Is it just me or is the suspense of the 2011 LA Angels off-season too much to bear?
Or maybe “suspense” is the wrong word to use since the Angels haven’t, you know, done ANYTHING. No signings, no trades, nothing. Heck, they haven’t even been involved in a single rumor (except for that stupendously stupid Wright-Bourjos trade idea that some New York columnist pulled out of his butt). C’mon, Jerry DiPoto, can’t you just throw us fans a bone? We need some Angels hot stove league action!
All we’ve gotten from DiPoto so far was some innocuous comments in one interview. He said not to count the Angels out on big name free agents, but they aren’t a priority. It couldn’t possibly be more non-commital, but at least he finally acknowledged that free agents exist. The most specific he got was that he would target end-of-game relief help. But what kind of help? Are we talking about “elite” closers like Heath Bell? Lesser closers like Frank Francisco? Or does he think Jon Rauch qualifies as end-of-game help?
See, this is the problem with a new general manager, we just don’t know what to expect from him. That can be an exciting way to approach the off-season but it can also be soooooooooooooooo damned frustrating.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I kind of miss Tony Reagins right now. He might have been incompetent, but at least we had an idea of how he operated. He was famous (or is it infamous?) for pulling off deals out of nowhere. His covert signing of Torii Hunter at a Del Taco will live on in Angels lore. His out-of-the-blue trades for Scott Kazmir and Vernon Wells will as well, but for entirely different reasons. We even knew what kind of players he liked to target. I think we all know that if Reagins were still in charge, 38-year old Octavio Dotel would be celebrating his three-year, $18 million contract with the Angels by now while the rest of the baseball world laughed away at Tony’s stupidity.
But DiPoto? We’ve got nothing. In his brief run as interim GM in Arizona, he made some trade deadline deals, but he was replaced before free agency began. To us, Jerry is tabula rasa when it comes to his designs for the Angel off-season. He hasn’t even had the common decency to tip his hand on a single off-season issue, like whether or not he will make Angel fans everywhere rejoice by non-tendering Jeff Mathis. But no, we don’t even know that much about DiPoto and his plans.
Maybe he will prove to be just as adept at making moves without the media catching wind of them in advance like Reagins did. After all, he and Reagins worked with each other to make the Dan Haren trade happen in such a surprising fashion that other baseball execs were actually mad at DiPoto because they didn’t even know Haren was available. Maybe that is why DiPoto is being quiet right now, because he is working on moves in secret.
Or maybe not. After all, the guy is still putting together his staff. As far as we know, his perceived inaction is merely a result of him just being too new to the job and not needing to get his house in order first.
Or maybe it is something else. Maybe the Angels aren’t involved in any rumors because they simply aren’t going to make any moves of consequence. It sucks, but it could be the case. They don’t have much of available budget, so their plan might be to make a few small, inexpensive moves. The kind of moves you don’t make until well into the off-season.
Or maybe I’m just driving myself crazy because I hate not knowing, so crazy that I just wrote 600 words about literally nothing. And I have the feeling I’m not the only one losing my mind.