Thursday, November 22, 2007


It's fair to see that few people saw the Anaheim California L.A. Angels as serious players for centre-fielder Torii Hunter, whose five-year, $90-million U.S. deal was announced last night. Where is the money going to come from to pay Miguel Cabrera when they get him from the Florida Marlins?

Hunter has a few good years left, but in time this could end up looking like a West Coast version of the Yankees' signing of Johnny Damon signing two years ago. Hunter won't fall off a cliff like Damon has, but he's not that great a hitter (career OBP: .324). Nevertheless, the LAAALAS (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from Latin America; hat tip to Halos Heaven) have a rookie GM, Tony Reagins and suffice to say, his approval rating will rise and fall on how Hunter does in Orange County.

The Angels have a surfeit of outfielders who all carry serious baggage -- aging Garret Anderson has to be phased out, Vlady Guerrero's body seems to breaking down, Gary Matthews Jr. has HGH questions hanging over his head, young Juan Rivera has an injury history and Reggie Willits doesn't seem able to hit for power. Someone is getting jettisoned.


Tyler King said...

"Reggie Willits doesn't seem able to hit for power"

Reggie Willits is forced to run laps every time he hits a home run in batting practice (seriously).

He can, but is told not to, hit for power.

sager said...

That's just smart coaching... Willits was a 5-homer man in the minors too... if he could hit for power, the LAAALAs would turn him loose to... but he can't, so they rein him in.

Tyler King said...

But he's a ridiculously good contact hitter. I just don't see it as 'serious baggage'.

sager said...

.344 slugging from a corner outfielder?

Heck, McGlovin slugged .333 last year.

Jim Burnett said...

Willits is a great contact hitter who would be a great 4th outfielder and situational pinch runner/pinch hitter. You pinch him when you need a grounder up the middle to score a run while the opposition is firing a k-man from the bullpen.

Pete Toms said...

Keith Law today on Hunter / Willits.

"The Angels are one of the least patient teams in baseball.... Reggie Willits, whose playing time is probably hurt the most by this deal, was the only Angel to draw 60 unintentional walks in 2007, and in fact led the American League in P/PA at 4.44, more than a full pitch above Hunter's 3.37 figure. If Reagins can't foist Matthews' albatross contract on another club, Willits would seem to be headed out of town himself.