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Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Angels' No-Good, Very Bad, Horrible Offseason Continues With A Joel Pinero Signing

Rumored to be for two years and $16M, it's just a bad idea from a front office that shot itself in the foot with John Lackey. Dear God, what a terrible offseason this has been for the Angels: losing Lackey to the Red Sox, Vlad — however injury-prone he's been — goes to the Rangers, and the lone consolation prize is Hideki Matsui? And now this turd in the punch bowl.

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Uh oh, bad vibe Rob is back. You don't buy that there's ANY possibility that Pineiro really did reinvent himself over the last two years? It wasn't like he had a flukey Matthews year. He learned a new pitch and a new philosophy. You can't attribute ground ball and walk rates that good to simple luck. Obviously last season was his high-water mark as a starter, but at his worse he's about as good as Matt Palmer, and he could turn out to be at least solid. There's hardly any risk with the two year deal, and he blocks no one that would have even a chance at performing better than him. Ben Sheets probably would have been my first choice, but this isn't the end of the world, especially for a fifth starter.
How many times will it take before this team learns that one-time good seasons do not deserve a high payout, i.e. the Gary Matthews, Jr. lesson?
I am finding this offseason as a bit of a success for the Angels. They didn't overpay for Lackey, they are giving Brandon Wood a shot at 3B (albiet, he will have to win the position) by letting Figgins go, and let a ghost version of Vlad walk; All providing considerable salary relief and draft picks. Matsui will have a better season that Vlad at DH and Piniero for two years is better than Matt Palmer and AAAA types.

Rodney for Oliver was an obvious mistake, but we will see how that turns out.

How does the Piniero signing make them worse?
Rob, the difference (I hope!) between a fluke year for GMJr. and Pineiro's sudden change in fortunes is that the latter is actually doing something different. GMJr., on the other hand, just went about being GMJr. A bunch of batted balls wound up landing in between the fielders in 2006, and he made a play that wound up on Web Gems. While there's certainly some aspect of luck involved with Pineiro, he is also doing something fundamentally different than he did before: throwing a sinker. Time will tell whether 2009 was a fluke, but it certainly sounds like he's much more likely to repeat 2009 or come darned close (he's not too old to be useful) than GMJr. is to repeat 2006.

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