Halo Headlines: Angels could sign Ibanez soon, Garza their top priority

The December 12th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Angels could sign Ibanez soon, Garza their top priority and much more…

The Story: The Angels could be close to signing Raul ibanez.

The Monkey Says: He might even be signed by the time you read this. Dipoto works fast. However, at the time of this writing, Dipoto claims he isn't close on any deals. Still, Ibanez was listed as a top target for them the second they traded Trumbo. They want a relatively cheap lefty DH and Ibanez should be just that. He actually was more productive that Trumbo last season with a 117 wRC+ (Trumbo was at 106), but a lot of that came from him hitting lefties well again after being abysmal against southpaws the previous two years. At worst, Ibanez is a solid platoon DH, but if signed, he'll probably be more of a full-time player.

The Story: Matt Garza is the Angels' primary target in free agency.

The Monkey Says: Again, a lot of people expected this. And again, it could happen very soon as 24 hours ago it was reported that Garza should make a decision in the next 48 hours. There is hot competition for Garza, but if the money is right, the Angels have an advantage over the Twins. Meanwhile, the D'Backs are said to be moving on to focusing on Tanaka. This is shaping up well for the Halos.

The Story: Mike Scioscia says Mike Trout will bat second next season.

The Monkey Says: He doesn't say who will bat leadoff though, which is concerning because that means it could be Aybar and that is a terrible idea. If the Angels sign Ibanez, it would make sense for Calhoun to leadoff. I could see a scenario though where Kendrick leads off instead.

The Story: Keith Law believes Tyler Skaggs' struggles last season were due to a change in stride Arizona coaches forced on him.

The Monkey Says: This is actually great news. If the Halos let him go back to his old stride, then Law thinks he can get his velocity back as well as the sharpness on his curve. That could allow Skaggs to reach his ceiling of being a quality #2 starter and make the trade a real steal for the Halos.

The Story: Jonah Keri passes along rumors that Tyler Skaggs might have a reputation for bad work habits.

The Monkey Says: That might explain why Arizona was eager to give him up. However, Gabe Kapler on Fox Sports recently claimed he works out with Skaggs and says the kid is a beast. Considering Kapler's own reputation for being a workout freak, his word on this seems pretty strong.

The Story: A look at A.J. Schugel the prospect the Angels gave up in the Trumbo trade.

The Monkey Says: The Angels aren't missing out on anything here.

The Story: Mike Scioscia believes that Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton can both have big seasons in 2014.

The Monkey Says: This is just Scioscia saying what he should be saying. Yes, Pujols should be healthier, but can he stay that way? As for Hamilton, he is a weird cat, so maybe being in left field will help him focus, but who knows. The dude is an enigma. He could post a .650 OPS or win AL MVP, nobody really even knew what was wrong with him to begin with, so assuming it can be fixed or that it won't get worse seems foolish.

The Story: Scott Boras makes a case that the Angels should sign Kendrys Morales.

The Monkey Says: As a player, he actually is a pretty good git. The problem is that he will be expensive and cost the Angels their first round pick. If not for the pick, I could see Morales being a target if the Angels strike out on Garza and Tanaka, but they can't afford both. However, Dipoto has been pretty clear that they aren't interested in giving up their pick, so they aren't going to be taking Boras up on his suggestion.

The Story: Mike Scioscia and others chime in on the proposed ban on home plate collisions.

The Monkey Says: Scioscia was famous for blocking the plate, but he seems to be of the mind that this is a good idea. He is entirely correct though that it will be very difficult to enforce.

The Story: Why Bobby Grich will never be a Hall of Famer.

The Monkey Says: Old men white men making consensus decisions usually works out so positively, I'm surprised to hear about all of this dysfunction.

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.