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Dominoes falling...


Hubs

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With the Season almost at the halfway point, I'd like to say, I'm glad the Angels are doing better, because for a while there it looked really bad. Yet not all of DiPoto's offseason decisions are looking that great. A year after a successful coup in getting Pujols, CJ Wilson…the team looked poised to do great things. Last year when they traded for Ernesto Frieri, we thought we had a master GM... after years of futile moves under Tony Reagins… we all thought…finally. But we thought the same thing about Reagins after he signed Torrii Hunter at a Del Taco.

 

Have things started the other way though? Last season, there was a domino that started a chain of events that doesn't look so good for the Angels. That unfortunately was the ridiculously bad decision in trading for former Royal & Brewer and Current Dodger Zach Greinke.

 

I've stated in other posts in the past that I believed not resigning Texieira after 2008 led to Abreu, and then the Wells trade, which led to two bad seasons and ultimately Reagins firing.

 

It's not that Greinke didn't perform, as he did, but giving up Jean Segura didn't seem that bad at the time because the Angels were set in the infield with Kendrick and Aybar and Segura certainly isn't a Mike Trout. Yet he was a solid prospect who this season is an All-Star in Milwuakee. The other prospects, Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena given up in the deal for the two month rental, haven't become an All-Star like Segura has, Hellweg certainly struggled in his first taste of the majors, but yeah, this deal doesn't look too good for the Angels at all….Especially...

 

...As they failed to sign Greinke to an extension. They took the money earmarked for Greinke and gave it to Josh Hamilton. Who before his recent surge, looked awful...

 

 

...After adding Hamilton, that domino falling led to an extra OF /  DH, which meant traded Kendrys Morales for Jason Vargas and while  Vargas has arguably been the teams best pitcher at points this season, and while Morales isn't killing it in Seattle, he's doing okay. It's a pretty good swap for both teams....

 

Still, the rotation would've been better if they had decided to keep or had the money to keep...

 

Ervin Santana… who is excelling with the Royals. The Angels had an option on his contract which would've cost the team $13 M. The right hander has a 2.90 ERA for the Royals. His replacement in the rotation is not a low cost minor leaguer like Garrett Richards, no…it's Joe freaking Blanton. And somehow Joe has had some good starts, but Dipoto traded Santana because he gave up too many longballs, and then replaced him with a guy that gives up more home runs! Santana has excellent stuff and had been inconsistent…I get that they didn't want to commit $13 M for one season. Yet, coming off a bad year, he probably would've taken 2 years and 20 M in lieu of that option….

 

and the player they got back in the trade had TJ surgery. Royals are clearly winners here...

 

…But with Hamilton is finally showing flashes of the guy he was in Texas, which is great and it is certainly possible at some time in the next 4 and a half years we'll get a season like the 2010 AL MVP had. They badly needed lefty balance in the lineup….

 

….And I like the Vargas move, but really this team would've been much better off keeping Segura and acquiring a guy like Jeremy Guthrie for rotation help last year. But Joe Blanton v. Ervin Santana? That was only made because they didn't have faith in Santana. Adding three new starters is never a good decision, especially from a team that gave up under 700 runs last year. It was definitely motivated by money too, as they wanted to save money for Greinke / Hamilton….

 

With Segura in the lineup this year, likely at third, or at short when Aybar went down… the Angels would've scored more runs in the first half. Which with their shotty rotation, was sorely needed.

 

...The other starter the team acquired has been inconsistent at best in Tommy Hanson. Hanson probably won't be brought back next year, likely being non-tendered. Williams and Jason Vargas are free agents. The Angels will be left with Weaver, Wilson as sure rotation members again…. 

 

And because they had no Segura, Alberto Callaspo was retained for two years to be the bridge to future Angel Kaleb Cowart, but he hasn't returned to the player they thought he was. He's hitting slightly better for average than last season, but nothing he did in 2012 made him worthy of the contract he got in 2013, and nothing he is doing in 2013 is validating it either. If Segura was here, perhaps they'd have kept Callaspo under an arbitration one year deal, or perhaps they'd have non-tendered the guy saving enough money to bring back Santana...

