably Ryu, at least for what I imagine they'll eventually sign for. I'd sign the best free agent pitchers I could that didn't require long-term commitments. I'd keep my eye on pitchers like Dallas Keuchel, on the chance that they don't get the contracts they want and have to settle for a 1-2 year bargain deal. Again and again I'd focus on building a powerhouse from within, protecting the top 15 or so prospects, and trying to even add a prospect or two by going into 2020 with a mind to trade players like Goodwin, La Stella, and Heaney if they perform well enough.

 

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I dont want to even consider this, BUT... we cant deny the possibility of it.

IF we lose out of Cole, i pivot to building the best offense in the game to make up for lack of pitching.  Its really our only option at that point if we dont get at least one of Cole/Stras, and i dont really think Stras is truly in play for us at all.

So... I sign Rendon and make a trade for a top young catcher.  Maybe grab Catellanos or Puig for a year or two to fill in the OF till the kids are ready or I make the trade with the cubs to get Contreras and Bryant, maybe more, and i sign as many mid tier guys as i can like Kuechel, Lindblom etc... and try to win every game 6-5.

What other option is there?

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6 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

This is not a gloom and doom thread, but I do think it is worth considering the road forward if the Angels end up missing out on Gerrit Cole. As more and more top free agents sign with other teams--players like Wheeler, Grandal, and Odorizzi, all of whom would have fit nicely on the Angels; not to mention Hamels and Moustakas, or even Gibson--there is a sense of pressure about the "need" to sign Gerrit Cole. Colelessness seemed more palatable if Eppler had signed a Wheeler-Odorizzi-Grandal tandem; it would have still seemed quite possible for the Angels to win 90+ games and compete for a wildcard. But as more and more top and mid-tier free agents sign, the pickings are getting slimmer really--and suprisingly--quickly.

But let's try to be postive, or at least dispassionately strategic. What would your Coleless plan be? Do you blow the Nationals out of the water and try to grab Strasburg? Do you go after Ryu, Bumgarner? Do you put together a package for Boyd and/or Ray? Or do you resign yourself to 2020 being another "wait and see" year and sign fill-ins (e.g. Wade Miley?) and clean peanuts, and focus on 2021-22 and beyond?

What my approach: I know a lot of people won't like to consider this option, but I'd take that last, more conservative route. Maybe not if I'm Eppler and on the hot seat, but if I had some job security--and could sell my plan to Moreno--I'd focus on not damaging the future in any way, try to make a few savvy signings and trades, and continue building the team from within. I wouldn't overpay for Strasburg; I'd avoid Bumgarner and probably Ryu, at least for what I imagine they'll eventually sign for. I'd sign the best free agent pitchers I could that didn't require long-term commitments. I'd keep my eye on pitchers like Dallas Keuchel, on the chance that they don't get the contracts they want and have to settle for a 1-2 year bargain deal. Again and again I'd focus on building a powerhouse from within, protecting the top 15 or so prospects, and trying to even add a prospect or two by going into 2020 with a mind to trade players like Goodwin, La Stella, and Heaney if they perform well enough.

 

I completely agree with your plan B. We only disagree that your plan B is my plan A.

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If the Angels don't significantly improve their starting pitching through free agency this year, it's not going to happen that way next year, either (they could obviously make trades, though).  Here's the projected list of starting pitchers who'll be free agents after next season.  Not exactly a lot of difference-makers in this batch:

Chase Anderson (33) – $9.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Chris Archer (32) – $11MM club option with a $250K buyout
Jake Arrieta (35)
Trevor Bauer (30)
Tyler Chatwood (31)
Anthony DeSclafani (31)
Michael Fiers (36)
Cole Hamels (37)
J.A. Happ (38) – $17MM vesting option
Merrill Kelly (32) – $4.25MM club option with a $500K buyout
Corey Kluber (35) – $17.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Mike Leake (33) – $18MM mutual option with a $5MM buyout
Jon Lester (37) – $25MM mutual/vesting option with a $10MM buyout
Mike Minor (33)
Charlie Morton (37) – $15MM vesting option
James Paxton (32)
Jose Quintana (32)
Robbie Ray (29)
Garrett Richards (33)
Jeff Samardzija (36)
Anibal Sanchez (37) – $12MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Marcus Stroman (30)
Masahiro Tanaka (32)
Jordan Zimmermann (35)

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The most frustrated I've been in an offseason was before the 2007 season, when Arte promised a "big bat" and the team ended up with GMJ. 

