Halo Headlines: reactions to the Hamilton signing, Moreno explains his motives, considering the Angels trade options

The December 17th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including reactions to the Hamilton signing, Moreno explains his motives, considering the Angels trade options and much more…

The Story: Keith Law believes the addition of Josh Hamilton might only be a short-term gain.

The Monkey Says: Before I begin, let me apologize for the lack of content on Friday.  I moved to my new house and Comcast apparently decided that I didn't need to have internet connectivity for a few days.  As such, these links are going to be a little dated and very lengthy.  Also, I haven't unpacked my eyeglasses, so there will probably some typos… well, more typos than normal, I should say.  Anyway, Law doesn't seem overly down on the deal, which is a compliment of sort coming from him.  But he echoes the primary concern of many in that Hamilton may not be able to stay healthy enough to make the contract worthwhile.  In fact, he might decline more rapidly due to his career fragility.

The Story: The Josh Hamilton signing has blown up all modern analysis of contract value.

The Monkey Says: I might be oversimplifying that a little bit, but the idea that teams like the Angels continue to overpay players and continue to hand out big contracts no matter how well they worked out in the past certainly does make the job of a baseball analyst hard.  Not to make this about me, but I never believed the Angels were done after signing Blanton and going to sit at a $140 million payroll.  I thought maybe they'd sign a mid-tier guy like Marcum or Saunders, but no way did I think they'd make such a bold move as signing Hamilton.  I bring this up because I think I was one of the few who thought the Angels would still spend even a little bit, yet they go out and do this.  You can't predict baseball.

The Story: Concern over Josh Hamilton's rapidly declining contact and swing rate.

The Monkey Says: This is definitely a major concern, but I also can't help but think that something screwy was going on with Hamilton even outside of all the actual screwy stuff we already knew about.  I mean, he just completely changed as a hitter over the course of one off-season.  That just doesn't happen without reason and maybe that means there is a chance he can regain his old form.  I'm not going to hold my breath though.

The Story: Rangers GM Jon Daniels is upset that Josh Hamilton didn't give Texas a chance to match the Angels' offer as he had promised he would.

The Monkey Says: First off, boo freakin' hoo.  Second, I think Daniels is bluffing.  There was no way Texas was ever going five years on Hamilton.  I think he is playing this card so that any fans upset about Hamilton leaving won't blame Daniels.  Instead, it is Josh that looks like the bad guy because he reneged on his promise to let the Rangers match the offer.

The Story: Torii Hunter seemed upset that the Angels paid Josh Hamilton instead of him.

The Monkey Says: Again, boo hoo.  Like Torii said, it is a business and it seems pretty clear that the money "under the mattress" was being hidden away like that only for a star player, which Hunter is not anymore.  Also, that's awfully big talk coming from a guy who in the course of one interview last July said he wanted to retire as an Angel and that's it, but then a few quotes later said he'd also consider signing with the Yankees, Rangers or Dodgers.  As you might now know, Hunter plays for Detroit.  So there's that.

The Story: The Josh Hamilton signing will cost the Angels their first-round pick in this year's draft.

The Monkey Says: Another draft without a first-rounder?  Who needs prospects when you have all that sweet, sweet TV money, right?

The Story: The Angels did not put any language in Hamilton's contract regarding his substance abuse, but they did hire his accountability buddy.

The Monkey Says: Honestly, for that kind of money, they should hire him an accountability squadron.

The Story: The change in home ballparks might not affect Josh Hamilton all that much.

The Monkey Says: Not totally sure I buy that since they kind of glossed over the whole marine layer aspect of the change.  I'm far more concerned about his five homers and .440 SLG in 166 career plate appearances at Angel Stadium.

The Story: Arte Moreno says signing Josh Hamilton had nothing to do with the Dodgers or Zack Greinke.

The Monkey Says: He states that Hamilton was merely the only player on the market he was willing to go this big for.  I don't buy it for a second.  The timeline actually does line up with them losing Greinke because the Halos had more or less punted on Zack by the time the Winter Meetings started.  I think that from that point, barring Greinke shocking the world and signing somewhere besides Texas or LA, Moreno decided he was going to order Jerry Dipoto to go out and land Hamilton.

The Story: Josh Hamilton's wife thinks the Rangers made a mistake by letting Josh talk to other teams.

The Monkey Says: Complete with horrible Beyonce "shoulda put a ring on it" reference.

The Story: Josh Hamilton is being sued over the "Play Hard, Pray Harder" slogan.

The Monkey Says: Sour grapes anyone?

The Story: Buster Olney believes the Josh Hamilton signing was made by Arte Moreno and not the front office.

The Monkey Says: I can't say for sure if that is a real report or just his speculation, but it is hard to disagree given the evidence that has been made public, though that may just be a small percentage of all the actual evidence.

The Story: The Angels have said that they are not trading Mark Trumbo, but the Braves are said to be very interested in him.

The Monkey Says: I don't think Trumbo is off limits, but I do think trading Bourjos makes a lot more sense.  Methinks the Halos just want to make sure people know they will have to pay top dollar to get Trumbo.  Atlanta might be a match in that regard as they have a number of high potential young arms like Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran that could be of great interest to the Halos.

The Story: Kendrys Morales is already drawing trade interest, with Houston, Tampa and Cleveland listed as possible destinations.

The Monkey Says: Actually, moving Morales makes the most sense as they are likely to lose him via free agency after the season anyway.  However, that, combined with his injury history, also is what makes him the least valuable trade asset from the collection of Bourjos, Trumbo and Morales.  I don't really see how Houston or Cleveland are matches for the Angels since they don't have the kind of pitching the Angels would want.

The Story: Peter Bourjos is Cameron Maybin.

The Monkey Says: Which is great for his trade value.  As the article states, Maybin showed that Bourjos' skillset can work well in the majors.  Combined with Bourjos not yet being arbitration eligible and it seems like he should probably keep his bags packed so he can head off to his new team on a moment's notice.

The Story: The Yankees have discussed trading for Vernon Wells.

The Monkey Says: Good for them.  If they are willing to give up even a fringe prospect, the Halos should jump on it.  Moving Wells wouldn't preclude them from trading Bourjos/Trumbo/Wells though, so this would just be the cherry on top for their off-season.

The Story: The Angels have talked to the Tigers about pitcher Rick Porcello.

The Monkey Says: Porcello stinks, but he is just 24 and was once considered an elite prospect.  Some think he can be a better pitcher if he was on a team that could actually field all the grounders he induces, but he still seldom misses bats, so he'd be nothing more than a fifth starter in Anaheim and they don't really need another one of those, especially if it costs them Bourjos, Morales or Trumbo.

The Story: It is possible the Angels could still add a mid-tier free agent starting pitcher.

The Monkey Says: I don't believe that for one second.  If anything, they are putting that out there to try and get a little bit of leverage in trade talks since opposing GMs all know they want starting pitching now.

The Story: The Angels signed Dominican catcher prospect Mario Martinez.

The Monkey Says: A big international prospect signing for the Angels?  Nice to see that they finally have their act together in Latin America again.

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.