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Athletics Nation thinks Angels should have signed Cliff Lee. HALOLINKS

Cliff Lee or Adrian Beltre?  "The Angels would be far better with Lee" - Athletics Nation
Cliff Lee or Adrian Beltre? "The Angels would be far better with Lee" - Athletics Nation

Breaking Down the Angels' Financials - Athletics Nation


Next year for example, if the Angels signed Cliff Lee to a 7 year $168m deal, they could pay for it almost completely with the expiring contracts of Kazmir and GMJ. I expect that the Angels could take a $10 million hit to their pocket book to remain competitive and acquire a FA, while using the length of the deal to make up for it being short in the first year.With that being said a longer contract is probably better for the Angels financial health and Cliff Lee fits that profile, since his contract will likely be 6 to 7 years. Adrian Beltre would also fit that profile since he will have a 5 year contract. The Angels would be far better with Lee. Instead of upgrading 2 WAR to 4-4.5 WAR by moving from Macier or Callaspo to Beltre for a 2.5 total WAR improvement at 15m a year for 5 years, Cliff Lee would be an instant 7.5 WAR upgrade to the Angels as he would replace the below replacement level production (-.8 WAR) of Scott Kazmir in the starting rotation.

This is a really good analysis of the Angels from AN. I'm surprised someone from another teams' site took the time to provide such a thorough breakdown of of the Angels money/team situation. After reading the post, be sure to check out the comment section. Of the 500+ comments, over half are devoted to analyzing the dynamics of community and have nothing to do with the Angels (or even baseball for that matter). Still good stuff though.

Matsui officially a goner, signs with A's -
As expected, Matsui has agreed to a one-year free-agent contract for an estimated $7 million with the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday. The legendary slugger from Japan figures to replace Jack Cust as the primary DH for the A's, Cust having signed with the Seattle Mariners.

Actually, Matsui signed for $4.25M, not the $7M mentioned in that article. The $4.25M salary is slightly less than what Matsui earned as an Angel ($6M).

Keeping Score: Where Does the Phillies' Rotation Stand in History? -
Taking totals for 2008 to 2010, the Phillies now have the first (Halladay), fourth (Lee), 17th (Oswalt) and 18th (Hamels) best starting pitchers of the past three years. The Angels, with Dan Haren (11th), Jered Weaver (16th) and Ervin Santana (30th), and the White Sox, with John Danks (6th), Mark Buehrle (15th) and Gavin Floyd (23rd), both have three such pitchers in the top 30. (The Yankees have only C.C. Sabathia, who is second in WAR.)

The Angels' 4 starters compiled a 39.5 WAR over the last 3 years compared to the Phillies starters' 59.7 (and White Sox 47.5).

The Downs deal - The Orange County Register
- Downs is reportedly making 515 million for three years with this deal, but then he was making $4 million last year in Toronto.
- Another byproduct of Downs is the flexibility it gives Mike Scioscia to put Hisanori Takahashi in the rotation if/when Scott Kazmir needs to be replaced.
- The Angels fired scouting director Eddie Bane ostensibly for poor drafts – apparently they wanted him to take Mike Trout with the 125th pick in the draft instead of the 25th. Ric Wilson replaces him, and now loses a second-round pick because of the Downs trade.

I thought about doing a full-blown FJM on this Mark Whicker post, but decided not to waste the time and just throw a couple of his bullet points in here. Although he makes an interesting point about how the Downs signing may impact the Angels starting rotation, the other two comments don't make much sense...
- I'm pretty sure the first point is just a typo, Downs isn't making 515 million anythings over 3 years. The deal will pay Downs $5M per year for three years, not the 171 million Quatloos Whicker thinks the Triskelions
would be paying him through 2013.
- Takahashi started 12 games last season for the Mets. In those twelve games he compiled a 4-4 record and a 5.01 ERA. As a reliever, Takahashi went 8-for-8 in saves and had a 2.01 ERA, finishing the season as the Mets closer. Obviously, this is all based on one season and just 122 innings pitched (64.2 as a starter, 57.1 in relief), so Takahashi may be a good replacement in the rotation if Kazmir continues to suck.
- The third point about the draft completely baffles me. Scott Downs is a Type "A" free agent meaning any team that signs him would forfeit their first-round pick to the the Blue Jays. However, the Angels' first round pick is protected, so the Blue Jays will receive the Angels' second round pick. What I can't figure out is, what does any of this have to do with Eddie Bane being fired?

December 15 - BR Bullpen
1886 - The American Association meets and ratifies the new rules. It also approves the new clause that allows a club to reserve a player for as long as it wants, not just for next year's contract. Just 21 years after the Civil War and baseball legalizes slavery.
1920 - The National League reveals a most telling statistic, pointing out the changes in the game: the use of 27,924 baseballs during the season, an increase of 10,248 over 1919. Another telling statistic? The major leagues now go through between 113,000 and 160,000 balls per season. I'm not sure what this "tells".
1980 - Dave Winfield (.276, 20, 87) becomes the highest-paid player in the history of sports. The former Padre signs a ten-year free agent deal with Yankees worth a record $16 million (or roughly $4M less than Carl Crawford will earn EACH YEAR of his new contract).
1994 - The owners approve a salary cap plan by a vote of 25-3, but agree to delay implementing it so that another round of talks with the players can be held as the strike remains unresolved. I wonder how that's working out?
2009 - Commissioner Bud Selig announces that he will chair a 14-person committee to analyze ways to improve baseball's on-field product. The group will look at issues such as the pace of the game, umpiring, instant replay and possible rule changes. Any findings by this committee will be completely ignored by Selig who thinks the pace of the game is fine, the umpires are doing a fantastic job, instant replay won't improve the rulings on the field, and rule changes are for wimps.
Happy b-day:
1950 - Chuck Hockenbery, pitcher
1967 - Mo Vaughn, infielder; All-Star