In his article today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports took on several important issues facing the disappointing Angels. Here are some notes from the piece, which is worth a read in its entirety. (There is some interesting stuff on former Angel Zack Greinke's hot stove views.)
- It is not difficult to argue that Angels center fielder Mike Trout is the most valuable player in the game today, given his stellar production and bargain salary. His unmatched output-to-cost ratio is especially important to a club that is still in the early stages of dealing with two of baseball's most troublesome deals. While the Angels could simply choose to sit back and enjoy Trout at the league minimum for another season, Rosenthal says the organization needs to be thinking of his future cost.
- After all, when Trout reaches arbitration in 2015, he will almost certainly be paid more than any other first-time arb-eligible player in history. And the cost will only go up from there. As Rosenthal notes, a likely arbitration salary in excess of $10MM will give Trout immediate financial security, making an extension less enticing. While the team could try and dangle a long-term deal before Trout reaches arbitration eligibility, it may be hard pressed to commit the kind of salary needed, particularly given the massive outlays already owed Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. With Trout set to reach free agency at the tender age of 26, he might well elect to take arbitration year-to-year and wait out a historic contract on the open market.
- With the Halos well into a second consecutive season of angst, Rosenthal wonders who among the team's leadership might be sent packing. With GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia reportedly not on the same page, one or both could certainly lose their jobs. Rosenthal says Dipoto is more likely to go, given the poor performance of recent acquisitions. (Under Dipoto's watch, Rosenthal notes, the team has wasted resources on pitchers Joe Blanton, Tommy Hanson, and Ryan Madson.) On the other hand, says Rosenthal, Scioscia has failed to deliver the kind of "crisp, aggressive teams" that he once did.