Quick Hits: AL West Grades, O-Cab, Scott, Hernandez

Offseason grades were revealed for the NL Central on Tuesday by ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, and his colleague Jerry Crasnick has marks for the AL West today. Here's more on that and a couple other tidbits of note …

  • The A's had the best offseason of the AL West clubs, writes Crasnick, after adding some pop to their lineup relatively cheaply and solidifying their bullpen behind their strong, young starting rotation. They missed out on a couple bigger-ticket players and added some guys with injury questions, Crasnick notes, but they improved overall. The Rangers fared OK this offseason, writes Crasnick. The loss of Cliff Lee hurts Texas, as does its mishandling of a good asset in Michael Young, although Adrian Beltre was a nice if pricey add. The Angels and Mariners had a rough go of it, according to Crasnick, with the Halos committing too much money to Vernon Wells in the wake of losing out on Carl Crawford, and the M's pulling off some "uninspiring" signings, like Miguel Olivo.
  • Free-agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera is talking to a couple teams and is "too good not to get a job," writes Jon Heyman of SI.com. The Twins, Brewers and Pirates all could make sense as a landing spot for Cabrera, Heyman explains.
  • The Mets have signed outfielder Lorenzo Scott to a minor league deal, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Scott, 28, spent 2010 in the Marlins organization, primarly with the Double-A Jacksonville Suns of the Southern League. There he hit .265/.369/.412 in 324 plate appearances.
  • The Mariners have signed Moises Hernandez, the older brother of Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, to a minor league deal, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Hernandez, 26, was last with a Major League organizaiton in 2009, when he pitched for three Braves affiliates. For his minor league career, Hernandez has a 4.37 ERA in 116 appearances (57 starts).
  • MLBTR founder and owner Tim Dierkes was interviewed by the folks over at BaseballNation.net recently, so be sure to give that a read for more information on the innerworkings of MLBTR.

44 Responses to Quick Hits: AL West Grades, O-Cab, Scott, Hernandez Leave a Reply

  1. kdub53 4 years ago

    When espn reports your team did worst in the winter meetings, as well as through the offseason itself….it tends to sting pretty badly. (anahiem)
    You cant blame the players….actually there are two…well ONE person to blame for it. A GM that cant get it done needs to look for a new occupation.

    • Read the above post by Robert. ESPN is stupid, and the Angels will be a much improved team in 2011.

  2. jays2thetop 4 years ago

    jays should sign cabrera 1 year deal move him to 3rd or 2nd and hill to 3rd he would be pretty cheap and he still a pretty good hitter

  3. Just another ESPN Article hating the Angels. When will these East Coast idiots learn. Wells will only cost 17 million a year across 4 years with the Blue Jays adding 5 million and the shedding of Napoli and Rivera’s contracts.

    Would you rather have Beltre for 6 years at 16 million a year? The guy is going to be a 37 year old 3B that failed to live up to expectations in Seattle in his prime, how’s he supposed to produce in his twilight years?

    How about Carl Crawford for 7 years 142 million? The Vernon Wells deal was a GREAT one for the Angels. They now have the best defensive OF in baseball, added a middle of the order bat and have one of the BEST rotations in baseball with Weaver, Haren, Santana, Pineiro and Kazmir.

    Their bullpen ain’t looking too shabby either. They added Downs and Takahashi and the emergence of Jodran Walden, Michael Kohn and Rich Thompson is huge.

    The Angels have quietly had one of the strongest offseasons in baseball this year, and come August, I won’t be the only one saying so. Screw ESPN, the Yankees and the Red Sox.

    • I agree with you, I think the Angels will be in the World Series this year. They have a scary rotation and a lights out bullpen. The Angels will surprise a lot of people this year.

      • World Series? I dunno, too hard predict. I mean who though the Giants would win in 2010? The Angels and A’s will battle it out for the AL west though. The Rangers will be a .500 team again and the M’s couldn’t be any worse.

        • I’m telling you right now Angels in the world series and the AL wild card is coming from the AL west this year. The Yankees will miss out on the playoffs.

          • Well I sort of agree with you. I think the Yankees and the Rangers won’t make the playoffs. But I can see the Rays, White Sox or Twins still winning 90 games and grabbing the Wild card.