The talk this offseason about the Angels having money to spend, and almost every credible source assuming the Angels were going to land Cole... I'm getting depressed just thinking about the possibility of not ending up with any of the top-tier free agent pitchers. If that happens, I would definitely support your plan of building from within and not overpaying for Ryu or MadBum. Those strike me as the pitching equivalent of GMJ. 

BUT... that means yet another season watching Trout's prime go by while we all pray things break the right way. Which is also depressing. 

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5 minutes ago, floplag said:

I dont want to even consider this, BUT... we cant deny the possibility of it.

IF we lose out of Cole, i pivot to building the best offense in the game to make up for lack of pitching.  Its really our only option at that point if we dont get at least one of Cole/Stras, and i dont really think Stras is truly in play for us at all.

So... I sign Rendon and make a trade for a top young catcher.  Maybe grab Catellanos or Puig for a year or two to fill in the OF till the kids are ready or I make the trade with the cubs to get Contreras and Bryant, maybe more, and i sign as many mid tier guys as i can like Kuechel, Lindblom etc... and try to win every game 6-5.

What other option is there?

You're operating under the assumption that we "have to" compete in 2020. I mean, it is preferrable, but the world doesn't end if we have another mediocre year. The main thing is improvement and trajectory, at least in my view.

But I don't hate your idea. Rendon-Castellanos-Keuchel would make for an interesting 2020 team.

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Passing on Cole is the smartest decision this team could make. Signing Cole is a win now move. He turns 30 next season and the vast majority of pitchers decline sharply right around then. Odds are he gives a maximum of 2 years of ace level pitching. The Angels are not competing in the next 2 years. 

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3 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

You're operating under the assumption that we "have to" compete in 2020. I mean, it is preferrable, but the world doesn't end if we have another mediocre year. The main thing is improvement and trajectory, at least in my view.

But I don't hate your idea. Rendon-Castellanos-Keuchel would make for an interesting 2020 team.

We DO have to compete in '20 in my opinion, Epplers job likely depends on it as well.
We have already wasted too much of Trout, the time for playing 500ish ball is over. 

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3 minutes ago, SoPas Angel said:

The most frustrated I've been in an offseason was before the 2007 season, when Arte promised a "big bat" and the team ended up with GMJ. 

The talk this offseason about the Angels having money to spend, and almost every credible source assuming the Angels were going to land Cole... I'm getting depressed just thinking about the possibility of not ending up with any of the top-tier free agent pitchers. If that happens, I would definitely support your plan of building from within and not overpaying for Ryu or MadBum. Those strike me as the pitching equivalent of GMJ. 

BUT... that means yet another season watching Trout's prime go by while we all pray things break the right way. Which is also depressing. 

You’re comparing Ryu and MadBum to GMJ

very funny lol GIF

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I usually don’t like getting my hopes up for fear things won’t work out. But this whole Cole offseason is different. I feel as close to 100% as I ever had about a free agent and the Angels.  

Edited by jordan

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3 minutes ago, jsnpritchett said:

If the Angels don't significantly improve their starting pitching through free agency this year, it's not going to happen that way next year, either (they could obviously make trades, though).  Here's the projected list of starting pitchers who'll be free agents after next season.  Not exactly a lot of difference-makers in this batch:

 

Well, the other thing to consider is that the Angels have some pitching prospects that will start paying dividends over the next few years. Ohtani still hasn't really pitched for us, and should get better and better over the next few years. Canning, Barria, Sandoval, and Suarez have all had some major league experience and range from #2-4s in terms of upside. Jose Soriano, Chris Rodriguez, and Jack Kochanowicz all project to be good or better starters and should arrive over the next 2-3 years. And that doesn't even touch upon the depth arms.

So you can still get Bundy and maybe another innings-eater this year, possibly go after a Stroman or Ray next year, and build slowly to a 2022+ powerhouse.

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3 minutes ago, floplag said:

We DO have to compete in '20 in my opinion, Epplers job likely depends on it as well.
We have already wasted too much of Trout, the time for playing 500ish ball is over. 

