Examining The Los Angeles Angels Off-Season Decisions

By Jason Evans

MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez came out with a piece yesterday about how the Angels focused more on improving their hitting over their starting pitching. The Angels chose to sign Josh Hamilton over Zack Greinke and when making a trade for a pitcher, didn’t trade either Mark Trumbo or Peter Bourjos and instead traded Kendrys Morales to the Mariners for Jason Vargas. Did the Angels make the right decisions?

February 21, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto watches during spring training at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, we wont know that until October, but let’s see if we can figure out what they were thinking. I’m guessing that Greinke’s people probably came to Angels management with what they wanted and the Angels just didn’t want to go for that length of time with Greinke. The Dodgers may have put the opt-out in to protect themselves as well in case Greinke doesn’t pan out with them. I don’t think management feels it is smart to give out those kinds of long-term deals to pitchers. Even Jered Weaver‘s and C.J. Wilson‘s deals are both in the five year variety, not seven like Greinke and Felix Hernandez just got.

As far as the trade of Morales goes, I’ve said in the past that I would’ve tried to trade Trumbo for a starter rather than Morales, but I get the Angels thinking in what they did. If Morales has a good year, he could have priced himself out of what the Angels were comfortable with paying him. Trumbo and Boujos are both the cheaper options. Also with signing Hamilton, they could afford to trade someone for a pitcher so that way you can upgrade at both hitting and starting rotation.

For better or worse, this is what the Angels are going to be in 2013. Did they make the right moves? We will find out beginning Monday when pitchers and catchers report.