The Angels In The Outfield

Carl Crawford will have suitors lining up for him after the season and we've been assuming for a while that the Angels will be one of them. Owner Arte Moreno doesn't seem to mind spending on his team and Crawford told Mark Saxon of ESPNLos Angeles that he likes Anaheim.

"The weather's great. The grass is really soft. It's one of the best places in the big leagues," Crawford said.

It's not the first time he has said the right thing about a potential free agent destination. Over the weekend, Crawford told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he likes Oakland's young pitching. Both teams could use Crawford, but let's see how he'd fit onto the 2011 Angels. The team has five viable outfielders under team control for 2011:

  • Bobby Abreu – He is showing his typical mixture of speed (17 SB), power (15 HR) and patience (68 BB) this season. He'll be back in 2011 for $9MM.
  • Torii Hunter – Hunter is having another strong season. He'll be back in 2011 for $18MM.
  • Peter Bourjos – The fleet-footed 23-year-old hasn't hit much in 71 major league plate appearances, but his minor league track record (.861 OPS at Triple A this year) suggests he should.
  • Juan Rivera – Rivera has been playing a little first base, but Kendry Morales should bump Rivera back to the outfield in 2011. The Angels will pay Rivera $5.25MM next year, but his production has dropped off (.256/.309/.415 line).
  • Reggie Willits – Willits goes to arbitration for the second time this winter, but he isn't guaranteed a contract offer or a roster spot on the 2011 Angels. 
  • Hideki Matsui hits free agency after the season and seems likely to depart. It's not too early to get excited about Mike Trout, but it is too early to pencil him onto the team's 2011 roster. The top prospect has yet to play in the upper minors.

The Angels do have room for Crawford if they let Matsui walk and move Abreu to the DH spot. That would give the Angels a strong defensive outfield of Crawford, Bourjos and Hunter and could mean the Angels part ways with either Willits or Rivera. 


Leave a Reply

65 Comments on "The Angels In The Outfield"


Guest
4 years 10 months ago

They could also part ways with Abreu, who may bring more in trade that Rivera. Also, Rivera will be in a “contract year” and we all know how that seems to go.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Sign Crawford, let Trout develop a couple years(he’s 19) to replace Hunter, and dump a catcher or two plus Rivera to get a few dependable arms in the bullpen. KEEP WILLITS, always nice having a speedy guy around. I should be a GM.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Easier said than done… Willits and Bourjos are similar players, and if Bourjos hits well in September, he might be the one to stick. But I wouldn’t want him to be on the bench often, so it’s a strange situation to be in.

An OF of Crawford, Hunter, and Abreu/Rivera would be amazing. If Bourjos or Willits is at that corner spot, those are three tremendous defensive OFs.

I think it’d be more likely for Rivera to be moved for a reliable bullpen arm though. I think he has one year left on that contract he signed a couple offseasons ago, but would that work for other teams?

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Bourjos is the Centerfielder not at the corner. Hunter has been moved to Right Field where he should be

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Is it just me or are the Tigers the obvious place for Crawford to end up?

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Its just you. :)

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Very likely, but not obvious. Thanks for not mentioning how much money Detroit has coming off the books, that has gotten old.

Guest
bjsguess
4 years 10 months ago

That’s my bet as well. Tigers are perfectly suited for him and having gobs of money coming off the books doesn’t hurt either.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

A couple things about the Tigers and free agents:
– True that the Tigers have $ 75 million in expiring contracts
– True that they have only four very minor arbitration cases
– True that Crawford would be a great fit in the No. 2 slot
– True that Crawford brings speed that is sorely missing, defense that needs an upgrade
– But no team in the AL has signed fewer free agents since 2006 than the Tigers
– No team has relied more heavily on extending existing players than the Tigers
– The Tigers have signed only one free agent to a multi year contract since 2006 (Valverde)
– The Tigers have not given a multi year contract to a free agent position player since Ordonez before the 2005 season

Sure, Tiger fans are hopeful that Dombrowski will alter his methods, go shopping and upgrade the roster with some class free agents, but that hasn’t been his M.O. for several years.

Guest
IHateJoeBuck
4 years 10 months ago

Even if Dombrowski did change his ways and offer a multi-year deal, what would make Crawford choose Detroit over New York, LA, Boston, or one of the many other suitors for his services? All three can offer equal or more money, are in better positions to compete over the next 4-5 years, and are more attractive locations. As much as I’d love to see Crawford in Detroit, Johnny Damon can only do so much to raise the appeal of the city.

