Angels signed Daniel Nava to a $1.375 million deal, plus performance bonuses. That's $2.375 for Nava+Gentry
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) December 16, 2015
The Angels signed 32 year old free agent OF Daniel Nava today to a one year deal, and....wait, what?!?! Are you guys getting that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, like you just got hurled off the top of the best rollercoaster Magic Mountain has to offer? Nava, formerly of the Rays until he was DFA'd in November(always a great sign), is coming off of his worst season in his career, in which the switch hitter batted a depressing .194/.315/.245. Yes, the dude put up some seriously bad, Matt Joyce-ish type numbers and yet the Angels swooped him up to the tune of $1.375 million.
Of course, Nava had better days before that disastrous 2015 campaign, mostly as a member of the Red Sox, and his overall career numbers aren't quite as putrid: .265./358/.383, and a career .281 hitter against righties. Okay, so that doesn't seem so bad, you'd think they would have learned their lesson about middling-but-cheap left field options who are coming off of down years after the 2015 Joyce experiment, but nope. They could sign a big name guy like Yoenis Cespedes but instead elected to pick up Nava, and they're going to most likely pair him with Craig Gentry, and that will be the bulk of your 2016 Angels left field.
Of course, that's assuming we also don't see some Quintin Berry or Rafael Ortega in the mix as well. It seems almost mindblowingly dense that they'd not go after a tried and true big splash, and instead opt for more frugal mediocrity, but this is where we're at and it's getting harder and harder to ignore the signs of an impending platoon.
Should I REALLY be that surprised, and should my mind REALLY be blown? Well, yes, considering how often Arte Moreno has lit his money on fire come winter, I thought it was a slam dunk that we'd be seeing a possible All Star planted in the left field grass, not a ramshackle group of also-rans, scrubs and project players. Hate to be a downer, but I think the writing is finally on the wall, and it spells certain doom at worst, middling returns at best.
Now, there's the doom and gloom. However, if you want a little optimism:
#Angels GM Billy Eppler: "We are still engaged in conversations with other OFs." Nava depth in LF, RF and 1B.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) December 16, 2015
Of course, it'd be smart to keep in mind that we should expect Eppler to say something like this, no matter how true it is. So take it with a grain of salt. Getting excited for April yet?