Free agent season is upon us, and GM meetings are going on right now, which is all to say that the metaphorical “hot stove” has been turned on, and we’re all just waiting for it to warm up. Taking a look at who’s available, via MLB Trade Rumors’ Top 50 Free Agents article, I saw a bunch of familiar, ex-Angels player names.
Then, that got me thinking. Or rather, it got me playing a fun little hypothetical game in my mind, wherein Billy Eppler decided that the way to help the team out best was to just sign every free agent on that Top 50 list that has, at one point or another, played for the Halos.
Just how crazy, insane or awesome would that team look? Think about this:
- Angels sign Mark Trumbo-If this were last week, that’d almost make sense, if they planned on putting Trumbo in LF. However, now that they have acquired Cameron Maybin, their needs in the OF have dwindled. Maybe they put Trumbo at DH/1B and trade away C.J. Cron? Either way, this is the one signing that would make Halos fans lose their minds...in a good way.
- Angels sign Mike Napoli-The one signing that could make fans as happy as bringing Mark Trumbo back would be a deal to have Naps in an Angels uniform again. The problem here, of course, is the same as Trumbo. Which is that there are guys named Pujols and Cron that already fill the 1B/DH role.
- Kendrys Morales-Another DH for the Halos. Kendrys could go back to the scene of the low point of his career...home plate of the Big A...and start hitting dingers for us like we used to wish and hope for back in the day.
- Joe Blanton-The Angels could use a decent set-up man, and Joe Blanton had himself a good 2015 in that role, and then came back with a nice 2016, as well. Blanton in the Big A again would probably be disastrous, just a hunch.
- Sean Rodriguez-Hey, here’s one that actually makes immediate sense. Rodriguez played almost every position on the field last year, save for catcher. He’s got plenty of time in the infield, and the Angels need some 2B help. S-Rod was, at one point in time, a promising prospect in the Halos’ system, but that was a long time ago.
- Fernando Salas-Nooooooooooooooooo
- Bartolo Colon-Here we go, now we’re talking. Bartolo Colon back in Anaheim would be must-see TV, week in and week out, regardless of his age (43) and his, uhhh, prosperous body type. The guy was an All Star last season, and the Angels will probably need rotation help. Colon has a Cy Young award with the team already, time to try for a second?
- Matt Joyce-Joyce was a dumpster fire when he was with the Angels in 2015. Then, he goes to the Pirates last season and rakes. /shrug.
To play this lineup game, you need to figure out the Trumbo/Napoli/Morales mess, first. They all pretty much fit the same need, and it’s one that the Angels aren’t exactly clamoring for. But if you did, you’d see something like this:
Escobar 3B/Calhoun RF/Trout CF/Trumbo-Napoli-Morales 1B/Pujols DH/Rodriguez 2B/Simmons SS/Maybin/Joyce LF/Perez C
Starting rotation of Richards/Skaggs/Colon/Nolasco/Meyer? With Salas as a middle relief guy, and Joe Blanton setting up those saves for Street and/or Bedrosian?
Okay, so it’s all way far fetched, but it’s still fun to think about. If there was one former Angels player who is brought back via free agency signing, I think it’d be Sean Rodriguez, just to fill that crucial infield depth. I’d love to see Trumbo brought back, or Naps, of course, but where do you put them? Not to mention Trumbo is gonna command a boatload of dough.
Now is the time where we can wish and hope, though. It’s one of the perennial pleasures of being a diehard baseball fan.