Leading with Lyle edition of Halolinks:
This is basically another Spencer puff-piece: New Angels GM Jerry Dipoto will have to be creative to fit his list of needs into a tight budget. - angels.com, but within the post there's this quote, "Everybody's most tradeable assets are their youngest players," DiPoto said. "I'm always reluctant to part with young talent. That being said, if there is the opportunity to upgrade at the Major League level, you always have to pay attention." Sure, it could just be posturing by the Angels GM, but when looking at the available free agent talent, the Halos best path to improvement will most likely be via the trade route. Here are a couple recent Fanshots covering Angels' rumors: David Ortiz, Jeremy Guthrie, and Aramis Ramirez.
And then there's this: Numbers say the Angels struggled to 'create' runs in 2011 - MLB.com. I'm always leery when people who profess one thing and then do the opposite. In this case, Spencer, a known numbers hater (4000 games with his own eyes) writes an entire article about Run Created. That's like me saying I don't believe in astrology and then talking about Mercury's retrograde (I leave all of that stuff to Rev). Here's an example of Lyle analyzing the numbers, "The perception is that the Angels, because they ranked 25th in the Majors and 12th in the American League in walks, are an impatient team offensively. But that is not necessarily the case. While discipline is obviously a virtue, it appears that at times they were too patient compared to their AL West rivals in Texas. Led by Abreu, who saw more pitches per at-bat (4.34) than all but two players in the Majors, the Angels actually drew more pitches per plate appearance (3.8) than the Rangers (3.78)." There's a big difference in taking pitches and drawing walks. The Rangers weren't less patient than the Angles, they were better at controlling the strike zone. Texas hitters struck out the least number of times (930) in the A.L., compared to the Angels (1086). If I were to look at the data a little more closely, I'd probably find that the Rangers swing-and-miss data is considerably better than the Halos, resulting in more hits, less strikeouts and less walks. The Ranger hitters where using their at-bats to get on base while the Halos were...not. This is why the Angel hitters saw more pitches than their Texas counterparts.
The real reason the players jump around on the field after winning a pennant: MLB Releases Info on 2011 Postseason Shares.
St. Louis Cardinals (Share of Players’ Pool: $20,627,727.92; value of each full share: $323,169.98) – The Cardinals awarded 51 full shares, a total of 11.962 partial shares and eight cash awards.
American League Champions Texas Rangers (Share of Players’ Pool: $13,751,818.61; value of each full share: $251,515.76) – The Rangers awarded 47 full shares, a total of 6.5 partial shares and 19 cash awards.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Share of Players’ Pool: $572,992.44; value of each full share: $10,862.42) – The Angels awarded 40 full shares and a total of 12.75 partial shares.
Why am I linking to an article about the Marlins and C.J. Wilson? Miami Marlins court free agent left-hander C.J. Wilson - Palm Beach Post. Because of this, "Garber (Wilson's agent) wouldn't comment when asked if the Marlins made an offer to the free agent, but he said Wilson "probably" would make a decision next week during baseball's winter meetings in Dallas." I believe Wilson will be the first big free agent signing, and it sounds like that'll happen in a little more than a week.
Didn't Matt Welch already write this? ESPN takes a look at Trumbo's comps: What is Mark Trumbo's future? - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN. I do like the way the writer spends the Angels money (while making a good point), "The Angels already have a projected payroll of $128 million according to Baseball-Reference.com (thank you, Vernon Wells), but investing in Fielder or Pujols makes sense. If they want to compete with the Angels, this team needs a big bat; Trumbo is not that big bat. If they can suck up the budget for one season, Hunter comes off the payroll after 2012, so that could open up right field for Trumbo (he's played a bit in the minors). With Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout, the Angels could survive with one subpar defensive outfielder. And a lineup with Trout, Trumbo, Fielder, Bourjos, Morales, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar suddenly looks like one that can win a division title."
Jonathan Broxton is not returning to the Dodgers - latimes.com. You know why? Because he's going to be the Angels re-hab project. ""He had multiple suitors and we should have something tentative in the next few days," Abbott said (Broxton's agent)."
Another of the OC Register's click-through photo posts (I hate those things) looking at the Angels' catching situation: Angels’ dilemma: If not Mathis … then who? - The Orange County Register. "For Angels fans, the solution to "the catching situation" is simple – replace Mathis and his career slash line of .194/.257/.301."
Chicago Cubs pursuing both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder? - MLB Daily Dish. "Albert Pujols has played 101 games at Third Base, including 6 in the previous season. Now, he does have only 19 errors logged and a -1.6 UZR according to Fangraphs at that time, but we've seen teams pay out more for worse." Pujols' UZR at third base is actually better than Aramis Ramirez's.
Remember when this "almost" happened? Astros receive permission to interview Rays GM Friedman - Ultimate Astros. "He previously interviewed for the Angels’ opening, but inside the industry, it’s widely believed it would take an extraordinary situation to pry him away from the Rays because of his close relationship with owner Stu Sternberg, club president Matt Silverman and manager Joe Maddon."