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Thread: Angels ink Torii Hunter

  1. #21
    What can Brown do for you gokingsgo's Avatar




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    The problem with the Dodgers though, is while they have the prospects to make a deal, can they afford to?

    2 of the prospects being mentioned are already starters plus the Marlins want that stud lefty you got in the minors, who's been reported to be the best left handed pitcher in the minors period.

  2. #22
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Keith Law's take

    Give the Angels credit for recognizing a sunk cost and upgrading a position to which they already had devoted a big chunk of payroll. The question is whether the upgrade is as big as they think.

    If Torii Hunter is taking at-bats away from Gary Matthews Jr. and replacing him in center field, then the Angels just added two or three wins for 2008, since Hunter is better than Matthews on offense and defense. Matthews had a ridiculous walk year in 2006 but reverted to fourth-outfielder status in 2007 with a year that, oddly enough, nearly matched his 2005 stats. Give Tony Reagins credit for tacitly acknowledging Matthews' contract was a mistake and improving his team at a position the Angels weren't expected to try to improve.

    That aside, Hunter is no bargain at $18 million per season, and he's likely to end up a fourth outfielder himself before the contract is up. Hunter has a great defensive reputation because he makes highlight catches and has a clear skill for robbing opposing hitters of home runs. However, those catches are rare, and his overall defense in center is slightly above average. It's only going to get worse as he gets older, and he'll be 35 by Year 4 of this contract, at which time he might have to move to an outfield corner.

    The bigger problem with Hunter and this deal, however, is his bat. Hunter never has topped a .340 OBP, so he'll fit right into the Angels' lineup, but not in a good way. The Angels are one of the least patient teams in baseball, finishing second to last in the American League in pitches seen per plate appearance. Reggie Willits, whose playing time probably is hurt the most by this deal, was the only Angel to draw 60 unintentional walks in 2007, and in fact led the AL in P/PA at 4.44, more than a full pitch above Hunter's 3.37 figure. If Reagins can't foist Matthews' albatross contract on another club, Willits would seem to be headed out of town himself. Hunter does give the Angels another power bat, which they needed in 2007, but at a cost of adding another no-like-breaking-ball hacker to their lineup. At the same time, they possibly deleted one of their few hitters who could get on base and make the opposing pitcher work.

    Hunter's an above-average bat for center right now because he has good power (probably a 25-homer bat in Anaheim, with 30-40 doubles) and hits .270-.280 most years. He's already leaving the typical hitter's peak years, however, and his abilities in both departments will decline over the life of the contract. By the contract's third or fourth year, he'll be a .260/.310/.440 hitter, which is a fourth outfielder's line on a contending club, and won't be worth $18 million a year even if player salaries continue increasing.

    The Angels also gave up their first-round pick (27th overall) to sign Hunter, which leaves them without a first-rounder for the third time in four drafts. The Angels signed just one player in the top 140 picks in the 2007 draft, and their farm system, long ranked as one of the best in baseball, is slipping, due both to promotions and some disappointments. Unless they are willing to take some high-ticket players who fall due to their bonus demands, the loss of these high picks will continue to hurt them.

    For Minnesota, the loss was expected, but it does leave the Twins with an opening in center field (and $12 million to play with, some -- but not all -- of which will pay for raises for other players) and no one in the organization who can fill it. Although trading a star player to fill a need often leads to a lower return than if the player was traded just for value, the Twins might choose to target a center fielder if they put Johan Santana on the block. However, a good, young center fielder who has yet to reach arbitration probably could pry loose Matt Garza right now.

    The biggest beneficiary of Hunter's signing might be the Royals, who reportedly were interested in Hunter but had fallen behind the White Sox and Rangers (and, apparently, the Angels) in the past few days. The Royals have no business going after a big-ticket hitter at this point; they have a better player on their roster making less than 20 percent of Hunter's salary in David DeJesus, and they have OBP issues of their own that need to be improved, not exacerbated. The Rangers also lucked out a bit, since they're not contending in 2008 and should be focused on building the best club for 2010, by which time Hunter would be part of the problem, not the solution.

  3. #23
    Word up G jdkings24's Avatar




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    i like this signing. Now you will see matthews on his way to baltimore for tejada.

  4. #24
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by jdkings24 View Post
    i like this signing. Now you will see matthews on his way to baltimore for tejada.
    The Orioles have done some stupid things in recent history but I don't think they are that dumb.

  5. #25
    Waiver Wire Pick-up




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  6. #26
    KBA4life
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    So now if the Angels trade Santana, Kendrick and Mathis to FLA for Cabrera the lineup looks like this:

    Figgins 2B
    Matthews LF
    Vlad RF
    Cabrera 3B
    Anderson DH
    Hunter CF
    Kotchman 1B
    Napoli C
    Aybar/Izturis SS

    Kendrick would be a pretty big loss now and for the future but damn that lineup is sexy!

  7. #27
    What can Brown do for you gokingsgo's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by KBA4life View Post
    So now if the Angels trade Santana, Kendrick and Mathis to FLA for Cabrera the lineup looks like this:

    Figgins 2B
    Matthews LF
    Vlad RF
    Cabrera 3B
    Anderson DH
    Hunter CF
    Kotchman 1B
    Napoli C
    Aybar/Izturis SS

    Kendrick would be a pretty big loss now and for the future but damn that lineup is sexy!
    Mathews LF
    Hunter CF
    Vlad RF
    Cabrera 3B
    Anderson DH
    Kotchman 1B
    Napoli C
    Aybar/Izzy SS
    Figgins 2B

    Would be a little better i think. Hunter hitting in front of Vlad would mean alot of fastballs to Hunter and some serious production.

    Putting Figgins in the 9th spot puts speed and production through out and opposing pitchers won't have a break.

  8. #28
    That's all, folks! Wolvie's Avatar




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    My first instinct was that Willits is done in Anaheim. Doubt they can offload Matthews and Willits is a good young player on a cheap contract at a position of surplus.

  9. #29
    1st Scoring Line Claw21's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by KBA4life View Post
    So now if the Angels trade Santana, Kendrick and Mathis to FLA for Cabrera the lineup looks like this:

    Figgins 2B
    Matthews LF
    Vlad RF
    Cabrera 3B
    Anderson DH
    Hunter CF
    Kotchman 1B
    Napoli C
    Aybar/Izturis SS

    Kendrick would be a pretty big loss now and for the future but damn that lineup is sexy!
    So you think the Marlins would accept Santana (5.75 ERA), Mathis (.211 avg) and Hendricks for Cabrera? Replace Mathis with Brandon Wood, Santana with Nick Adenhart, then throw in Weaver, and you might get the Marlins to bite. But something tells me the Marlins are holding out for the Dodgers as a trade partner.

  10. #30
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolvie View Post
    My first instinct was that Willits is done in Anaheim. Doubt they can offload Matthews and Willits is a good young player on a cheap contract at a position of surplus.
    Sounds about right. I wonder though with Anderson and Vlad having injury issues and the whole steroid issue with Matthews if the Angels will just keep Willits around just in case. They can afford to, Scocisia seems to have a hard on for those types of players as well.

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