The December 13th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including contract details for Blanton and Burnett, Madson set on being closer, Wilson not surprised Greinke left and much more…
The Monkey Says: Nothing too surprising other than Burnett having a vesting option that should be pretty achievable for him so long as he stays healthy. Blanton also has an option for 2015, but it isn't a vesting option. Nothing against Joe, but one would hope the Halos will have better options to turn to by then.
The Monkey Says: He says he is maybe a little ahead of schedule in his recovery, so that would certainly help his case. However, Mike Scioscia was very careful to not make any promises about any of the bullpen roles at yesterday's press conference to introduce all of the Angels' new pitchers.
The Monkey Says: You mean the idiosyncratic pitcher on the team was able to tell that the other idiosyncratic pitcher on the team intended to test the free agent waters just like he did last off-season? Weird.
The Monkey Says: He sounded confident that he can get past that problem. Specifically, he mentioned that he had stepped up his off-season workout program this year and it certainly did appear that he had dropped some weight. Joe Blanton also looked slimmer, not that he had injury issues, but it never hurts when guys are in better shape.
The Monkey Says: So here is my theory. The Angels want to add another quality starting pitcher, but they don't want to pay big bucks for one, so they are going to wait out the market in the hopes that someone like Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum or Joe Saunders is left standing when the music stops. They can then swoop in with a one-year deal that will fit into the modest amount of budget room they have left.
The Story: Should the Angels have kept Zack Greinke?
The Monkey Says: I agree with the very confusing strategy of cutting payroll down to below pre-2011 levels. I can understand that maybe the team wasn't as profitable as could be, but Moreno has said that is a secondary motivation. Also, the new TV contract with Fox Sports West has kicked in, as has the increased revenue from MLB's national TV deal. If anything, Moreno should be willing to spend more, not less. $147 million for Greinke is clearly an overpay, but it isn't if the Angels can afford it, which it looks like they can. Also, Greinke has a good track record of durability and isn't that old, so he was a relatively safe bet. I've got to think that this was a mistake, a mistake that is compounded by Dipoto burning three prospects by trading for him in the first place. The only logical explanation I would accept is that the Angels are saving their money for the 2014 free agent class, but the "top" pitchers in that group are Matt Garza and Josh Johnson who are either not as good as Greinke or carrying major health questions or both.