Halo Headlines – 1/25/11

Daily Links for the LA Angels including trying to understand the Wells trade, looking for the bullpen to rebound, Weaver’s arbitration case is worth watching and much more…


The Story: The Angels overreacted in trading for Vernon Wells.

The Monkey Says: I like Rob Neyer, but I always take his Angels critique too seriously since he seems to subconsciously hold it against them that they have never really embraced sabermetrics.  He even reaches into the wayback machine to throw yet another barb in the direction of Darin Erstad, a player he has always pounded on.

The Story: Forget the money and judge Vernon Wells on what he actually does.

The Monkey Says: I agree with that sentiment to a certain extent, Wells himself should not be slammed here.  It isn’t his fault the Jays gave him a crazy contract and it isn’t his fault that the Angels traded for it.  However, we can’t just forget about the money when it comes to judging the trade.

The Story: Dave Cameron of FanGraphs deems the Wells trade one of the most inexplicable ever.

The Monkey Says: Cameron, who doubles as a Mariners blogger, has been taking true delight in raking the Halos over the coals for this deal.  I just don’t think that it can be the worst trade ever when the Angels only gave up two veteran players they didn’t want.  Yes, the contract is awful, but the other trades he compares it too involve teams forfeiting highly valuable and vaunted prospects.  The Wells trade is essentially a really bad free agent signing and there are definitely much worse signings in history.

The Story: An attempt to explain the Angels’ thinking in the Wells trade.

The Monkey Says: I don’t think there is a lot to understand here.  The Angels clearly need offense and Wells was the best player they felt they could add without dipping into their farm system, which I think was a major factor in the trade.

The Story: Eight unlikely explanations for the Vernon Wells trade.

The Monkey Says: So what your saying is that there is no explanation?

The Story: Wells should benefit from a move to left field and natural grass.

The Monkey Says: It should give his career longevity, yes, but being in left instead of center actually makes his bat less valuable since he could have been seen as more of a premium hitter as a CF.  Then again, he was a crappy centerfielder, so if he can find a way to excel as a left fielder, he will earn back some of that value.

The Story: Reviewing the worst trades in Angel history.

The Monkey Says: I think placing Wells at fifth is awfully generous, but I don’t think it is first either (yet).  The Devo trade definitely gets my vote for that honor.

The Story: The Arizona Diamondbacks designated Rafael Rodriguez for assignment.

The Monkey Says: I link to this because Rodriguez was one of the players the Halos sent to Arizona in the Haren deal, which is a reminder that the Angels actually ripped someone else off in a trade not so long ago, and that the D’Backs are kind of dumb if they are waiving a prospect they acquired just a few months.

The Story: Can the Angel bullpen rebound?

The Monkey Says: Even though they still don’t have a bona fide closer, the relief corps should be much better with Downs and Takahashi on board, as well as a full season of Jordan Walden and all of the other young arms in their system.

The Story: Rich Thompson deserves more innings.

The Monkey Says: I agree, as Chopper has looked like a new man since adding a cutter to his repertoire.  However, I think it is far more likely that Thompson (who is out of options) ends up as the odd man out in the crowded bullpen competition and ends up being released during Spring Training.

The Story: Jered Weaver is amongst the top remaining arbitration cases to keep an eye on.

The Monkey Says: Not only is Weaver due a big raise, but the case is worth monitoring since it involves Scott Boras and thus introduces the possibility of some contentious negotiations.

The Story: The Angels have the smallest home-field advantage.

The Monkey Says: That seems extreme, but it is hard to argue since any Angel fan can tell you that they have underachieved at home.  I wish I could chime in and illuminate everyone with the explanation for this, but I am afraid I don’t have one.

The Story: Mike Trout is amongst the top prospects that the ZiPS projection system likes.

The Monkey Says: That Trout can get a projection that is even remotely good as a major leaguer at his tender age of 19 is simply amazing.  I don’t think the Halos should promote him this year still, but it certainly seems like a 2012 arrival makes a lot of sense.

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of Monkeywithahalo.com and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.