          • I am a hated mariners fan…I agree completely with your assesment.

          • no way, the rays lost more key players than we did last year. rays will win 70 games. rangers went stupid again and went away from the one thing that made them a strong team: pitching.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Denial is not just a river in Africa you know.

      Wells is an overpaid outfielder who’s moving from a hitters park to a pitchers park. As for best defensive outfield, according to what facts? Hunter and Wells have both been putting up negative UZRs for the last couple of seasons

      Yes I’d rather have Beltre at third rather than whoever the Angels are putting there regularly (seriously, who is regularly going to be third baseman for the Angels? Izturis, Callaspo, Wood?) because Beltre is widely considered the best defensive third baseman in the game and well I go back to the “who’s better on the Angels” comment. And yes, I’d rather Crawford, a 29 year old player who’s been improving every season and is considered the best defensive left fielder in the game.

      Good luck.

      • UZR’s in CF. Those two are both shifting to corner OF where their range, gloves and arms will put them among the elite LF/RF. Peter Bourjos is the best defensive CF in baseball, no player can match his range and his glove and arm are both among the best at the position. No other team in baseball can boast having 3 centerfielders cover the OF. Dan Haren and Jered Weaver should both have career years.

        Crawford for 21 million a year across 7 years. He’s overpaid, but a good player. Adrian Beltre 16 million a year across 6 years. He’s WAY overpaid but a solid player. How is is so hard to admit that Vernon Wells at 17 million a year across 4 years is in the same category. A good player that’s overpaid. I still take his contact because he’s done after age 34. Whereas Beltre’s going to be 37 years old still trying to play 3B and will be getting paid 16 million a year to do so.

        Callapso > Wood
        Aybar 2011> Aybar 2010
        Abreu 2011 > Abreu 2010
        Wells > Rivera
        OF Defense 2011 > OF Defense 2010
        Bullpen 2011 > Bullpen 2010
        Getting Kendry Morales back

        Denial is believing the Angels won’t be a 90 win team in 2011. The A’s should be right around there too. The Rangers, not so much.

        • Robert_Risteen 4 years ago

          gutti is the best cf in baseball until peter win a gold glove u cant say that hes the best cause gutti can match that and back it up 1 of ur cf at up in the late 30’s and arnt getting better harden and weaver can be better but career years is not likely wells who was in one of the best hitters park was strugguling to hit how can he hit in socal wells and hunter dont have what they use to have angels shout win a couple of more games but saying everything going to be better is denial u cant say anything about kendry until he gets hot for all we know that leg injuery could weaken his ability to drive the ball

          • Snoochies8 4 years ago


          • Robert_Risteen 4 years ago

            he sayying peter is the best cf in baseball im saying franklin gutieratz it the best cf and peter hasnt prove himself yet
            hunter getting old and is not getting better
            harden and weaver are not likley to both have career years
            wells is not going to be amazing like hes saying he is going to be with his stats over the past years
            wells and hunter arent what they use to be

            the angels should win a couple of more game
            finally kendrey might not be what he use to be

          • xhausted_grad 4 years ago


        • xhausted_grad 4 years ago

          “Dan Haren and Jered Weaver should both have career years”


          Abreu 2011>Abreu 2010
          Aybar 2011>Aybar 2010

          same question

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      they should’ve traded Rivera and Kazmir for Wells and then trade or non-tender Napoli.

    • num3fan 4 years ago

      I’d agree in the fact that it wasn’t too dumb of the Angels to skip out on overbidding for Beltre and Crawford.
      But they had quietly one of the strongest offseasons? That’s highly debatable.

  4. Pete 4 years ago

    I mean Wells isnt a completely awful player, he still has a 4-5 WAR ceiling. He’s paid too much, but you have to factor in full seasons from Haren+Morales plus Trout on the way, LAA is definitely going to be over .500 in 2011…as are the A’s & Rangers.

    • Is CJ Wilson really an ace? Colby Lewis fell off a cliff in the 2nd half last year. Brandon Webb’s last scouting report put his fastball in the low 80’s.

