Saturday, November 05, 2011

Angels off-season - wishing for Prince and bracing for realistic moves

Under new management, the Angels have to start somewhere, with moves to be made and hoping for better fortunes in 2012 - I'd love to see the organization go out and sign Prince Fielder, since it would like when Vladimir Guerrero fell into their laps back in the 2004 off-season.

Getting an impact bat like Fielder's in the middle of the Angels lineup may not be realistic but a Fielder changes the Angels middle of the lineup immensely - right now the Angels don't really have that intimidating presence and they need more offense.

Other moves the Angels may make maybe to fill holes here and there - the Rangers maybe the class of the American League West, but the Angels maybe able to close a bit of the gap, at least on paper by doing the following:

1.) Signing Aramis Ramirez - if the Angels could sign him, he'd be a legitimate power-hitting third baseman to build on for the next few years. He's getting older and just maybe he has gotten somewhat of a bum rap in Chicago, but Ramirez isn't done.

In reality for the Angels, a stop gap like Casey Blake [even at 38 or 39] could be an answer the team maybe willing to consider - maybe re-sign Alberto Callaspo and splitting duties with 24-year old prospect Luis Jimenez.

2.) Sign Heath Bell - even after making the All-Star team in 2011 and picking up 32 saves, maybe Jordan Walden isn't quite ready to be the late-inning guy for the Angels yet. Having Bell as a mentor for the next couple of seasons allows Walden to step back just a little and not be overused at a relatively young age.

3.) Sign or trade for a catcher that can hit .250 with moderate power - the options aren't great but maybe a Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder or Kelly Shoppach could be given an opportunity, with the idea you can't afford Jeff Mathis earning playing time behind the plate when he has shown no ability to hit Major League pitching.

Ramon Hernandez maybe a better idea - though he might be past his prime to command the salary he might be asking for.

4.) Sign a No. 4 or No. 5 pitcher - Hiroki Kuroda hasn't been spectacular but he has been serviceable and doesn't have to leave Southern California to continue his MLB career. If the Angels could give Joel Pineiro $16 million for two-years once upon a time, then it should have a problem trying to sign Kuroda to a similar deal.

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