AL West Notes: Guerrero, Wells, Mariners

Some notes on the AL West with an update on a potential Hall of Famer and another take on the Vernon Wells trade…

  • Rangers president Nolan Ryan told the Dallas Morning News that he hasn't ruled out bringing Vladimir Guerrero back. Ryan likes the idea of adding another powerful bat, but suggests Vlad may seek more playing time elsewhere.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com examines this prediction of Ryan's: Texas will win 90-95 regular season games in 2011.
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wonders if the Vernon Wells trade is, at least from the Angels' perspective, the most inexplicable deal in recent history.
  • The Mariners, who select second in this June's draft, will consider amateur players including Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, Matt Purke and George Springer, according to MLB.com's Greg Johns.


Leave a Reply

52 Comments on "AL West Notes: Guerrero, Wells, Mariners"


monkeyspanked
4 years 6 months ago

It just feels bad to be an Angel fan right now. Probably how it’s felt most of Angel’s existence. (except ’02-’09)

Move over Pirates. There’s a new pathetic kid on the block.

4 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t go that far.

4 years 6 months ago

Because the angels spent over what a player was worth to bring in a good player? I can agree with most teams would not of made the same move but I do not see the pirates bringing in good players. The angels will be a much tougher team then the pirates. With their rotation I can see them making a playoff push in the west. It will come down to what angels to we see. The 2009 version with everyone batting .300+ or the 2010 version where literally everyone had an offseaon.

4 years 6 months ago

Heck, even the Pirates have overpaid for players. Ryan Doumit’s contract is horrendous, and more recently they signed Lyle Overbay (past his prime and useless) and Kevin Correia (good stats at Petco and AT&T, otherwise below average SP) for way more than they are worth!

Mark H
4 years 6 months ago

Sign Vlad Orioles!

TwinsVet
4 years 6 months ago

Here’s what makes the Wells trade stand out above all others as historically inexplicable:

IT IS QUANTIFIABLE IN THE PRESENT.

Napoli and Rivera aren’t merely prospects. They have established track records and their production is reasonably predictable. The same goes for Wells. We’re not talking a “Colon for Phillips-Lee-Sizemore” deal, because in that case, a GM can reasonably say, “Oops, didn’t really realize the talent we had there”.

Toronto knew exactly what they were getting, and how much it would cost them over the coming years. Anaheim knew exactly what they were getting and giving up, and how much it would cost them over the coming years. Most other bad deals you see are a case wherein one of the teams did not realize AT THE TIME what they were giving up or getting.

All the cards are fully on the table in this deal. And Anaheim still pulled the trigger. Inexcusable.

4 years 6 months ago

Even if we’re living in a vacuum where money is infinite, you could still make a case that Napoli has more value than Wells by himself.

4 years 6 months ago

Its kind of like how you can make a case that Wells has more value then Napoli and Rivera.

bjsguess
4 years 6 months ago

You hit the nail on the head.

In the other deals cited by Cameron they involved prospects. It is inherent that dealing away any prospect, no matter how good they may look, is a fairly risky proposal. In this case you are dealing away 2 established ML players for 1 established ML player. There is very little that we don’t know about any of the three players.

The Angels have to hope and pray that Wells stays healthy AND plays at his 2010 levels. Odds of that happening are about 10%. It was an idiotic trade anyway you look at it. Especially when you consider that they passed on Crawford and Beltre for financial reasons. Horrible, horrible trade.

I hope Moreno is reading what EVERYBODY is saying about this deal. Reagins should be fired today – along with his front-office staff that suggested that this was some sort of a good deal. I’m still in shock over this as an Angels fan.

4 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t worry to much about the trade. The Angels are better off with it. Fact is Napoli and Juan Rivera were getting pinched out of the Angels lineup with the return of Morales. Their production was due to drop off and not be a large enough presence in the Angels lineup. By picking up Wells if he stays healthy he will provide more production for the Angels as players on the bench can easily match the production of Juan Rivera.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

one analogy i like.

Anthopoulos shows Reagins his hand: pair of Aces
Reagins’ hand: pair of 2s

Reigins: I’m all in

TwinsVet
4 years 6 months ago

Ha. Love it.

4 years 6 months ago

nap is arb elligable for 2 more years =15 mil, rivera 5.25 mil slash 86 mil (Wells).. u get Wells for 64 mil for 4 years=16 mil a year. not that bad,,CONSIDERING ARTE doesnt give a F..about $$$$ now…

bjsguess
4 years 6 months ago

Your math (and thinking) is off …

Napoli won’t earn $15m over his 2 arb years. His max this year is $6m. Might end up at $5m. An estimate of $13m is a little more reasonable (unless Napoli totally goes off and it makes this trade look even worse).

