Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Angels Are Awfully Quiet

When is the last time the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on the west coast of the United States of America have been in the news? It's been a long time. They were rumored to be in on the Carl Crawford sweepstakes, but nothing has been heard since that early rumor. The Dodgers have been in the news several times but so far nothing from Moreno's Marauders.

According to Buster Olney, the Angels are abandoning their recent practice of making an offer, having it be a final offer and setting a deadline. Olney says there will be more give and take. If there is some give and take going on, they are very good at keeping the maneuverings off of the news wires. The Angels need a third baseman and they need pitching. The Fan would add catching to that list, but perhaps this will be the year of Hank Conger.

Getting Kendry Morales back will be like making a free agent signing because he's a heck of a player. So first base is covered. Hunter is all set in right. Bourjos, the young center fielder, showed some promise last year in his debut, but he didn't hit for average. The Angels will probably let him start the year in center and see what happens. Hopefully, that will work out better than the Brandon Wood situation. Kendrick is fine for now at second and Erick Aybar is just okay as a shortstop. That all leaves left field, third base and catcher as weak spots.

If the Angels could land Crawford, he would be a dynamic upgrade in left. Abreu could DH at that point. Abreu has to do something but play left field. His age is really catching up with him. Adrian Beltre would be a great pick up at third too. If the Angels could land Crawford AND Beltre, they would vault right up there with the Rangers again as a real contender for the AL West.

But they need pitching too. The bullpen was bad last year. There is no better way to say it. But there are a lot of relievers out there on the market and there is no reason why the Angels can't rebuild a bullpen. The rotation has the makings to be very good. Kazmir should be dropped as that experiment is not going well. But Weaver is one of the elite pitchers in the AL and Santana, Pineiro and Haran make them solid 1-4. They just need to come up with a fifth. Their best pitching prospects are not yet available. But a flyer on some of the other borderline starters out there could work out just as well or better than Kazmir.

As they stand now, the Angels don't appear to have the talent to keep up with the Rangers and that's why it must be a little disconcerting for Angels' fans to have heard so little to this point. But the good news is that the Angels are just two moves away from being a really good team. The question is whether they can or want to get that done.

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