Next up in our Offseason In Review series, the Angels.
Major League Signings
- Bobby Abreu, RF: two years, $19MM. Includes $9MM option for 2012 with a $1MM buyout; can vest based on plate appearances.
- Joel Pineiro, SP: two years, $16MM.
- Fernando Rodney, RP: two years, $11MM.
- Hideki Matsui, DH: one year, $6MM.
- Total spend: $52MM.
Minor League Signings
- Maicer Izturis, IF: three years, $10MM.
Trades and Claims
- John Lackey, Chone Figgins, Vladimir Guerrero, Darren Oliver, Gary Matthews Jr., Shane Loux, Dustin Moseley, Kelvim Escobar
My first reaction after reviewing the Angels' offseason is that this wasn't a great way to spend $52MM. GM Tony Reagins appears to have overpaid several of his free agent signings.
Like many November deals in recent years, the Abreu contract looked OK at the time and worse as the offseason developed. There's a very good chance his 2012 option vests and this becomes a three-year, $27MM deal for a questionable defender who turns 36 in March. CHONE projects a .273/.368/.415 line, not unlike what Johnny Damon should do for one year and $8MM. Matsui's deal looks a little high, but not excessive.
Rodney was brought in to assume an eighth inning role, and was paid on the strength of his 37 saves rather than his skills. At least he can help prevent Brian Fuentes' $9MM option for 2011 from vesting, as that requires 55 games finished.
I liked the Pineiro move; Reagins did not panic when Lackey left. Pineiro is unlikely to match Lackey, but it's still a positive signing. Reagins also gets a thumbs-up for locking up Maicer Izturis for three years and getting something mildly useful back for Matthews.
Even without Lackey, the Angels have a good shot at improving upon last year's 4.44 rotation ERA. Ervin Santana and Scott Kazmir are somewhat unpredictable, but have ace potential. The Angels had the second-best offense in the AL last year, and CHONE predicts a dropoff to more of a middle of the pack performance. At this point there is no clear AL West favorite, but the Halos remain a respectable contender despite a few questionable free agent contracts.