The bigger issue is that Moreno does give an F about money since he clearly used that as an excuse to skip on Crawford and Beltre. And he certainly will give an F about money with a payroll sitting at $150m, a team that can win maybe 85 games, and Weaver/Morales coming up on FA. Unless Moreno is going to jack payroll into the Red Sox/Phillies/Yankees stratosphere the Angels will be hamstrung severely by this deal. I think it’s fair to say that the next 4 years are looking more and more like sustained mediocrity.

$1529282
4 years 6 months ago

Wells at 4/64 would be awful, even if that were an accurate comparison, which it’s not.

You’re assuming Napoli and Rivera will be essentially worthless, but the fact remains that, offensively speaking, Napoli could very likely put together two BETTER seasons for a fraction of the price, especially with him moving to homer-happy Toronto and Wells moving to Angel Stadium. Paying $23M a season for a below-average “center fielder” (I use that term lightly for Wells’ defense) when you could be paying $5M-$7M for a plus offensive catcher instead makes zero sense.

The Angels took someone with positive trade value (Napoli) and packaged him for the player with the most negative trade value in all of baseball.

mkorpal
4 years 6 months ago

“The Mariners, who select second in this June’s draft, will consider amateur players”

Wow, glad the Mariners aren’t looking at established MLB players in the draft/sarcasm.

yazpik
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah, maybe they can consider selecting Albert Pujols, haha…

Green_Monster
4 years 6 months ago

I heard they were coming out with a second Pujols.

4 years 6 months ago

maybe they can get tim lincecum this time

CrustyJuggler
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah. Big shocker there. So the Mariners ARE going to be looking at drafting a top amateur with the #2 overall pick then? Breaking news, that.

CrustyJuggler
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah. Big shocker there. So the Mariners ARE going to be looking at drafting a top amateur with the #2 overall pick then? Breaking news, that.

drwheelock
4 years 6 months ago

What I LOVE about this is that according to a LA salary report that was published last weekend on MLBTR … this move will push the Angels payroll to the $145M mark for 2011 after all the arbitration figures are finalized…YIKES. YET they will be 3rd in the AL West.

Yes Seattle is rebuilding their farm system, while waiting until after 2011 for Bavasi’s final horrible contracts to fall off. But nothing is worse than paying your players $145M for a 3rd place team, especially in the AL West!

Vernon Wells average WAR for the last three years: 1.8
Juan Rivera’s average WAR for the last three years: 1.1
Mike Napoli’s average WAR for the last three years: 2.7

And now the Angels turn almost full time to Jeff Mathis behind the dish…And Angel fans don’t even want to look at his WAR in comparison to Napoli’s!

I love this quote (for all you Angel lovers) from MLBTR: “Wells presumably takes over in center field for L.A. now that Torii Hunter has been shifted to right, though Hunter (-6.2 UZR/150) was a bit better than Wells (-7.0 UZR/150) in center last season. Wells’ defense did improve last year, however, and the former three-time Gold Glover could approach his old form playing on natural grass at Angel Stadium. The Angels could also explore putting Wells in left and give Peter Bourjos for the bulk of playing time in center.”

I’ve heard some Angel fan comment about how the OF defense is going to be the best in MLB. Don’t be so sure that Bourjas is the one playing in CF come April! He could be their bench player instead, and if that is the case the Angels have a very VERY OLD outfield with UZR issues.

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

but Vernon Wells hustles, and donates a lot of time and money to charity.. Karma will just make the wind push the ball right in to his glove in center. .

4 years 6 months ago

All the Angels press releases indicate Wells is taking over in LF, like everyone thought.

baseballz
4 years 6 months ago

I really don’t see how Springer is in the draft picture for the Mariners. Cole or Purke, anything else would be a loss – if the draft was held today of course.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 6 months ago

Probably because he had an amazing cape cod season. If you’re one of those “5 Tool” seekers then he would be your guy. Several guys have him among the top 3-4 picks so it’s not a stretch, especially since Cole and others are probably repped by Boras.

Matter of fact. Does anyone know where I can find a list of player agents and who they rep in this years draft class?

YanksFanSince78
4 years 6 months ago

Let me clarify what I said:

Vernon Wells is a suck-ish kind of player. I am not defedening per se. What I am saying is that the proof negates your contention that his career numbers are a factor of the ballpark. I like using OPS but let’s use ISO since that’s what you choose.

