So we cleared Blake Parker and Shoemaker's salaries off the books, which ups our payroll FA flexibility to $36 million.
We have 2 more seasons of Trout and Simba, that's our win now window. Yet we have 3 more seasons of Pujols bloat, and if Ohtani comes back strong as a two way player how much is he worth in his arb years?!
Upton is not a superstar, hell he's not even an Allstar, and he balloons out to 28 million at the end of his remaining 4 years, at which point he will probably suck. Upton is not even tradeable now without eating some of that salary.
So are we going to go big now, go big AND extend Trout? How can we? If we extend Trout his AAV is sure to rise substantially, soaking up much of our remaining payroll flexibility.
We have not one pitcher who was signed as a true free agent, meaning post Arb. We have nothing invested in pitching, and no elite pitching prospects to my knowledge. (Forgive me if I'm wrong, and by elite I mean top #30 ranked in leaguewide minor leagues, Griffin Canning is the highest ranked pitcher I believe, he's a top 100 prospect ranked around 70th or so)
We are squandering Trout and Simba basically. Locked in a decade cycle of financial futility.
As a franchise with resources, a massive market, and the best player in modern history, what the hell are we doing?!
3,000,000 tickets sold but 1,000,000+ of them unredeemed? Not worth the traffic and time? We have wealthy fans here in OC, and a sold out stadium means we have Boston, the Yankees, or the Fodgers in town, it means 1/4 of the stadium is Occupied by our rivals fans. Southern California draws transplants from all over the country, hence we get lots and lots of "locals" who are NOT Angels fans, perhaps more than any other team?
So here we are, Arte is basically financially exhausted after the Pujols and Hamilton debacles. Is he ready to double down on a living legend?! Not really it seems, he's given up, or he's just ok with the cool billion he's cleared on this whole endeavor. In order to buy out Pujols or to put Trout into the playoffs, Arte would need to be willing to go Big one last time. Won't happen IMO.
Does Arte have the sense to bring in a partner, sell off a chunk of the team to a development group with deep pockets, stadium building aspirations and the ability to secure Trout (half a billion)? That's the big question in my mind.
If Arte is paralyzed, unable to spend his way out of this conundrum, then we nibble this offseason. We spend out 36 duckets, we trade some of the future away for a 2 year, desperation moon shot, we watch 90-100 games of Pujols futility and probably watching Trout leave or trading him as the best rental in MLB history, when 2020 comes to a miserable end.
I'm open to anything, but doing nothing, I can't root for that. I can't get emotionally invested in an old man's broken spirit exhaling destiny and squandering Arch Angel Michael's prime.
Go Big or Sell the Team, or Both.