<$BlogRSDURL$>
Proceeds from the ads below will be donated to the Bob Wuesthoff scholarship fund.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Angels Long-Term Figgins, Rivera

Chone Figgins signed a three-year, $10.5M deal, while Juan Rivera inked a two-year, $1.5M deal, according to MLB.com, thus avoiding salary arbitration. Rivera's contract, as well as their failure to invite obvious candidate Nick Gorneault from AAA to spring training, says that the team clearly plans to make him its fourth outfielder for 2006 and 2007.

Update: Yes, everyone on the 40-man has an automatic invite to ST. So my bad on that one.

Figgins' deal is more intriguing. A three year-deal will take him through his age 30 season, by which time we can reasonably expect to see the speedy Figgins become the not-so-speedy Figgins. In two of those years -- and in all probability, this year -- we can expect Figgins to be the team's starting center fielder starting in 2007, with the possibility that he could take on that role this year once Erstad succumbs to the inevitable collapse of his fragile hamstrings. If you're not on the "Brandon Wood to center field" bandwagon, this is as good a time as any to hop on; it's hard to imagine the club eating the balance of Orlando Cabrera's absurd contract for 2007 and 2008.

Furthermore, it means that the team's actually bought some breathing room for Dallas McPherson if need be. He really has this year to prove himself before being shipped to somewhere for a real player or a solid prospect, but in case that doesn't work out, he's got Figgins to start at third until Erstad turns into a pumpkin. I'm still fairly optimistic about McPherson, but his clock is ticking. Let's hope it's a stopwatch and not a time bomb.

Update 2: It appears that the early reports on the money were wrong; AP says it's two years and $3.275 million. The $1.5M figure was probably a bastardization of the $1.25M he'll make next year.


Comments:
Gorneault's on the 40-man roster - he'll be at spring training without being "invited."
 
Cabrera is tradebait after this year. Anything over .260 nets us a decent prospect and an #4 starter/middle reliever.
 
I don't know why you have such an itchy trigger finger for D-Mac. Among other issues, we have no other CF prospects to speak of, so Figgins is going to need to cede his utility role to either Aybar or a combo of Izturis/Rivera. But more importantly, Dallas will hit for power in the big leagues (barring injury), and do it for cheap the next few years. Impatience like yours led to the mismanagement of good hitters like Jack Howell (which then begat disastrous signings like Gary Gaetti)....
 
I agree with Rev. As we are finding out this winter (and last), there will always be a team in need of a shortstop. Cabrera has a solid defensive reputation, to boot. Of course, as good as Aybar and Wood are, they are both VERY young, and they COULD slow down a bit, yet remain solid prospects. Which might mean an extra year of OC, not an entirely bad thing...
 
Matt -- D-Mac may hit for power in the big leagues, but the fear is he becomes Rob Deer. Given that D-Mac is gonna be 25 next year, and the fact that his strikeouts have increased at every level, his prospecty goodness is melting away. There's no question but that he has to prove himself, and in my mind, this year is it. Jack Howell, on the other hand, had an obvious failing that was correctable: he couldn't hit lefties, and it ruined him as a starter; the second time through he was actually a very nice platoon player.

Rev/John -- who knows but that team might just be the Braves if Renteria doesn't hold up...
 
Being a "very nice platoon player" is an extremely acceptable thing for a lefty-hitting young hitter to be. Yaz never hit lefties particularly well, and he did all right. The Hall of Very Good is filled with players who were essentially lefty platooners -- Rick Monday (a bigger whiffer than D-Mac, I'll bet), Lou Whitaker, even J.T. Snow.

It's when you pile on unreasonable expectations on a guy, and set up artificial "make-or-break" years, that you end up needlessly squandering perfectly decent talent. I don't need Dallas to be a star (though that'd be nice); I need him to hit something like .258/.318/.503 against righties. Which is exactly what he did last year.
 
What's more, there ain't nothing wrong with being a more athletic Rob Deer who can play 3B.

From ages 25 to 31, Deer's OPS+s were:

120
113
113
105
108
92
144

He hit 194 homers over those 7 seasons, and despite his terrible batting averages, managed to have an OBP of just around the league average.

For the price, that is *more* than acceptable production from 3B. Especially when you consider that:

* D-Mac strikes out much *less* (81/245 his first two years, compared to 81/186 for Deer).

* He's a much better athlete.

* His already-decent 2005 numbers were accomplished despite a pretty serious injury.
 
Rob, you are absolutely right about D-Mac. He's still a good prospect, but his age makes his window that much smaller. He NEEDS to have a good spring and follow that up with a solid, if unspectacular season - .250-.270 with 20-25 HR's and 70-80 RBI's. Something he can build on...otherwise we might very well see Wood moved to 3B sometime this season.
 
Matt --

The Hall of Very Good is filled with players who were essentially lefty platooners -- Rick Monday (a bigger whiffer than D-Mac, I'll bet), Lou Whitaker, even J.T. Snow.

Jeez, Matt, your short list includes J.T. Snow? Uh... don't know what to say to that one, probably something along the lines of, ouch.

It's when you pile on unreasonable expectations on a guy, and set up artificial "make-or-break" years, that you end up needlessly squandering perfectly decent talent.

Unreasonable? What's so unreasonable about expecting him to stay healthy, and actually proving he's worth all the hype over a full season? Plus, eight dingers in 205 AB is kinda weak.
 
I meant more that J.T. Snow has had a good career as a platoon player, not that he belongs on the "short list" of anything beyond that.

eight dingers in 205 AB is kinda weak.

It was the 4th best homer rate on the team last year. It was better (unadjusted for park) than Hank Blalock, Hideki Matsui, Aubrey Huff, Javy Lopez, and Torii Hunter.

With 502 plate appearances, his .449 SLG would have ranked 37th in the league; only five players above him were younger. At his age, Jim Edmonds hit just five homers in 289 ABs, yet he's turned out OK.

What's so unreasonable about ... actually proving he's worth all the hype over a full season?

I think your question answers itself.
 
Figgy signed for 10mil for three years he could have gotten more anywhere else,he is worth more.If Mac is healthy next year he will be a plus for the Angels,it's a mistake to move Erstad to center not that he can't play center He has played the game so hard over the years that it is starting to catch up to him.He is a great clutch hitter did strike out to much last year but i will take that,and does anyone keep records of the balls he digs out of the dirt at first? there is no one better.
 
Anon -- yes, Figgy would be worth more elsewhere. But the team decided to avoid three more years of arbitration and put him under contract, which is why he got only $10M. IIRC he will be eligible for another year of arbitration when he comes off this contract!
 

Post a Comment



Newer›  ‹Older
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Google

WWW 6-4-2