So there are multiple "What if" or "What should" offseason threads here on HH and more are a-comin! Here's mine. Mike Trout has made seamless transitions through the minors so far. He's touted, in some circles, as the next big thing (Mickey Mantle was pretty big).
I've been reading and commenting on other threads and the more I read, the more I realize there's NEVER a perfect option. In the beginning I was all for signing Carl Crawford and staunchly against Beltre. The more I read and studied about both, the more I realized I was wrong on both accounts. Would I be happy if the Angels signed either? Sure, and I don't think they'd be shooting themselves in the foot, but I don't think it's the best choice either.
The 2011 FA class is not as deep as a a team like ours would like. Top tier players will get contracts bigger than they deserve. While that's the market and I accept it, maybe we should do something that hasn't been done for a while (think Griffey Jr). You know where I'm going with this...... Count on the kid! The "Prince Fish" if you will. Does it make sense to overspend on Crawford when we have Carl Crawford in 3 years? No.
Barring an unforeseen regression in spring training, start Mike Trout in the MLB as our LF.
Abreu is nearly unmovable and will start ~60 games in LF and be our DH and back up plan if Trout struggles horribly.
Sign Beltre. 06-08 Beltre put up consistent numbers of .270 BA, .325OBP, and 25 H R. Years before that and after have had outliers going both ways. He's a gold glove defender and paired with K-Mo and Torii would have more protection than he's ever really had. To expect .275, .340, and 25 HR is completely rational.
Trade Juan Rivera and Kendrick. In a perfect world I'd keep Howie, but Callaspo is cheaper and Izturis can back up Aybar so Kendrick is the odd man out. If we packaged them together we could get prospects and pay very little of their salary. Hey it could happen!
Sign a lefty reliever. Scott Downs anyone?
Goodbye Mathis, hello Conger. How does a platoon of those two sound? No loss of power there. With a 100/60 split, Napoli could DH in some of his off days and boost our lineup.
Opening day lineup:
Bench: Izturis, Conger, Willits, Wood
Trout would only play ~100 games so it's asking a lot from him, but we'd do fine he struggles. Also Bourjos leads off here because he has the speed and no one else seems to be able to. Even if his OBP is like Aybar's this year he's still an upgrade because he can steal a base. I expect a lot of criticism from this post, but this lineup might make me happiest. We need to bounce back in 2011, but this prepares us for 2012. This plan allows for flexibility because even if Trout fails, Abreu slides into left, Napoli into DH, and Conger/Wilson behind the plate.