Thursday, November 22, 2007
Angels Sign Torii Hunter For $90M/5 Years
- It creates a surplus of outfielders. Unless the Angels are planning on giving Garret Anderson the boot, the logical evictees from the outfield would be Gary Matthews, Jr. plus a ton of cash to an unwitting third party, Reggie Willits, and/or Juan Rivera. According to the Times article above, the plan is to have GMJ and Hunter rotate in center, with Anderson and Hunter rotating in left, and Anderson switching out to DH with Vlad.
- It fails to fix the Angels' third base situation. Unless the team is still pursuing Miguel Cabrera — presumably, reports of A-Rod's signing with the Yankees for $280M/10 years are not a Jon Heyman fever dream — it fails to fix a glaring and longstanding weakness.
- It evicts younger players in Reggie Willits and Juan Rivera. Willits must needs be demoted to a fourth outfielder, and maybe not even that, which is liable to hurt his value to the team. His second half spiral didn't help his chances to keep any semblance of a starting job, and it looks like the club has given him a vote of no confidence going forward. As for Rivera, before his injury, he was looking like a far cheaper version of Hunter without the ability to play center (where he would have been redundant with GMJ) but with a similar slugging percentage. Did management believe he wouldn't come back from his broken leg?
Update: Another possibility raised at HH is that Vlad now becomes a perma-DH.
Despite his type A ranking by Elias, Hunter's value to the team is rather dubious thanks to his age, multiplied by having a career year in a contract year. PECOTA projected him as a 45 VORP player, and he came in a bit below that at 39.2. Now, four wins is nothing to sneeze at, but he marks the kind of player the Angels really shouldn't be chasing; they need a Hall of Fame caliber bat, and Hunter simply isn't that. As a fix for the outfield, it reaches meh levels, with the usual caveats that Hunter's comps were either out of baseball or ineffective by the time this deal will be over, when Hunter is 36.
Update: Jon implies his gratitude to the Angels for executing a plan that looks like it might have been endorsed by the Bad Idea Bears, swiping Hunter away from the Dodgers. The title of his post says it all: "Thanksgiiviing".
Update 2: I wonder if the Angels FO was reading this as inspiration...
yes, they still have needs, but i'd rather enter 2008 with Torii Hunter than without him.
Maicer Izturis had the better 2nd half of last year when Hunter had his career year. And we are going to be paying him 18 million a year?
They are going to be paying GMJ and Hunter an average of 28 million a year and they are essentially the same player. Horrible horrible horrible signing and Rob is right Reagins should have the keys taken away.
As far as trading for Cabrera, I really wish we keep our prospects/young players. Miggy is 24 and already on the road to eating himself out of the majors.
Unspectacular OBP, and MAYBE 30 homers a season.
And at a position where we've got a lot of expensive players.
We need to be pulling the trigger on deals that will move us from "bumped in the first round of the playoffs" to "world series champs", not ones that won't make the slightest difference next October.