Earlier today Barack Obama, the guy who is president, spoke at Michigan State. The speech made its way to the recently-passed farm bill, which Obama described as a jack of all trades.
“It’s like a Swiss Army knife…it’s like Mike Trout, for those of you who know baseball. It’s somebody who’s got a lot of tools and multitasks. It’s creating more jobs.”
Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA system projects 6.8 WARP (Wonderful Agricultural Rating Points) for the farm bill in 2014, strengthening the president’s comp.
The farm bill is good for conservation (power), should work quickly (speed), will strengthen the American infrastructure (defense), is going to hit .330, and has a fringy arm.
How exactly Trout will create jobs is sort of indirect. When he inevitably signs the largest contract in baseball history, Trout should drive up the value of free agents and contribute to the further inflation of the baseball industry. Since baseball continues to re-invest in its products, it’s likely that the inflation of the industry will create jobs.
The Angels have agreed with Carlos Pena and Brennan Boesch to minor league deals, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times.
Carlos Pena appeared in 89 games with the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals in 2013, slashing at a .207/.321/.346 clip. Pena had outstanding seasons in the late 2000s, but his on-base ability has plummeted as he’s reached his mid-30s. In 2013, his once glorious power faded, making him the type of player who gets a minor league contract.
Brennan Boesch, whose last name is pronounced like Miami Heat forward’s, was equally droll in 2013, appearing in 31 games between Triple-A and the Majors for the Yankees.
Both players figure to compete for bench spots on the 2014 club, having also been invited to Major League Spring Training, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. It’s likely that the deals include opt-out clauses if the player does not make the Major League team by a certain date, though the specifics have yet to be released.
The top of Los Angeles Angels’ starting rotation is pretty much set, but there are a number of back-of-the-rotation options still available. With the Halos’ likely 2014 outcome being that of a mid-80s win total and another year of Mike Trout MVP snubbery, back-end arms would be a wise investment.
The Angels’ current five-man rotation consists of Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago, and Tyler Skaggs. Weaver and Wilson figure to be the top two arms in the rotation, and then it’s a race for third, with legitimate arguments for Richards, Santiago, and Skaggs. That’s not the worst three-to-five ever, but neither hurler logged over 150 innings last season, in the minors or majors.
In a perfect world, the Angels would have the budget or the assets to make a play for a top-flight starter. There’s going to be around $15 million of wiggle room for the Angels to play with while staying under the $189 million luxury tax threshold, and that tightness precluded the Angels from engaging in talks with Masahiro Tanaka, and apparently took them out of the race for Matt Garza. The top remaining free agent arms are Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, both of whom come with price tags of a first round draft pick. So, the Halos are pretty much in the market for a back-end arm.
If the Angels could find the right arm at the right price, it could be a steal. With a one-year commitment to such a player, the Angels could see a small boost in the rotation and, should things go south, flip the player to the highest bidder for a mediocre prospect.
A back-end free agent would ideally bring to the table a track record of pitching a lot of innings and a lot of games. (So a guy like Joe Blanton! Just kidding.) There are a number of options available, and we’ll be running through them this week. Today, let’s discuss Paul Maholm…
If the Yankees purchased Massive Hero at Subway (in January), they could have acquired 31 million footlongs. #Januany
Yesterday, the Angels’ offseason plan was impacted by the news of the Yankees’ agreement with a massive hero named Tanaka. Not long ago, the Angels were rumored to be among the favorites to land massive hero, but then the team didn’tmeat with massive hero when it visited the left coast. This was the latest result of Arte Moreno’s desire to keep the Angels’ payroll below the $189 million tax threshold.
I know what you’re thinking. Couldn’t the Angels have used Mike Trout‘s connections at Subway to get a really good deal on massive hero? The Angels are still relatively thin in the rotation, and the number of options available is shrinking rapidly.
Well, the Halos have about $15 million of wiggle room, and, as MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez explains, the club will attempt to fill that wiggle room with free agent starting pitcher Matt Garza, who is easily the top arm available that is not tied to draft pick compensation. If they fail to sign Garza, the Angels will take a stab at bottom tier free agent arms with the hope of catching fire in a bottle
While the massive hero deal doesn’t have a tremendous impact on the Halos, it does point to how their previous, recent mistakes haunt them now, and prevent them from competing in more ways than one.
The short list of pitching options could include fellas like Bronson Arroyo, Jeff Niemann, Suk-Min Yoon, Jeff Karstens, and Bruce Chen. Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana are the top pitchers remaining in the market, but each hurler received and rejected a qualifying offer from his previous team, meaning that the Angels would need to sacrifice a top draft pick to sign either player, something they appear very unwilling to do.
With the ninth pick in this morning’s Rule V draft, the Toronto Blue Jays selected left-handed pitcher Brian Moran from the Seattle Mariners. Shortly thereafter, the Angels acquired Moran in exchange for an international bonus slot worth $244,000.
In Baseball America’s Rule V preview, Moran is listed as a “player who can help now”. BA describes him as “probably a one-out lefty; great against left-handed hitters but gets ripped by righties.”
Come Spring Training, Moran will have a chance to compete for a bullpen spot, presumably against Buddy Boshers, Michael Roth, Robert Carson, and Nick Maronde. His chances of making the team are slim, however, with the Angels’ 40-man roster now at 39 and the club’s rumored interest in free agents Matt Garza and Raul Ibanez, not to mention the fact that the bullpen is suddenly becoming crowded with guaranteed contracts (Joe Blanton, Joe Smith, Joe The Plumber).
Still, Moran gets a chance, and the Angels were apparently not going to spend their international bonus money anyhow.