And what if we don't compete in 2020? What then? What will you do? My point being, we don't "have to." That is a flawed way of looking at it, imo, and just leads to frustration. We all want it to happen, but if it doesn't we'll be ok and hope for the next year. I mean, we're Angels fans (unless, of course, you become a fan in 2002 or later, and then you aren't habituated to heartache and disappointment like us oldtimers are).

But yes, Eppler's job probably depends on it - or at least significant improvement. if the Angels win 85+ games, I think he buys himself more time.

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2 minutes ago, Troll Daddy said:

You’re comparing Ryu and MadBum to GMJ

It's not a perfect analogy. But Ryu is coming off a career year and the Angels would be paying for that. And I would not expect either of them to come close to being as good as they have been. With Cole or Strasburg, I would at least have some hope. 

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12 minutes ago, jsnpritchett said:

If the Angels don't significantly improve their starting pitching through free agency this year, it's not going to happen that way next year, either (they could obviously make trades, though).  Here's the projected list of starting pitchers who'll be free agents after next season.  Not exactly a lot of difference-makers in this batch:

Chase Anderson (33) – $9.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Chris Archer (32) – $11MM club option with a $250K buyout
Jake Arrieta (35)
Trevor Bauer (30)
Tyler Chatwood (31)
Anthony DeSclafani (31)
Michael Fiers (36)
Cole Hamels (37)
J.A. Happ (38) – $17MM vesting option
Merrill Kelly (32) – $4.25MM club option with a $500K buyout
Corey Kluber (35) – $17.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Mike Leake (33) – $18MM mutual option with a $5MM buyout
Jon Lester (37) – $25MM mutual/vesting option with a $10MM buyout
Mike Minor (33)
Charlie Morton (37) – $15MM vesting option
James Paxton (32)
Jose Quintana (32)
Robbie Ray (29)
Garrett Richards (33)
Jeff Samardzija (36)
Anibal Sanchez (37) – $12MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Marcus Stroman (30)
Masahiro Tanaka (32)
Jordan Zimmermann (35)

I'll take Bauer. 

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2 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

And what if we don't compete in 2020? What then? What will you do? My point being, we don't "have to." That is a flawed way of looking at it, imo, and just leads to frustration. We all want it to happen, but if it doesn't we'll be ok and hope for the next year. I mean, we're Angels fans (unless, of course, you become a fan in 2002 or later, and then you aren't habituated to heartache and disappointment like us oldtimers are).

But yes, Eppler's job probably depends on it - or at least significant improvement. if the Angels win 85+ games, I think he buys himself more time.

Youre already setting yourself up to accept another average year arent you?  I mean i guess it depends on how you define "compete".  Do we HAVE to make the playoffs, not necessarily but we damned well better be in the mix the final week of the season. 
Whatever that translates into in wins isnt the point but i dont think 85 is going to do that do you?

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11 minutes ago, Vladdylonglegs said:

Passing on Cole is the smartest decision this team could make. Signing Cole is a win now move. He turns 30 next season and the vast majority of pitchers decline sharply right around then. Odds are he gives a maximum of 2 years of ace level pitching. The Angels are not competing in the next 2 years. 

You may well be right, but I do not accept that as fact. 

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4 minutes ago, Kevinb said:

I'll take Bauer. 

Sure, he's pretty good--but, realistically, he's only had one "very good" year so far in his career.  He can definitely improve a rotation, but if he's the best you've got, you're probably not going to the playoffs.  (Side note: yes, I know we'll have Ohtani back--but I remain conservative on him until I see what he can do in a full season)

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4 minutes ago, floplag said:

Youre already setting yourself up to accept another average year arent you?  I mean i guess it depends on how you define "compete".  Do we HAVE to make the playoffs, not necessarily but we damned well better be in the mix the final week of the season. 
Whatever that translates into in wins isnt the point but i dont think 85 is going to do that do you?

When you say things like "we better be" it implies that you have some influence, power or control, or at least a stake beyond simple fandom. I get it, I just think it is misguided.

Neither of us has any control over what happens. In fact, we have absolutely no say in it whatsoever. It is just simple acceptance. Hope, too, of course.

 

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