Years where his Home ISO was MUCH greater than his Road ISO (+50):
2010, 2006, 2004

Years where his Road ISO was greater than his Home ISO:
2009, 2003, 2002

Years where his Home and Road ISO were w/in +30 point of each other:
2008, 2007, 2005

Wells is one of the most inconsistent players in baseball which is one reason his contract has been soooooo bad. He’s had years where, OBP aside, you can sort of understand why ppl view him as a good player (because they look at HR, RBI) and then there are some years he just doesn’t even deserve $8 mil per year.

I am not defending him, but I wouldn’t say that he is a complete jeckle and hyde home/away. His H/R splits are as sporadic as he is. Still, bad….bad…bad trade.

4 years 6 months ago

I love how baseball has become the accountants sport… this player makes blah blah blah i could care less about how much they want to overpay a player. Then again I should have expected as much from a sport that has things like Hot Stove Fantasy Leagues. I’m not saying the deal is great for the Angels, but they replaced one of the worst ballplayers Ive ever seen with a better one – if the organization loses money on the deal, oh well. While were at it – just about EVERY player in the majors is overpaid, and it gets worse every year.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

Then the Angels should have overpaid for Crawford, Beltre, Lee, Soriano, Dunn, and every other free agent available, since everyplayer HAS to be overpaid.

btw the best part is that Reagin’s justification for not getting Crawford was because of how expensive he was. LOL

4 years 6 months ago

no i completely agree.. i just find it amusing that 90% of the posts on a site dedicated to baseball are about the financial terms of free agent signings… i just think the whole hot stove thing is a bit overblown.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

but economics have been part of baseball for forever. Its stupid to not look at the financial side of things. When you ignore finances, Vernon Wells is a pretty decent player. But in real life, no GM would touch him with a ten foot pole

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

seriously though, I love Wells. He’s a decent player, a great guy, and very giving to the community.

.
.
.
BUT I’M SO GLAD HE’S GONE

4 years 6 months ago

As a Jays fan, here’s a familiar sight I won’t miss and Angels’ fans should get used to: Vernon picking up a ball on the warning track and lobbing back to the cutoff man.

Or… as a Rays wag stated after Fred Lewis caught a well hit ball in the power alley last year in Tampa: “It’s official: Toronto outfielders can actually catch a ball”

Guest
4 years 6 months ago

I agree with you on some points. Just don’t post your comment to fangraphs….I posted something similar to this over there and got RIPPED!!!! Man people are harsh on that site.

touchmymonkey
4 years 6 months ago

If you take the $$ out of the equation then the acquisition in itself is not a bad one – for the reasons you stated. Taking on the money does limit what they can/will do over the next 4 yrs. This move does not make them playoff bound – and they could have missed the playoffs in ’11 AND cleared up $$ for ’12 and beyond by keeping Rivera and Dinapoli – or trade them elsewhere to fill other holes. I think that is why trade is bad for this team right now. They could have taken that $$ and made a run at fielder

TwinsVet
4 years 6 months ago

By your logic, you’d buy MLB2k4 for PS2 from me for $500. Sure, it’s old and that’s way more than it’s worth, but it’s still an improvement over your MLB2k3.

$1529282
4 years 6 months ago

The entirety of the Internet is explaining it to you, aside from MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer, who is desperately trying to spin it as a solid move for LA (I don’t envy his duties as an Angels beat writer on this one).

Go read any of the reaction pieces, any of the analysis. Los Angeles took on the worst contract in baseball and gave up a controllable offensive weapon at catcher in order to do so. Wells can’t hit away from Rogers Centre, he can’t defend, and yet he’s paid to be one of the game’s best players.

Rather than paying $20.2M per season for 7 years to Carl Crawford, one of the game’s best all-around players, Tony Reagins decided to give up two useful MLB pieces (not that Rivera is stellar, but his bat can at least be serviceable) for the “privilege” to pay Vernon Wells $23M per season.

Cameron’s use of “inexplicable” doesn’t do justice to the sheer lunacy and desperation of this trade.

mkorpal
4 years 6 months ago

Lets put it this way, using the season average fangraphs Wins Above Replacement for each player, Wells is at 2.8, Napoli is at 2.4 and Rivera is at 1. 2.8-2.4-1 = -.6.

Money aside, it’s still a bad trade.

4 years 6 months ago

have you seen his .200 avg against lefties? his negative uzr or the fact that Mathis batted under .200 and is now the starting catcher. It’s a BAD trade.