 

Callaspo's contract and Blanton's contract would have easily equaled the dollar value in bringing back Santana at his option (and if he took less, all the better) and having Segura or Aybar at third….

 

Blanton's WAR is -0.7 and Callaspo's is 0.1. Santana's is 2.3 so far this year, Segura is at 3.2. 

 

So -0.6 vs. 5.5. It's likely then that over the course of the season, this one decision ended up costing the team what 9-10 WAR? I know WAR doesn't mean Wins…But worse yet, these guys are both under two year deals!

 

If the Angels had not traded for Greinke, they'd have not been over a barrel in FA and may have been able to make the Vargas move first, adding a solid starter. They may have signed Hamilton earlier, and been in a position then to keep Santana and let Callaspo go.

 

Luis Jimenez may not have had a lot of success after a few weeks of a scorching hot bat, but the guy is still hitting in AAA… and he wouldn't have been a bad backup plan.

 

Segura

Trout

Pujols

Hamilton

Trumbo

Kendrick

Iannetta/Conger

Aybar

Bourjos

 

With a rotation of 

 

Weaver

Wilson

Santana

Vargas

Williams

 

is a much better team than they have currently. And it all started with the domino of trading for Zach Greinke. 

 

I hope that the Greinke / Segura call doesn't lead to further futility, but it doesn't look too good now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice take on things, although I don't necessarily agree with all of it.

 

For one thing, $13M (or 2/$20M) for Ervin Santana is crazy money. Spending most of that on Blanton was silly, but those two decisions are not connected.

 

Trading for Greinke with no real intention of resigning him was also silly, no matter who we gave up. The Angels need to stop trading prospects for rentals.

 

Signing Hamilton, even if he did play close to expections, was silly given that the team needed (and still needs) pitching. That he didn't help the offense pours salt in the wound.

 

Worst signing of all was Pujols. Ridiculous. We are gonna be bitching about that for another 7 years.

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Good post. My biggest concern about this franchise is the recent tendency to ignore value per dollar, as exhibited by the Wells trade and the Pujols and Hamilton signings. I mean let's just look at in terms of WAR. Why spend $20 million a year on a 4 WAR player when you can spend $10M on a 3 WAR player or bring up a rookie who can produce 2 WAR for half a million and spend that money elsewhere?

 

I realize that the Pujols signing was based upon the idea that 2011 was an aberration, that he would at least return to a 6+ WAR level for a few years and earn his paycheck. The same goes for Hamilton. But neither has happened and neither is likely to happen. At this point I think we'll be lucky to ever see another 5 WAR season from either one (Hamilton only has one 5 WAR season - 8.4 in his MVP year).

 

That said, Hamilton's performance of late is encouraging because it means that not only is he playing better now, but he hasn't completely lost his ability and could be very good for the next few years. He'll never have another 2010 but for the first time in months I think 2011-12 is quite possible.

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Segura.  Hit .904 in Rookie Ball, .829 in A Ball, .758 in A+ Ball, and .749 in Double A.  Notice the trend?  Enough second guessing the move, it was the right one.  

 

Might as well second guess why 26 picks occurred before Drafting Trout.  I'm sure all fans are calling out their GM's for not drafting Trout.  

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Segura played in pitching strong parks in low A and AA ball.    

The mid .700s OPS in high-A was the only concern of any kind that I had.

He always had the base stealing prowess.

 

Because Grienke was almost certainly going to command mega bucks, and outside of 2009 really wasn't worth that kind of money, I will always point to the trade as a bad one. 

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Segura.  Hit .904 in Rookie Ball, .829 in A Ball, .758 in A+ Ball, and .749 in Double A.  Notice the trend?  Enough second guessing the move, it was the right one.  

 

Might as well second guess why 26 picks occurred before Drafting Trout.  I'm sure all fans are calling out their GM's for not drafting Trout.  

 

Plus, the Angels already had solid middle infielders locked up to reasonable deals... and a decent prospect at 3B.  Segura probably wouldn't have even gotten a look this year.  

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Might as well second guess why 26 picks occurred before Drafting Trout.  I'm sure all fans are calling out their GM's for not drafting Trout.  

 

It took them awhile, but the Angels finally corrected their mistake of passing on Albert Pujols in favor of Alfredo Amezega.

