Halo Headlines: Freese trade and Smith signing reactions, Angels interested in Colon

The November 25th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Freese trade and Smith signing reactions, Angels interested in Colon and much more…

The Story: The Cardinals were the smarter trade partner in the Freese-Bourjos swap.

The Monkey Says: It is hard to disagree, the Cardinals got more long-term value and upside. Both sides took a lot of risk though. I think Bourjos' injury history is being glossed over to easily. A player that gets almost all of his value from his speed that has a history of hip and hamstring problems is kind of a massive risk. The wrist problems he has had are no small matter either. Wrist injuries are just about the worst thing that can happen to a hitter. I still think Bourjos is a gamble worth making, but a lot of people seem to be penciling him in for a two win season when he may not even play 50 games.

The Story: The Freese-Bourjos trade cleared logjams for both clubs.

The Monkey Says: This is the value in the deal I think a lot of people are overlooking. Without this trade, the Angels were going to be lucky to get replacement level work out of the third base position. Now they should get league average production or better. Meanwhile, having Calhoun to slot into Bourjos' starting spot, they may not lose any value at all as Calhoun was a one win player in the 58 games he played in 2013. The Angels, and the Cardinals, used spare parts to fill needs. Now, I get the argument that the Angels should have used that spare part to address the bigger need of pitching, but if Freese was also Bourjos was going to net, what kind of starting pitcher would he really have returned?

The Story: The Cardinals and Angels also discussed a trade for Erick Aybar, but it went nowhere.

The Monkey Says: The Cardinals were not going to take on his salary and give up a top young pitcher. Supposedly the Angels wanted Shelby Miller and for St. Louis to take on all of Aybar's contract. Talks broke down at that point.

The Story: The Angels signed Joe Smith for three years and $15.75 million.

The Monkey Says: It took a little time to nail down the exact money figure in the deal, but that is where it landed. It is also worth noting that the Angels will have to cut someone to make room on the 40-man roster. They have a plenty of potential non-tenders on their roster (Chris Nelson, Juan Gutierrez, etc.), so it will likely be one of them.

The Story: Jerry Dipoto abandoned his principles in signing Joe Smith.

The Monkey Says: I said the same thing when the contract was announced. I have defended Dipoto a lot because even though many of his decisions haven't worked out, he used the right process to come to that decision. Now he is abandoning that process out of desperation and that is just a recipe for disaster.

The Story: The Smith signing used up a big chunk of the Angels remaining budget and room under the luxury tax.

The Monkey Says: I apologize. There was a better article with the details, but I lost the link. Basically, the Angels have about $8 million before they hit the luxury tax, a figure I am a bit skeptical of based on my own calculations. Nonetheless, they are also sitting pretty close to $150 million in actual payroll, which is Moreno's normal artificial payroll ceiling. It is inevitable that they will have to trade Howie Kendrick and his salary to get one good young pitcher and then use the cleared money to sign low-end veteran to round out the staff.

The Story: The Angels have shown interest in Bartolo Colon and Bronson Arroyo, but nothing is imminent.

The Monkey Says: The Arroyo news is old, but the Colon rumor is not. He would be a nice fit as a guy coming off a strong season that would only merit a one- or two-year deal. It would probably be expensive from an average annual value standpoint though, so he might be too pricey. Also, there are durability issues with Colon as well as the fact that C.J. Wilson had some nasty things to say about him after Colon got busted for PEDs.

The Story: Jerry Dipoto says that Ernesto Frieri will be the closer next season.

The Monkey Says: Frieri is what he is. When he is on, he is unhittable. When he isn't he gets taken out of the yard at an alarming rate. I'd rather see the Angels mix-and-match with Frieri, Smith and Burnett at the end of games, but that is probably too progressive for Scioscia.

The Story: The emergence of Kole Calhoun made Peter Bourjos expendable.

The Monkey Says: It also made my conflict of interest go away as I had unhealthy mancrushes on both of them and it was starting to get rather difficult to juggle them both.

The Story: Jim Eppard has been re-hired as a roving hitting coordinator and Nick Francona, Terry's son, will be the coordinator of Major League intelligence.

The Monkey Says: Eppard obviously didn't work wonder in his short stint as the Angels hitting coach, but he has always been well regarded for the work he did in the minors. He'll be back doing that now. As for Tito's son, he'll be working with Rick Eckstein in the new de facto defensive coordinator position.

The Story: Mark Trumbo isn't about to take trash talk from Keith Law on Twitter.

The Monkey Says: Juvenile, yes, but you can't blame him for wanting to respond to an unprovoked slam from a highly followed and influential baseball analyst. Law is right about Trumbo and sliders, but good for Mark for standing up to him.

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.