What to do? Part one, the lineup
The Angels made the obvious moves today, picking up the 2009 options on John Lackey and Vladimir Guerrero. In addition, they bought out Garret Anderson's 14 million dollar option for 3 million. They may still negotiate to bring him back, but that would be a mistake. Anderson projects to hit 272/319/425 next year. That is 5 runs below average as a hitter. In addition, he's no better than average in the field, and at left field and DH, you really need to have above average hitting.
Am I being too harsh on the franchise's alltime hits leader? I don't think so, I'm just being rational. That projection is only a bit below his 2008 line of 293/325/433, and at 37 years of age, you are kidding yourself if you don't expect further decline.
One thing this offseason free agent market abounds in is left fielder/ DH types, so there's no reason to settle for subpar production if we want another crack at advancing in the playoffs.
Other options for LF or DH include:
Ken Griffey Jr.
All project better than Anderson for 2009, even Willits, already on the team for just above the league minimum. Willits has zero power, but with his speed, ability to work the walk, and an expected rebound in batting average if he were given playing time, Willits projects to 263/372/338, which in a completely different way is worth as much as Anderson's bat, and Willits is the better defender.
In addition to left and DH, we've got 1B and 3B to resolve as well. Signing Mark Teixiera has to be the top priority, but we must have a contingency plan in case the Yankees make an offer he can't refuse. Chone Figgins played the best 3B of his career last season, but he may be moved in a trade, or used in left field if we acquired a third baseman or promoted one (B-Wood, Sean-Rod).
You never know what trades are in the works, but I think the middle infield of Aybar/Kendrick is set (despite an awful ALDS), Vlad and Torii are going nowhere, and Mike Napoli must catch more often.
To be continued, I'll try and look at some combinations among 3b/1b/lf/dh that Anaheim might see next year.