I was curious as to what are the favorite Free Agents us Halo Fans are wanting on our wish list this offseason. It seems that we are all so deflated from how the season played out and very eager to see how the front office retools itself, I haven't heard too many names thrown out other than the obligatory names that will command an ass load of money(i.e. Fielder, Reyes, CJ Wilson).
As far as my wish list, the biggest need for our team is a middle of the order slugger. Not only do we not have a middle of the order presence but our guys with pop don't even have respectable On-Base Percentages (i.e. Trumbo, Wells). I also found out that Angels didn't have anyone this year in the Top 50 of MLB OPS leaders (On-Base plus Slugging %). In 2010 we had one with Hunter cracking the list at #50.
With that being said, I think making a good run at Fielder should be a priority since he has consistently hit as a middle of the order guy his entire career and has been in the Top 50 of MLB OPS leaders since 2007. He's a left handed bat in the line-up and will definitely make us a better team. Especially facing the Yankees and their short-porch in inevitable future post season match-ups.
Another Free Agent I like is Michael Cuddyer. He can play multiple positions, playing 1st, 2nd, and RF in 2011 and has played 3rd as recently as 2010. When I saw his stats, I would've envision him as a complimentary player to the team by splitting time at 3rd and RF. To my dismay, he had a higher OPS than anyone on the Angels last year with only Kendrick and Trumbo having a higher Slugging Percentage. Although he doesn't put up consistent HR numbers, he consistently gets on base with a career .343 OBP.
An interesting alternative to Fielder would be signing David Ortiz. He would be a cheaper Left Handed bat but would still bring a strong power presence in our line-up. He many not fit into the Angels plans with Kendrys' anticipated return but you'd have to image the Angels will target someone for a Fielder back-up plan. Big Papi wants out of Boston and I'm not sure the Yankees will take him.
Beltran and Aramis don't seem that intriguing as they are aging stars who want one last payday before they fade. I can't image the Angels signing Jose Reyes with a capable Aybar at shortstop and the surge of Trout who could easily become a Jose Reyes type offensive player with more pop.
You would also have to imagine with the work load that Haren, Weaver, and Santana put out last year someone will hit the DL. To sit pat will and let Jerome Williams, Tyler Chatwood, and Garrett Richards fill out the rotation scares the crap out of me.
I would love to see Mark Buehrle as an Angel. He can give the Angels innings as he's pitched over 200 innings for 11 seasons straight. He pitches with a fast tempo which is ideal for our defensive minded team. His ERA has always been respectable although he gives up a lot of hits. Not only has Buehrle said he's only looking for a 2 or 3 year deal, he also a won a championship to go along with his postseason experience.
Another possibility could be Jeff Francis. He has been injury prone to go along with a career 4.78 ERA but he made $2 Million with Kansas City and pitched in the World Series in the losing cause for Colorado in 2007. Inexpensive and could fill out the rotation as a number 5 starter with postseason experience.
Last but not least is the bullpen. I hate when the Angels sign relievers as they are always overpaid and underperforming with the Angels(i.e. Esteban Yan, Hector Carrasco, J.C. Romero, Justin Speier, Brian Fuentes, Fernando Rodney). But I would like to see the Angels go for Heath Bell. He has mentioned that he would want a 2 or 3 year deal and wants to live close to his native San Diego. I think a veteran mentor for Jordan Walden would be ideal for the Angels. Move Walden to the set-up role and have Bell close games. The back of the Bullpen would set up a lot nicer for the Angels with a Downs, Walden, Bell combo. Though Bell's strikeouts have gone down last season, his WHIP lowered from 2010. Not by much though.
Obviously if we signed everyone I would like, our payroll would go even higher than last year but these are more brainstorming ideas and even more on the unrealistic side. Signing Fielder alone would cut the $40 Million that is coming off the books in half or more. Then there are all the arbitration cases and scheduled raises for Weaver, Haren, Santana, and Wells.
2012 Predictions: Trout and Conger will not be starters.
What Free Agents do you want to go for?