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Signing Hamilton, even if he did play close to expections, was silly given that the team needed (and still needs) pitching. That he didn't help the offense pours salt in the wound.

 

Hubs touched on it in his original post. Signing Hamilton facilitated the trade for Vargas. Without Hamilton, the Vargas trade doesn't happen IMO. 

So, the Hamilton signing actually helped the pitching staff (for this year at least.)

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Hubs touched on it in his original post. Signing Hamilton facilitated the trade for Vargas. Without Hamilton, the Vargas trade doesn't happen IMO. 

So, the Hamilton signing actually helped the pitching staff (for this year at least.)

 

No, handing $25M to a position player does not help pitching.

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On the Santana Blanton thing, Santana + Segura salary wise is about $13.5 M. We're paying $1M of that anyway, so it's actually $12.5 M net cost.

 

Blanton costs 6.5 M this year and Callaspo costs 4.1. That's 10.6. So for $2 M more they could've kept Santana and Segura. Yet I also pointed out that Segura being traded and Greinke being an uncertain returnee made them panic and sign "innings eater" Joe Blanton. They also could've likely declined Santana's option and signed him for two years for less than the $13.

 

If they had seen Segura in Winterball tearing it up, or just doing well in AAA in the second half of the season…they may have tried him at third.

 

My point is the Greinke trade led to a much worse situation than if they had simply stood pat at the deadline.

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1. Segura has cooled off a lot. Let's see what his numbers are after a whole year before we anoint him. 

2. Of course Angels were going to sign Greinke. Nobody (Angels nor Greinke) imagined the crazy money Doyers were going to throw at him. 

3. If Hamilton continues a tear for the rest of the year and leads us into the playoffs we will all forgive his terrible start. 

4. I thought trading Santana was a terrible move at the time and I was quite vocal about it here and I got killed for it. I would guess about 95% here were stoked about kicking Ervin to the curb and forgot about his amazing years. 

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Your dominoe affect is all based on hindsight. I am not in to trading top prospects for a rental player. However, Greinke did the job he was acquired for. I would have looked to get more for Morales then a walk year pitcher. Hamilton was a totally unnecessary signing. With rare exceptions you are not going to acquire a championship team in July.

Bottom line is to build a championship team you must have a strong minor league system. A talented system lessens the necessity to sign free agents to long term deals.

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Segura will likely settle into a .780-.820 ops SS that can steal bags.  A nice commodity.  The Greinke trade isn't a failure because Jean Segura is playing well right now.  Yes, that's part of it, but not the main reason. 

 

The goal of the Greinke trade was to get to the playoffs and be better equipped once there.

 

The failure is that the trade decreased depth and valuable trade pieces or potential cheap, serviceable major leaguers without accomplishing the primary goal.  The secondary goal was to have a better shot at re-signing Zach.  Also didn't happen.    Is this failure only seen in retrospect?  Yes, but it's the FO's job to evaluate and anticipate the possibilities with way more information than any of us had at the time.  They are supposed to know more.  It's not all hindsight for them. 

 

Trading prospects for current major league talent is not totally unreasonable but if you are going to sacrifice some of the future for the now and it doesn't work, then it's a failure. 

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1. Segura has cooled off a lot. Let's see what his numbers are after a whole year before we anoint him.

2. Of course Angels were going to sign Greinke. Nobody (Angels nor Greinke) imagined the crazy money Doyers were going to throw at him.

3. If Hamilton continues a tear for the rest of the year and leads us into the playoffs we will all forgive his terrible start.

4. I thought trading Santana was a terrible move at the time and I was quite vocal about it here and I got killed for it. I would guess about 95% here were stoked about kicking Ervin to the curb and forgot about his amazing years.

Did not Jedi understand three things?

1). Santana is in a contract season.

2). Santana does well every other season.

3). Santana struggled in 2012.

Now we only have a TJ surgery guy as pymt for Santana.

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Teixeira leaving gave us the draft pick that wound up being Mike Trout so yes it was great that the Angels didn't sign him.

 

From that point of view, yes. On the other hand, with Teixeira maybe the Angels would've had another title. What do you value more?

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