Wednesday, July 30, 2008
More Reaction To The Teixeira Trade
- The Rev likes this deal as a "win-win" because of free agency draft picks if he leaves, unblocking Kendry Morales, and an improved offense if he stays.
- Christina Kahrl is pretty enthusiastic about this deal also:
In practical terms, Tex is the kind of slugger you love to have. Against top fireballers, he'll fight off being overpowered, get in a few rips, and take a base, that last representing something the Angels don't see much of; he simply murders off-speed pitchers. He's a true switch-hitter, in that he's not losing much to opposing pitchers because of their handedness. The Angels make a bit of a fetish of their mastery of situational hitting, and on that score, you would think that Tex should fit in, having already delivered on 16.3 percent of his baserunners; ranking 96th among the 378 hitters with 100 or more PA is more good than bad, and it's definitely not like they brought in someone decisively anathematic, like Jack Cust (298th).
In terms of the expense, giving up a bullpen arm and a still not-yet-something first baseman who's going to be arbitration-eligible and is only under control for three years is definitely a price worth paying, and against that you're getting two months with a premium first baseman in a lineup that needed a difference-making hitter of Teixeira's caliber. Beyond that, the Angels will also then get first shot at re-signing said premium first baseman (perhaps an attractive proposition, since the Angels are regular winners), and a pair of Type A free agent-generated compensatory draft picks if said premium first baseman decides that he doesn't like the color of your money, or that California taxes just aren't what he wants to pay. In the abstract, the picks themselves might have been worth it as a matter of repurposing Kotchman and Marek after both have come up short relative to the hopes invested in them as prospects, so from that point of view adding the two months with Tex at first base to take their best shot at winning the whole shebang just makes this that much tastier.
If there's really something to credit Tony Reagins for, it's some combination of the following factors:
- The recognition that no matter how much Kotchman was an organizational favorite son—literally, since his dad's in his third decade as a scout and manager in the organization—he wasn't blossoming into the kind of premium bat you need at first base;
- Accepting the math that tells you that three years of an adequate first baseman is something you give up to get two months of one of the best at the position to maximize this team's shot at another World Series win, because an adequate Kotchman is something you can replace without any effort (with Kendry Morales, perhaps);
- You didn't have to give up a blue-chip prospect to address your lineup's shortcomings. An arm to flavor the deal in an exchange of first basemen can be written off as the cost of doing business.
- You didn't settle. The Angels are playing to win, not just against their divisional rivals, but with an eye towards playing deep into October. This last might seem obvious, but Terry Ryan never figured it out in Minnesota, and nobody's suggesting that Ryan was a bad GM, just that this is an element of organizational management and opportunity management that not everybody gets.
- Seitz hates it: "[the] Angels have either misplaced faith in their ability to bring Tex back, or they think Morales will be ready. ... [In the] short run, it means they have a better chance to win. It also means they have to win, or the deal blows up in their faces."
- Also hating this deal: Stephen Smith.
- The Chronicler, who barely writes anything about anything anymore, is on the fence, both "sad and hopeful".
- Joe Florkowski sees this as an all-in trade, with substantial lineup implications (namely getting Izturis out of the three hole).
- Update: Count Bill Shaikin of the Times as one reckoning this as a win-it-all-or-bust deal:
This is not one of those trades where we have to wait two or three years to determine whether the Angels won. We'll know in three months.
"A World Series, for me, would make this trade successful," Teixeira said.
For you, for your general manager, for your owner. These were the words of Arte Moreno 10 days ago: "I don't see anyone that can come in here for two months and hand me a World Series trophy."
We left a message with a team spokesman asking Moreno to explain what changed, what persuaded him to approve the trade despite his aversion to rental players.
In three months, after all, the Angels could be left with no Teixeira, no Casey Kotchman and no World Series trophy. Kotchman will be good, for a good long time.
Moreno did not get back to us, but Reagins said it all. The Angels won the World Series in 2002, in the final season before Disney sold the team to Moreno, energizing a fan base that Moreno has dramatically enlarged.
- Update 2: Commenter Gilberto Reyes in today's DT thread (comment 65) makes this useful observation vis-à-vis the Dodgers:
I am in favor of the Dodgers standing pat at the trade deadline. I think the Angels move to acquire Texeira actually helped the Dodgers save their future. Arizona's offer to Atlanta appeared to be the best for the Braves until the Angels stepped up and offered Kotchman. If the D-Backs would have picked up Tex, I think Colletti would have been pressured to respond. A bad move like Jack Wilson for LaRoche would have been the likely result.Given that the Diamondbacks were rumored to be after Teixeira, it's probably best that things ended up this way for them.