Free agency opens in just a few days and we've all already heard a great deal about who the Angels are interested in or should be interested in. In fact, we've probably heard these speculative suggestions more than any of us care to. Yet what nobody ever mentions are the guys that could interest the Angels but really shouldn't. As the Tony Reagins era taught us, bad free agent investments happen all the time. And as last winter taught us, Jerry Dipoto isn't afraid to spend Arte Moreno's money. So, yeah, this is pretty much the perfect recipe for a free agent disaster.
So, as the altruistic being that I am, here is a list of free agents that Jerry Dipoto should avoid at all costs, no matter how much money he has burning a whole in his pocket:
- Jose Valverde – The Angels supposedly need a proven closer, right? Enter Papa Grande who will cling to that overhyped 2011 seaosn in which he didn't blow a save to show his closing credentials. Alas, Valverde was a mess down the stretch for Detroit last season and was effectively removed from the bullpen by the end of the post-season. Despite that, someone is going to give him several million dollars and a closer job this off-season. Don't let it be you, JeDi.
- A.J. Pierzynski – What's worse than overpaying a 35-year old catcher coming off a career season? Easy, overpaying a 35-year old catcher who is also one of the biggest assholes in the game coming off a career season.
- Kevin Youkilis – A lot of people want an upgrade over Alberto Callaspo at third base and will certainly be attracted to Kevin Youkilis on name recognition alone. That would be just fine if it were 2009, but it isn't. Youk has been in decline for years now and may not represent much more than a marginal offensive upgrade over Callaspo which would be offset in part or in total by Youkilis also devolving into a defensive liability at third.
- Ryan Theriot – I don't know if Theriot is really on their radar, but the Halos do need a utility infielder. What they don't need is anymore boneheaded baserunners and Theriot might very well be the godfather of TOOTBLAN.
- Ryan Dempster – This might be a bit of a reach, I admit. However, if the Angels strike out on Greinke, they could turn to Dempster as a consolation prize, just like the Rangers did at the trade deadline. My fear is that Dempster will be totally ineffective against the AL West, just like he was for the Rangers.
- Francisco Liriano – Did you enjoy the wild inconsistency of the Ervin Santana era? No? Well then, can I interest you in a left-handed version of that? Yeah, I didn't think so.
- Any reliever over the age of 35 – Umm, Jerry, you already tried the "old but reliable" bullpen philosophy. It was a disaster. Let's try something else, eh?
- Kyle Lohse – Another potential back-up plan if the lose out on Greinke. He's coming off two strong years mostly under the tutelage of Dave Duncan. A lot of Duncan disciples have fallen apart after bolting for another team and Lohse seems like a prime candidate to do so. It goes without saying, but Mike Butcher is no Dave Duncan. Go away, Lohse. Your kind ain't welcome 'round these parts.