Recommended trade and FA acquisitions for the rest of the off-season

Looking back now that I've had some time to relax on the news that the Angels failed to land their #1 target in Carl Crawford, I'm thinking it was a blessing. No doubt, he could have been the cog in our line-up that could return us to offensive relevance over night. But his contract would have severely handicapped us for a few years. Likely around the time Weaver, Haren, and Morales would be due for their big payday. I would hate to lose any of those three because of what we had foolishly done a few years previous to fix a hole that we can likely fix internally over the next few years (i.e. Trout, Trumbo, Grichuk, ect). 


Now I think we move on to the rest of the off-season... rationally. The likelihood of Cliff Lee becoming an Angel is slim to none, and that would also severely handicap us for the next 7-8 years. While he'd be welcomed by this fan with open arms, it also means the Angels would be cheap elsewhere on the diamond. I could care less about tickets being bumped up $10 a ticket or a beer, hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, or crackerjacks being $2-$3 extra. In reality, that's all things would go up, probably not enough to bankrupt the fans. For the sake of reality though, I'm going to exclude Cliff Lee from my off-season.


The catcher position could change given the quantity we have... and some quality. We're set at 1st with Morales. 2nd base is good with Kendrick. I am not a fan of Aybar at SS so I'm going to seek a trade below. We're in shambles at 3rd so I'm seeking a FA below. LF has options and I'll explain below. We're good in CF with Bourjos. RF is set with Hunter. DH has options as well. Starting pitching is set. Bullpen is taking shape nicely though I'd like to add one closer via FA.


Addressing some of the FA's needs and monies allocated to those needs, I would say 3rd base is our most glaring hole and offer Adrian Beltre a 5 year/$80M deal. I would like to think Scott Boras would accept that. The other offer I make to solidify our bullpen is 4 years/$36M to Rafael Soriano. That's a $2M raise from last year with the Rays. Simply based on the rumblings I've heard that Soriano is not garnering that much attention, I'm thinking his agent Peter Greenberg would accept it. I say, why wait till the market heats up for him? If you can get him now, get him. Offer Jim Thome a 2 year/$5M deal to be our full time DH. Our big holes are now filled.


The trade market: I am not a huge fan of Erick Aybar. He's serviceable but hardly what I'd like to think of as my franchise shortstop. I like to build the middle of my field with strength. Our future is with Hank Conger, Howard Kendrick and Mike Trout up the middle, I'd like to add the Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. There are mixed reports whether he is available or not. Looking at the Mets depth chart, their shortcomings are at catcher, 1st base, RF, starting pitching, and of course SS with Reyes departing. While I don't think Reyes is THE premier SS in baseball anymore and his OBP is not of a typical lead-off catalyst, he does change the game with his speed. His speed is something we were seeking in Carl Crawford. His durability is a concern to some, but not for me. The only year where he played less than 130 games was 2009. Additionally, his contract could be percived as unattractive to some. He will be a FA after the 2011 season. But his agent is not Scott Boras, it's Peter Greenberg. So as part of the trade, sign him to a long term deal at 5 years/$70M. In return, trade Erick Aybar, Mike Napoli, Juan Rivera, and their choice of Tyler Chatwood, Trevor Bell, or Garrett Richards. I'm asking for Jose Reyes and a lesser prospect than what we gave them in terms of pitching.


My line-up:

1. Jose Reyes SS

2. Bobby Abreu LF / RF / DH

3. Kendry Morales 1st / DH

4. Torii Hunter RF / CF / LF

5. Jim Thome DH / 1st

6. Adrian Beltre 3rd

7. Howard Kendrick 2nd / 1st / DH

8. Hank Conger C

9. Peter Bourjos CF / LF / RF

Reserve 1: Jeff Mathis C

Reserve 2: Macier Izturis 2nd / SS / 3rd

Reserve 3: Alberto Callaspo 2nd / 3rd

Reserve 4: Mark Trumbo 1st / LF / RF

Reserve 5 : Reggie Willits OF

SP1: Jered Weaver

SP2: Dan Haren

SP3: Ervin Santana

SP4: Joel Pineiro

SP5: Scott Kazmir

BP1: Jordan Walden

BP2: Hisanori Takahashi

BP3: Scott Downs

BP4: Fernando Rodney

Set-up: Kevin Jepsen

Closer: Rafael Soriano


For the money acquired via trade with Reyes and his new deal at $14M per year, that money is slightly offset by trading Aybar, Napoli, and Rivera which totals about $10M. I feel the FO was ready to take the 2011 budget higher anyways so I feel the additions of Beltre, Thome, Soriano, Downs, and Takahashi were allocated in the budget. Worse case FA scenario, take Soriano out and use Rodney and Downs as the situational closer, and add either Jason Bulger or Michael Kohn to the bullpen. That does save you $9M a year.

This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.

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