Guest
baseballdude
4 years 10 months ago

if they sign crawford that would still be around 60 million left which can still buy alot of good players

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Of course it is ultimately up to the player to choose a team, but I disagree that the Angels or Boston are in a better position to offer more money, especially not the Angels. The Tigers have much, much more payroll flexibility, have a recent history of spending more than the Angels, have a ton of salaries coming off the books, have just as much if not greater need, and the Angels have limited salary room with 94 million committed, losing a closer, and that doesn’t count ten arbitration eligible players.

Ask Damon whether Boston is more desirable, and I’d rather be the Tigers in the Central than Boston in the AL east. The Tigers are in a prime position to be competitive, if not favorites in their division for the foreseeable future. All in the eyes of the beholder.

But my point was that a necessary ingredient is that the Tigers GM has to WANT to spend the kind of money that Crawford would cost, and recently that has not been the case in terms of free agents. Start the competitive bidding, and DD runs away.

Guest
0bsessions
4 years 10 months ago

“Ask Damon whether Boston is more desirable, and I’d rather be the Tigers in the Central than Boston in the AL east. The Tigers are in a prime position to be competitive, if not favorites in their division for the foreseeable future.”

And the Red Sox aren’t? They’re less than half a dozen out in a year where four of their starting nine for opening day are effectively done for the season. Damon opted to stay in Detroit for a lot of reasons, none of which is likely going to be that the Tigers are in a better position to compete going forward than the Red Sox.

Guest
baseballdude
4 years 10 months ago

do your red sox have 1 good bat ?? they r going to let ortiz go no guarentee elsburry is gonna be like elburry from last year pedroia is not gonna be as good coming off the broken foot . the tigers have the mvp on there team in cabrera .the rookie of the year in jackson . and 1 of the best bullpens in the league . and the tigers got somethin like 75 million to spend in the offseason which can get crawford and some other good players for example

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Interesting that they won those awards already…

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

How do you know that Pedroia or Ells won’t be the same after coming back from their injuries? They will have an entire off season to recover. They aren’t going to let Ortiz go if they can’t get someone like Pena or Dunn. The Sox will have a really good lineup again next year, Theo won’t let the Red Sox not have a good lineup. Cabrera most likely won’t win the MVP since he isn’t on a playoff team and have you ever heard of a player named Neftali Feliz, I think he’s a little more deserving of the ROY award than Jackson. And just because a team has $75 mill to spend doesn’t mean that they will get who they want, they may completely strikeout this winter with free agents.

Guest
baseballdude
4 years 10 months ago

just because cabrera is not on a contendending team doesnt mean he wont win an mvp. and feliz is all saves 31 saves and he comes in when there team has a 3 run lead. jackson is ba. sb. defense ext.

Guest
alphabet_soup5
4 years 10 months ago

Even if the Red Sox were the favorite in the Yankees and Rays would be right on their tails. The AL Central is a weak division and the Tigers could be a sure favorite with the right additions.

Guest
0bsessions
4 years 10 months ago

The strength of the AL Central has no bearing on the Red Sox’ odds of contending. They’re in no worse position than the Tigers. Even with half their opening day lineup on the DL (Seriously, they’re ten up on the Tigers and have had one of the most injury plagued seasons in recent memory), the Sox are a better team than the Tigers right now, have a deeper farm system and more money to spend overall. Yes, the AL East is stronger than the Central, but that’s irrelevant when it comes down to the playoffs. The Sox have just as good, if not even better, of a chance of contending going forward as the Tigers do, even in a stronger division.

So yeah, the Red Sox are in a much better position to contend than the Tigers.

Guest
IHateJoeBuck
4 years 10 months ago

Perhaps the Angels or Red Sox don’t have as much too spend as the Tigers this offseason. However, just because the Tigers have $75M expiring, it doesn’t mean that they’ll have $75M to spend. Ilitch may decide to reduce the payroll down to $100M, which means they may not be able to spend $17-22M for Crawford plus fill all the other holes (C, 3B, SS, 1-2 SP).

I don’t put too much stock in Damon’s statements – he’s hoping for a contract in 2011, but that’s another topic. I hope Crawford loves Detroit. The past few FAs to sign here (Pudge, Magglio, Damon, etc.) have all loved the city, the fans, and the ownership.

However, it certainly all goes back to your original point: Will Dombrowski being a major player in FA this offseason?