      Is Hamilton going to hit .360 again? Nelson Cruz’s career BA before last season was .260, is he going to hit over .300 again? Beltre’s not playing in a contract year, will he for the first time put up great numbers in a normal year? The Rangers will lose Michael Young and Vlad Guerrero, will that not sting just a little? Francisco was traded and now Feliz is stuck in bullpen.

      The Rangers will fall off a cliff in 2011, and ESPN is too busy celebrating the Angels downfall in 2010 to realize it.

      • There is so much wrong with your post Robert, I don’t even know where to begin. You clearly just don’t know much about the Rangers.

        1. Colby Lewis fell off a cliff in the 2nd half last year? Umm, you must have been watching a different game than the rest of us because Colby Lewis was the Rangers’ absolute best pitcher in the postseason. Did you not even watch the clinching game against the Yankees in the ALCS? His win total fell off, and that’s about it. When you’re getting beat by Trevor Cahill and Felix Hernandez 1-0, it’s not exactly your fault. Lewis will be just fine, as evidenced by his dominant postseason.

        2. Actually, Brandon Webb’s last report had his fastball in the mid-80’s. And guess what? Brandon Webb has never had a blazing fastball. At it’s BEST it was clocked in the lower 90’s. Webb is a sinker ball pitcher who uses location as opposed to speed. Webb’s latest report was actually extremely encouraging. You might want to look up your cources before quoting stuff from December.

        3. Hamilton might not hit .360 again, but he doesn’t have to. By the same token, you could also say that Hamilton could easily miss fewer games this year. It’s really easy for you to point out the things which went right for the Rangers last year and say they won’t repeat. But you are conveniently leaving out all of the things that went wrong for the Rangers last year. If you weren’t the biggest Angels homer on this entire forum, you’ d know it works both ways.

        4. Nelson Cruz is just starting to break out. What was Joey Votto’s career average before he broke out? What was Carl Crawford’s? What was Kendry Morales’ for that matter? I hate to break it to you Robert, but often times guys don’t hit .300 right out of the gate. Cruz is the real deal whether you want to admit it or not.

        5. In Beltre’s stops prior to Boston, he hit for 81 games in a pitcher’s park. Both Dodgers Stadium and Safeco Field don’t exactly help guys put up big numbers. You honestly expected Beltre to hit .300 with 40 HR with Richie Freakin’ Sexson as his only protection in the lineup? That’s funny. Instead of focusing on the “contract year”, you might try looking at the surrounding circumstances. Beltre finally got to hit in a hitter’s park in a monster lineup last year and his numbers reflect that. Keep telling yourself he won’t put up big numbers in Arlington surrounded by Hamilton, Kinsler, and Cruz.

        6. The Rangers haven’t lost Young yet. As the latest intel on this very site shows, most sources close to the situation expect Young to be there in Rangers camp. It’s an ugly situation, but not one which can’t be fixed or reconciled.

        7. Feliz is not “stuck” in the bullpen. That is just absurd nonsense. If you knew ANYTHING about the Rangers, you would know that Frank Francisco had absolutely nothing to do with Feliz’s status, one way or the other. Since you don’t even watch Rangers baseball, I’ll go ahead and clue you in on a guy named Alexei Ogando. He was always going to be the successor to Feliz as the closer even before Francisco was traded. Feliz still has the option to either start or close. It all depends on how he responds to being stretched out in Spring Training, not on Frank Francisco.

        None of what you said is even remotely factual. It’s nothing more than wishful and extremely ignorant thinking on your part. Paint the picture any way you like it. I for one have a healthy respect for the Angels and fully expect them to be right back in the mix this year. But if thinking the Rangers will “fall off a cliff” this year helps you sleep better at night, by all means go right ahead.

        • I’m just gonna like your comment based on the length and neatness of it.

        • 1. Colby Lewis isn’t a front of the rotation pitcher. The Rangers iwll be solely dependent upon him being this. He’s just not.

          2. CJ Wilson can’t save you either. He’s good, but he’s no ace.

          3. Show me the scouting report showing Webb in the mid 80’s There’s a HUGE DIFFERENCE between 85 mph fastball and 92. The chances of him staying healthy are slim to none along with the chances of him not getting absolutely lit up.

