With the Winter Meetings looming this weekend, and GM Billy Eppler & Co. laying down all the right breadcrumb clues, it appears the Angels are hellbent on getting that whole "Big Splash" out fielder thing done correctly, even if it kills them(or pushes Arte Moreno over the luxury tax threshold). Let's hope that the mechanisms for OF success tumble correctly into place this time, and memories of Vernon Wells and Josh Hamilton will be bludgeoned right out of our brains once and for all.
In speaking with the press today, Eppler was asked about the luxury tax and it's effect it may have on snagging a big ticket name and bringing them to Anaheim. It seems as though the situation is "fluid", which means "for the right guy, sure".
#Angels GM Billy Eppler said decisions on whether to surpass $189M luxury tax threshold "to be made on case by case basis. It feels fluid."— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) December 3, 2015
So we know that where there's a will, there IS a way that a name like the coveted Jason Heyward could indeed be added to the Angels' 2016 roster. Now it's just up to Eppler to choose the right player to target, and to talk Arte Moreno into backing up the Brinks truck in order to acquire him. Choose wisely, Billy.
It's also important to keep in mind that the Halos are reportedly happy with their starting rotation, and C.J. Wilson is primed for a Spring Training return. What does that mean? The focus can shift solely to filling that outfield hole.
Eppler said he feels satisfied with his current rotation depth, so if Angels owner Arte Moreno does consent to exceeding the luxury-tax threshold, it would likely be to sign a premier free-agent corner outfielder, given that the Angels ranked last in the Majors in OPS from their left fielders this past season.
Also of note: if they were to outbid the Cardinals and any other MLB moneybags for the services of Mr. Heyward, would there be a problem if Heyward wanted to play his natural position of right field. The always awesome Kole Calhoun is totally cool with it, dude. Says Mr. Calhoun:
"If our team is going to get better, and that's the way we're going to get better, I'm all for it," Calhoun said in a phone conversation. "We'll see what happens. I'm not the GM. He's got some tough decisions to make here pretty soon. And we need more than a corner outfielder; we need a few more things, too. We'll see where it goes. But if we're going to make the team better, that's what all of us have to be all about. We're all in. We want to have a great season; we want to get back to the playoffs, we want to go further than we've been in a while. If that's going to help us, then so be it."
So they like their current pitching...and while they're currently $22 million under the luxury tax threshold, they've got no qualms with going over that...and even The Red Baron, Kole Calhoun, is open to move if another OF stud is added to the mix. Everything is falling into place, and if it's a Jason Heyward or Alex Gordon that they have their eye on, it's going to be doable. Of course, that also means a Yoenis Cespedes(#Cesspooldes) is also doable. Once again, they find themselves with the resources and outlook necessary to be a legitimate suitor to a top dog free agent.
Choose wisely, Billy.