Adrian Beltre to the Rangers is just about official. Reported to be 6 years at $96 million dollars. Is it way to much for Beltre? Yes! But these are now the rules of the game. You have to overpay if you want to compete. The Angels unwillingness to shell out dough for top free agents (Particularly Scott Boras Clients) is already problematic but it has the potential to get even worse.
Guess who both Kendry Morales and Jered Weaver call their agent? Yep one Scott Boras. The fact that Boras has made the Angels his whipping team when it comes to negotiations is not a good sign for Halo fans long term. Kendry and Jered will both be up for new deals soon and if past performance is any indication, their likelihood of remaining in Anaheim is not what I would call “optimistic”.
The short term impact of the Beltre signing is the Rangers are still the favorite to win the Division in 2011 with the A’s right behind them as their new chief rival. Tony Reagins and Arte Moreno have both exuded the stubbornness and malcontent of losers this off season. I will always root for the Angels but as a fan the recent actions of the management staff have not left me feeling positive about this season or future ones.
So what can be done to save this mess? Luckily for Tony and Arte’s sake there is one dreaded Dominican Icon who like Crawford and Beltre before him is a perfect fit for the Angels. Vladimir Guerrero. The Angels need to swallow their pride a bring Vlad back home. For one he is the best hitter left on the free agent market and secondly its really the only way barring a major trade that the club can win back so many of its jilted fan base. Vlad is still a hero in SO Cal.
After all this is baseball, Crawford was strike one, Beltre was strike two.. and after their worst season in recent memory the Angels can ill afford to strike out. Signing Vlad and a third baseman with some pop like Jorge Cantu could be yet another cost saving alternative toward fielding a competitive team. The potential lineup actually looks somewhat promising assuming the Angels are willing to gamble on Cantu regaining his 2008 and 2009 form in which he averaged 22 home runs 98 rbi’s and an .800 OPS. per season.
- Erick Aybar SS
- Bobby Abreu LF
- Kendry Morales 1B
- Vladimir Guerrero DH
- Torii Hunter RF
- Howie Kendrick 2B
- Jorge Cantu 3B
- Mike Napoli C
- Peter Bourjos CF
This group assuming Aybar or Bourjos can learn to get on base at the top of the lineup is an upgrade over last years club offensively. Also keep in mind some guys not pictured above, namely Juan Rivera, Maicer Izturis, Alberto Callaspo or all three could also be traded to fill holes at 3rd base or in the outfield.
So not all is lost for the 2011 Angels , there are still a few shrewd moves the club can make to be competitive this season. But as we’ve been saying for months now its time to get to work.
P.S Happy New Year!!