          4. Hamilton hit .360 in 2010 PERIOD. IF he even hits .320 in 2011, you can expect to lose a couple more games. That’s extremely likely.

          5. Beltre’s average numbers outside of a contract season: .267 29 DB 19 HR. In Texas, I’d say he gives you .275 35 DB 20 HR. Certianly NOT worth 16 million a year.

          6. The Rangers FO is awful. If they can’t shed Young he’s going to end up being a 36 year old player with no position that can’t hit outside the state of texas but is getting paid 16 million a year. Beltre will be the same exact thing except at age 37.

          7. Feliz IS stuck in the bullpen and won’t be transitioning to starter. All everyone ever heard about the Rangers was them overhyping their prospects. Feliz was the next Pedro, Chris davis was the next Adam Dunn, Justin Smoak was the next Mark Teixeira. Look at you now, Feliz is a bullpen arm, far from Pedro. Davis is a AAAA player on par with Brandon Wood and smoke was traded to Seattle where he’s struggling to hit.

          The Rangers are floundering. Nelson Cruz will get busted for steroids by mid May, Hamilton will be DL bound, Beltre will fail to deliver, your rotation will be among the worst in the league and the Rangers will not come within 8 games of winning the AL West.

          • Robert_Risteen 4 years ago

            at the end of the year smoak started to get hot cliff lee only went 8-6 for the rangers the rangers won with out cliff lee will they be has good as last year probally no but saying not winning above 500 in not true im a mariner fan and i now were going to be bad for a couple of years

          • ChrisV 4 years ago

            1. Colby Lewis has only been back one season from Japan, and if going 3-0 in route to the World Series isn’t at least near a front of the line starter, then I don’t know who is in your book. I agree, he still has a lot to prove, but Lewis can pitch.

            2. Yeah, Wilson alone can’t save us, but the combination of Wilson and Lewis can. Wilson has much to prove as well having only pitched one season as a starter since way early in his professional career.

            3. I agree, the difference between 85 and 92 is huge, but Webb is a SINKER ball pitcher not a fastball pitcher. More painting of the strike zone, rather than let’s see if you can hit this heat. Webb is on track and is healthy, no problems when throwing so he is the sleeper in our rotation, with very hight potential.

            4 .320 is definitely not out of the realm for Hamilton, and as long as Hamilton stays out of CF, he should stay healthy. It is because he plays 120% all the time, that he gets banged up and all his injuries have happened in CF, but he is now in LF.

            5. That’s about right, except that at the Rangers ballpark he has a .306 lifetime BA and it is much more a hitters park. Contract season or not has no baring on how Beltre performs. Don’t forget his defense, yeah he is paid too much, but who isn’t that can play? Wait…how much are you paying Wells?

            6.The FO is not awful, baseball is baseball you have to make changes to get to the World Series. All the changes the Rangers FO has made has been for the better not worse. The FO wasn’t intending for this to happen, the Rangers made the move that was best and it evidently didn’t sit as well with Young as previously thought, but the relationship will be repaired.

            7. Feliz is not stuck, also don’t forget we have Lowe as well as Orgando that can take the closer role if needed. Uh Feliz still could be the next Pedro, at the young age of 22, he was rookie of the year and broke the rookie record for saves with 40. He is young, has a 100 mph fastball…nothing is stopping this kid. Plus, Chris Davis the next Adam Dunn? Davis’ defense is so much better. Davis, Smoak etc. all have the talent to be those type of players, but it is not under the Rangers control as to whether or not they get it together at the big league level.

            All I see from you, is telling the world how much the Rangers suck, to find a way to cope with the offseason your Angels had. Like with the other guy above, I respect the Angels and feel they will be a big competitor, but the Rangers only got better. The Rangers are far from floundering, look how the Rangers looked at the beginning of last season, then look at them now. It is a better team no question. Cruz is not on steroids, Hamilton will stay out of CF, Beltre is in a hitters park where he has batter .306 lifetime, worst in the league? Oh…well it is the same rotation that got the Rangers in 1st last year. The Rangers will win the AL West again, just not as decisively. Stop ranting about the Rangers…sounds like you are jealous.

