If the Indians’ top priority for first base was getting a right-handed power hitter, they’d give Matt LaPorta (.968 OPS in AAA) or Shelley Duncan a real shot—there’s no need to trade for that. As for the rotation, Zach McAllister has been great, Ubaldo Jimenez is looking much better, and between Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez, and the stable of arms in Columbus they certainly have someone who can be a reliable No. 5 guy.
This team is a lot better than you (and most national columnists) seem to think.
I think the Vernon Wells’ situation could become a distraction for the Angels. Wells clearly doesn’t deserve playing time over any of their current starting outfielders, but his paycheck pretty much demands playing time. If they are willing to eat the vast majority of his remaining salary, it may make more sense to try to flip him for some usuable return.
Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — July 12, 2012 @ 2:04 pm
Even if the Angels ate ALL of this salary I wouldn’t give up anything useful in return.
Is he even replacement level anymore?
Currently no, but he’s 2 years removed from being about a 4 WAR player. With so many teams being contenders, people are going to have to overpay to get anyone. If they get one useful player back, that would be a huge score for the Angels. Maybe they can swindle someone into thinking he just needs a change of scenery.
Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — July 12, 2012 @ 2:27 pm
If you say “all other systems are go” for the Rangers, you haven’t been watching much Ranger baseball. What probably happened is you looked at the first half season stats and said “oh, the Rangers are at 18.0 hitting WAR (3rd overall) and 110 wRC+ (3rd overall)… everything must be going swimmingly on offense”.
However, break it down by month:
March/April : 6.0 WAR, 121 wRC+
May: 6.8 WAR, 115 wRC+
June: 5.3 WAR, 107 wRC+
July (to date): -0.1 WAR, 60 wRC+
in particular, the last 30 days (4.5 WAR, 102 wRC+) have been tough on the Rangers, especially when the Angels are putting up 8.5 WAR, 127 wRC+ over the same period. The games have been brutal to watch…
So, I think the real second-half stories at the top of the AL West are can the Angels continue to play out of their mind and can the Rangers offense come back to being well above average and hold them off?