Did Arte Moreno ever really buy the Angels from the Disney Corporation? Are the Angels are spending all their money on outfielders in an attempt to bring back the classicly bad movie Angels in the Outfield? At the time the movie came out it was laughable that the Angels would ever win a pennant, and after a head scratching offseason it seems just as laughable right now spending more on their 30+ year old outfield than the movie grossed at the box office. Moreno is making Al Davis look sane these days.
You may or may not have heard they traded for Vernon Wells giving up Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli to the Blue Jays. Wells is a slight upgrade over Rivera, but not a $15M upgrade. Wells had a pretty good season last year, but if you look at his career numbers you will see he has one pretty good year, then a bad one, and the worst part about him is he has continually declined from his career highs he set in 04-06. I’m not saying he’ll be terrible this year, but he will never live up to his contract. Rivera was supposed to make $5M this upcoming season, while Wells is due to make $23M in 2011 with three more years of $21M left on his contract. Both Rivera and Wells are 32 years old, and without PED’s we know that their production will dwindle as time rolls along, unless some crazy undetectable strengthening drug comes along.
The Angels struck out on landing Carl Crawford, and decide to trade for a guy that the Blue Jays have been trying to get rid of for years!?! I even put him on my list of worst contracts in the MLB back in August of 2009. This move makes no sense at all, especially when the reason for them not wanting to sign Crawford was that he wanted too many years. He wanted seven, and that would’ve put him at 35 years old when his contract ran out, coincidentally that is the same age that Wells will be when his contract is done. I’ve got nothing against Vernon, but in two years which player would you rather have? Not a tough choice there right?
With their current outfield alignment, they weren’t especially bad out there, nor were they all that good, but having this be their major upgrade of the offseason seems like a joke. They are still paying for the final year of Gary Matthews Jr.’s ridiculous contract ($11.5M this year), and he’s not even playing anymore. They are spending $63M on the outfield including Matthews Jr. Yup, $63M is not a typo for (Matthews Jr, Wells, Hunter, and Abreu). That’s more than the A’s entire payroll, ok, maybe that was an exaggeration, but it’s close, and they still don’t look like a great team. I know Vernon won’t be labeled as the most overpaid fourth outfielder like Matthews Jr. was, but he could be in four years during the final year of his contract! Was it Torii Hunter’s contract working out that made them pull the trigger? I’ll be the first to admit that I thought Hunter was overpaid when they signed him, but this seems like a twice as risky scenario, since Wells hasn’t had an all-star worthy season since 2006, and Torii is known for his hard work ethic, not the same with Wells. Why wouldn’t they put in a better offer for Beltre since he obviously would’ve come to LA if the price was right since all Boras clients ever want is the most money. It would’ve sured up their worst infield position, and they wouldn’t be stuck with quite as large of a contract. They needed an upgrade at 3B much more than in the outfield. Whatever their reasons, I’m glad they are going to stick with Brandon the .200 hitter Wood at third base, and even happier they have Vernon for the next four years keeping a lot of salary tied up. Just so you know Brandon Wood makes the A’s Kevin Kouzmanoff look like a shoe in All-Star.