          • Robert_Risteen 4 years ago

            i agree im a mariner fan and i dont think were going to win i think ur going to win but i can see us thaking 3rd if the angels act as there key piece are

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      4-5 WAR ceiling in angels stadium at his age is awfully optimistic

  5. Todd Smith 4 years ago

    I don’t really see how Orlando Cabrera would be much of an upgrade at SS over Ronny Cedeno. Don’t think the Pirates are a good fit there either.

  6. Thanks for doing the interview with me Tim!

  7. MadisonMariner 4 years ago

    Hmm…my own personal AL West grades would look a little different:

    1. Oakland A’s–A. Clearly the most improved team in the division, with no burdensome contracts added and a nicely filled out bullpen and decent lineup with the aditions of DeJesuss, Matusi, and Willingham. In addition, they have an outstanding and young yet cost-controlled rotation to lead the way. The only area of concern to me(not related to the offseason they had admittedly) is the fact that they lack young impact position players. Kurt Suzuki is a nice young catcher, but he’s not going to be a 5-6 WAR player, is he? The minor league system isn’t looking too promising in that regard either, what with the struggles of Chris Carter and Micheal Taylor in their 2010 minor league seasons. But, that’s more of a worry for 2012 and beyond, I suppose.

    2. Texas Rangers–B. Not a bad offseason when you add Adrian Beltre, but one has to admit that losing out on Cliff Lee as a top of the rotation starter and p*ssing off your franchises’ longest tenured player in Michael Young doesn’t help. But they also got Mike Napoli in exchange for Frank Francisco. Some questions linger in both the rotation and in the bullpen, but they still have a team that can challenge for 2011 AL West title. And they still have one of the top minor league systems in the game, with future help on the way in the form of Martin Perez and Tanner Scheppers.

    3. Seattle Mariners–B-/C+. This may not make a lot of sense, but the Mariners weren’t going to be competitive no matter what they did in 2011. They weren’t going to be competitors for signing the big name free agents based on the assertions of Lincoln and Armstrong of a reduced payroll, so their best bet for 2011 was a consolidation year. They signed veterans like Jack Cust for DH(who is under team control for 2012 as a bonus) as well as Miguel Olivo to stabilize the catching position while they see if Adam Moore can emerge. They traded for Brendan Ryan, who can start the season as the starting 2B, then slide over to SS when Dustin Ackley is ready. They have other young players ready to contribute in Michael Pineda and Dan Cortes. So, while they didn’t land some huge impact player, they also didn’t unnecessarily burden themselves with an new bad contracts and look poised to shed some bad contracts after 2011 is over.

    4. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim–D+. This grade is all Vernon Wells. When your team misses out on Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre because your owner doesn’t like the agent representing them, that’s one thing. But trading one player who’s almost the equivalent of Wells(Juan Rivera) plus a better player in Mike Napoli for a player whose contract is one of the most burdensome in baseball without getting any money of significance back in return from the other team? That’s bad. Will the Angels still be able to be competitive in the AL West in 2011? Yes, but this contract doesn’t help them in future years at all, and a minor league system that is weak beyond Mike Trout probably doesn’t aid their outlook in 2013 and 2014. Apart from that, they did add some decent bullpen arms and kept a good core intact, so I’ll credit them with that, but the Wells’ trade brings their overall grade down by quite a bit.

    So, I guess I kind of agree with most of the grades above, but I didn’t like how they lumped the M’s and Angels together as both having bad offseasons. That was an apples and oranges comparison to me. 😉

    • Just another fan fails to see the real picture with the Angels.

      Vernon Wells runs faster than Juan Rivera, he has a better glove, same arm, hits for a higher average, hits for more power and gives the Angels the best OF defense in baseball. The Angels just infused 41 doubles and 33 HR’s into their lineup and upgraded their defense. This is more than what Adrian Beltre would have done AND Wells is only under contract for 4 more years at 17 million annually (5 million from Toronto and shedding of Rivera/Napoli contracts) while Beltre is under contract for 6 years. Anyone else see a huge fiasco forming when Beltre is a 37 year old suspected PED user still trying to play 3B making 16 million a year? I do.

      You also conveniently forget that the Angels bolstered their bullpen by adding two fantastic lefties to it.