Guest
IHateJoeBuck
4 years 10 months ago

I also wonder how much playing in the AL East his whole career may affect his decision. He is the best player in the (Devil) Rays’ short history. He may choose not to sign with the Yankees or Red Sox for that reason alone. That would improve the Tigers, Angels, or White Sox chances.

Guest
baseballdude
4 years 10 months ago

i dont think the white sox will get him with a full outfield and manny on waivers (which they will work out a deal for if he gets to them.) which will leave the bidding war to the tigers and angels. (which in my opinion the tigers win) a four year 62.5 million dollar deal

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

The things that stand out to me, looking at the Angels payroll, is that they have some $ 93.667 million committed (per Cot’s contracts), that does not include Fuentes option for $ 11 mil, and also does not include ten, that’s TEN players that are eligible for arbitration this winter.
The Angels do spend money at a reasonable rate, but they don’t go silly. They let Figgins, Vladdy, K Rod and Lackey walk away rather than over pay them. They will be interested in Crawford, but so will the Tigers, Red Sox, Dodgers, maybe White Sox and Yankees. I put the starting bids at around $ 60 mil for four years, and expect a fifth year to come in pretty quickly in the bidding. CC could be the most sought after free agent on the market this winter, but there are other options such as Jayson Werth, Brad Hawpe, and Adam Dunn for those teams looking for a big bat. Crawford brings more than just his bat. Only he and Werth bring versatility and CC is clearly the cream of the crop, IMO.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Not that its a big deal, but Fuentes option is $9M not $11M, and is not guaranteed (not even a buyout). I think he may not be returning.

The Angels let Figgins, Lackey, and K-Rod go because other teams vastly overbid for their services. Vlad is a different matter, but money was not a determining factor.

Crawford would be an upgrade, not a necessity. If he is signed, other moves can be made in order to accommodate him and his contract, and again, money is not the deciding factor unless some other team vastly overpays for his services.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks. I misread the “11 opt” to be an 11 mil option on cot’s. It is 9 mil, but I still think they decline it with so many other late inning relievers on the market. The good ones will cost a first round pick, though.

Guest
bjsguess
4 years 10 months ago

Fuentes won’t be coming back unless the team foolishly offers arbitration and he wisely accepts.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

I agree, but the point is that you then have a vacancy in the bullpen. If you move Rodney into the closer’s role (yikes!), there’s still one late inning relief spot left vacant, and the Halos have struggled with that lately.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Rodney has actually done well whenever he is called on to close a game. Its when he is brought in at other times he has problems. There are a few other young pitchers in the system that seem to be being groomed for the closer role.

Guest
kdub53
4 years 10 months ago

walden throws 98-99 easy…they sculpt him a bit …he could close…8 and 9th

Guest
kdub53
4 years 10 months ago

ur right…they have the closing position covered…rodney/jepsen etc…they need guys that can come in the middle innings and deliver though…
and something needs to be done with kazmir…as long as hes been with Anaheim hes never really got it together…

Guest
WasianCU
4 years 10 months ago

I am in no way saying Kazmir was a good trade for the Angels but after getting him in 2009, Kazmir had a 1.73 era for his 6 starts. Now, he definitely sucks this year and his periphs have been declining for a while (while in TB and continuing in Anaheim) but to say he never really got it together isn’t very accurate since he had it together when he first got moved.

Guest
kdub53
4 years 10 months ago

I think the guy has good stuff…he just needs to be less erratic…I like having him on the team…but I mean we brought him in towards the end of last season…and he was somewhat solid until we hit the offseason…and it seemed like everything he threw was up and in the danger zone…
and then this year…well ya…
Either way there still may be hope for him…and as things are looking were going to have a pretty solid rotation next year…and im almost 100 percent sure that this is going to be our starting 5…

Guest
cookmeister
4 years 10 months ago

I think that Fuentes’ option vests if he finishes 55 games (which he wont) and thats it

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

CC is quite a nice outfielder, but the bidding will get out of hand and someone will grossly overpay for him. Let’s hope that team is NOT The Angels.

Guest
IHateJoeBuck
4 years 10 months ago

What do you consider overpaying? He’ll be 29 at the start of next season. He’s one of the top 5 OF in the game. A 5 year deal puts him at 34 at the end of the contract.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

I would draw an absolute line at either 4 yrs – $64 million or 5 years – $75 million. If a-holes (like the two New Yuck teams) want to go beyond that, then let them and walk away.