4 years 6 months ago

You have ruined your argument by forgetting that this is just a reference that is relevant to the past. WAR did not predict the rise in Jose Bautista production, or falls in any other players careers. Fact of the matter is that Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera were getting pinched out of the Angels lineup. It is time to give Hank Conger some playing time and at bats and they had a large surplus in outfielders. Even in Toronto Mike Napoli will most likely have less at bats sharing the catching spot with J.P. or being a part time DH/1B. I see a decrease of his production. Also the to get the Angels to be more productive they needed a batter like wells that hits more double and strikes out a lot less. Napoli’s swing is horrendous and is incredibly unclutch.

Now for the money side of it Arte is full aware of the cost and this WILL NOT affect how much he is willing to pay in the future. Many will argue what about this past offseason. They Angels completely past up on Crawford. The problem with many contracts signed is that they pay to much over a long period of time. Who here honestly thinks Crawford, Werth, and Beltre will be worth what they are being paid in the tail end of their contracts.

Once again this is not a move many would make but it is not nearly as bad as many people believe. I believe the contract was over hyped due to it being a small market team that 86 million makes up the cost of an entire team and then some.

Overall Grade:
Toronto: A++ Got rid of a lot salary and retained a power bat.
Angels: C- Picked up Salary to get a potential big bat, opened up the door for a possible better version of Napoli.

If the team receiving Wells was not a big market team the grade would of been an F++++++

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

pffttt you and your stats notsureifsrs!!!

With all the money Wells is making, he could just buy a young speedy prospect out of the dominican republic to put up some very respectable numbers for him.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 6 months ago

I’m really not a fan of V Dubb of Toronto and I hate to always sound contrary (poly sci student in college AND I’m currently staying at a Holiday Inn so I feel smarter). but not everything you said pan out.

He IS a bad defender.
If you are a proponent of OBP then he IS a not so great hitter.
He is wishy washy from year to year.
This IS a bad trade.

However, the “product of the park” isn’t all the way true.

Career @ home- .286/.339/.505 w/ 124 hrs in 2,648 AB
Career on road- .274/.321/.446 w/ 99 hrs in 2,822 AB

Just for the sake of time, I’ll use OPS. Road/Home

In 2009 (.779 vs .663), 2008 (.830 vs .849), 2007 (.712 vs .700), 2003 (.956 vs .861) and 2002 (.778 vs .745) his Road OPS was higher or in the case of 2008, very close to his Home OPS.

Despite all that, it still a bad trade and, even though it’s a small sample size, his career at Angel Stadium is .226/.267/.340 in 159 AB. That just makes it a little “wackier”.

There are some years where he hits for enough power and for high enough of an average to make himself a decent player but even those years aren’t worth $20 mil per and they only seem to happen every 2 or 3 years.

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

well done.

4 years 6 months ago

Well let me do the math on this one. I can pick up MLB2k4 for 2 Dollars at Game Stop. That is a 25000% increase. So lets take 25000% off of Vernon Wells contract. Lets just say it is to minuscule to matter. So according to my calculations this is just an exaggeration like many of the arguments against the trade.

The Angels have the money to do this unlike most teams. In reality it was more like I gave you a crisp 5 dollar bill and told you to go buy yourself an Ice Cream cone so I can go play my game. With another 39 million coming off the books this next offseason the Angels can make a run at Pujols or Fielder if they are available.

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t say Wells is crap.. I think he is a victim of his large salary…

If he was signed to a modest, 4/45 for the remainder of his salary, and the Jays or Angels could move him over to a corner outfield position its not that bad…

Wells’ contract is crap

4 years 6 months ago

How is he not a good player? Have you also considered that players stats have shown great amounts of change after making a new stadium home? The numbers are all there. And all statisticians are aware that these numbers represent the past and do not necessarily predict future outcomes.

Saying Wells is not a good player is a huge exaggeration and is a dishonor to many players that have not produced what Wells has. Is his contract bad, yes. Is he not a good player, no.

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

Yah but he’ll get to play Toronto like 10 times next year. in those 10 games he’ll hit like 13 HR’s and bat .380/.433/.612… thus making the contract worth it

geeze, such a pessimist you are!

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

Just because you have the money to overpay someone, doesn’t mean you should overpay someone…

If I make $200,000 a year why should I pay 80 G’s for a Kia, when other people are pay 15 G’s for it?? at the end of the day, its only worth 15 G’s so I should not pay 80,000 for it, whether I have the money or not

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

thats right, Wells still has a chance of being MVP level and worth $20 MM. You can’t just rule out that 0.001% possibility

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

slow down, you’re confusing him

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

hahahahahahahaha. dammit, i’m a terrible human being

TwinsVet
4 years 6 months ago

According to performance measures (WAR) they’re actually worse with him than with napoli/rivera. But if you’re going to dismiss statistics outright, you and I aren’t destined for a meaningful discussion anyways.