      Oakland A’s – B+. David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui were great additions. Brian Fuentes and Josh Willingham were ok. The fact is they are a better team now than they were in 2010. They deserve a good grade.

      Los Angeles Angels – B-. I wished they would have entered the DeJesus market or even went after Adam Dunn. But when you build the best defensive OF in baseball, add a power hitter who crept up on 80 XBH last year and bolster your bullpen, you deserve a good grade. The Angels are a MUCH better team now than they were last year and are the best team in the AL West.

      Seattle Mariners – B-. They weren’t going to be good in 2011. Adding Cust and Olivo helps a little, but won’t make a world of difference. The best thing they could have done is stand pat and wait for Smoak and Ackley to become an offensive force and that’s what they’ll do.

      Texas Rangers – D. This team needs pitching in the worst kind of way. CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis are looking like they’ll come crashing back down to Earth and they traded away Frank Francisco forcing Feliz to stay in the pen. They sign Brandon Webb, but the chances of him staying healthy AND returning to form are as good as a snowballs chances in the underworld. They added Adrian Beltre but lost Vlad Gurerrero. Problem is, they are paying Beltre 16 million for the next 6 YEARS. His career average in a non-contract season? .267 29 DB 19 HR. The Rangers are also looking at a VERY unhappy Michael Young or they’ll part ways with him. Either way, he’s over paid and the siutation won’t be as good as it was in 2010. The Rangers got progressively worse while managing to anger the team’s veteran and inflating their payroll. These guys are going to be a disaster in 2011.

      There’s the truth, not the garbage uneducated fans or ESPN will tell you. You’ll see come August that some dude named Rob was right.

      • Snoochies8 4 years ago

        Are you the kinda fan that thought Felix didn’t deserve the Cy Young because he only had 13 wins?

        Vernon Wells is over the hump, also he played in a hitters park and is moving to a more pitcher friendly park, he will NOT put up the same offensive numbers, and his defense has fallen off period

    • cookmeister 4 years ago

      angels farm system is rated in the top 10 (i think as high as 4 or 5) by most “experts” (i dont think baseball america’s rankings have come out yet but shouldnt be much different). the only thing that makes the angels’ system not look great is that most of the really talented players are in the lower classes, maybe 2 or more years away from contributing

      • scott4 4 years ago

        What? Angels have one of the weakest farms in baseball. Who would rank them in the top5 or even the top 10? Mike Trout does not “make” a farm system.

        • cookmeister 4 years ago

          i didn’t say that he makes them a great farm system. every publication i have looked at has them from 6-10. Trout helps, but they also have Conger, Walden, and Segura who are all top 100 prospects. Then you add in that they have had quite a few first round picks (Bedrosian, Cowart), and some other guys who had really nice seasons (Trumbo, Chatwood). I’m not saying that they have the best farm, but you make it seem like they are terrible

  8. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    very nicely summarized

  9. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    i effing hate disqus

  10. Maybe LAA can trade for Michael Young and call it a great success!

    The Angels have a solid team, but the Wells signing is going to be an albatross. He doesn’t do anything super well — hit for power, average, especially get onbase. He’s fast on the base paths, but he can’t really capitalize on it cuz he won’t take a walk.

    And they won’t be playing his stellar D in CF? Why *pay* the premium for the gold glove centerfielders if you’re not willing to use them at the position?

    Only Texas screwed up more by signing Beltre ( a fine player mind you), when they *already had a guy who was just as good*. Both the Angels and the Rangers had the same problem — they failed to sign anyone good, so they just made a desperate grab.

    I like the A’s adding of Willingham (who should match Wells production). The A’s pitching is really good and improving. The A’s could seriously dominate the AL West again in just a few years.

    • The A’s lack the offense to dominate, but they definitely should be contenders for the next 5 years. As for Vernon Wells, the reason why he moved to LF is because the Angels have a young player by the name of Peter Bourjos who is already the best defensive CF in baseball after his first major league call up.

      The Angels and A’s will both win around 90 games next season, Texas should probably win about 80-85 games.

  11. corey23 4 years ago

    luckily they have such good pitching they only have to hit their way half way out of the paper bag to win the west

Leave a Reply