Thursday, December 01, 2005

Getting a hitter

Now that Konerko is off the table, the Angels will likely go after another bat. But who?

The Chronicler lists a few possibilities:

Free agents: Garciaparra, Piazza, Thomas
Trade: Ramirez, Sweeney, Soriano, Glaus, Beltre.

I'll make a few assumptions: A DH will take at bats from a Rivera/ DaVanon platoon. Erstad goes back to center, Kotchman plays first. Sweeney would cost us Kotchman, Dallas McPherson would be part of any Beltre trade. Soriano would play CF, and Erstad would hit the bench or be gone.

Here are the moves in how much it would affect the Angels (above what they already have), using my projection system:

1) Manny Ramirez +31

Downside: Cost of 57 million. May demand to be used in the outfield. If so, he only helps by 10 runs. Worse, the Angels might put Anderson back in center, leave Erstad at first, and bench or trade Kotchman. I might refuse to watch any Angel team that gets Manny and doesn't DH him.

2) Adrian Beltre +25 (+16 offense, +9 defense, over D-Mac).

Cost: 4 years and about 52 million. Less than they would have paid Konerko. Beltre is likely to be much better than 2005, though he'll never match 2004. He's 27, the perfect year to get a player, and the youngest on this list. Even if his offense disappoints, he's a gold glove quality defender.

3) Troy Glaus +15

I'd love to have him back. 3 years and 36? million left.He could DH, or play 3rd if D-Mac is hurt/flops/gets traded.

4) Mike Sweeney +13

That's if he stays healthy, which is unlikely. Cheaper than the other options, but beyond 2006 Kotchman should be the better player. Casey may be better right now. Please don't make this move.

5) Frank Thomas +13

Reports are that he's not healing quickly. Given his size and age, I don't think he can stay healthy enough to even hit this modest projection. Shouldn't cost too much, but Angels better have a backup plan.

6) Nomar Garciaparra + 8

As a DH. I think the system underprojects what Nomar could do if he doesn't have to play the field. Could be another Molitor. I'd like to take this gamble.

7) Alphonso Soriano +7 (+17 offense, -10 defense)

Cost is reasonable, he'll make 10 million or so, but its only 1 year before he's a free agent. I don't have any data saying how he'd be in center, but it would probably be bad. He's never played there, would be learning at the big league level at age 30, doesn't seem like he'd be very happy or willing to work out there. I'd prefer the Angels pass on this one. He's more valuable to the Angels taking payroll, making errors, and not getting on base for a division rival, while still putting up superstar fantasy numbers.

8) Mike Piazza +4

Looks like he's about done, but could serve as DH/ part time catcher. May significantly beat the projection if freed from catching full time. Shouldn't cost much. I would be happy with this gamble. He should catch when we play the A's. Dare the moneyballers to run.