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  1. 32 points
    There are some who are disappointed with Eppler's relatively modest off-season so far: he didn't sign any big name free agents, whether intentionally or because they simply wanted to play elsewhere. No Corbin, Ramos, Happ, Eovaldi, Morton, Donaldson, Familia, etc - all players that would have significantly improved the team. Instead we got a strange group of players in Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill, Justin Bour, Jonathan Lucroy, and Kevan Smith--not to mention his usual few clean peanuts. Now the offseason isn't over. The two biggest fish--Bryce Harper and Manny Machado--remain on the board, as well as the top free agent catcher, Yasmani Grandal, and top reliever, Craig Kimbrel. There are alsoquite a few other interesting options such as David Robertson, Jed Lowrie, Dallas Keuchel, Mike Moustakas, Asdrubal Cabrera, Marwin Gonzalez, DJ Le Mahieu, Brian Dozier, etc. And of course there's Kikuchi. But the Angels, presumably, only have another $10-15M to spend. That pretty much prices them out of Harper, Machado, and Keuchel. Kimbrel seems unlikely, and if Grandal still expects 4/$60M+, he won't be donning an Angels uniform. Maybe the Angels take a flier on a reliever as well as an infielder, although it is also possible they are basically set with what they have. Eppler has been known to surprise us (e.g. the Andrelton Simmons trade). But the moves so far tell us quite a bit about what his plan is. Consider that they are all one-year deals for players mostly coming off down years, who are solid bets to provide decent returns, but also with small chances of being huge bargains if they rediscover former glories. In other words, they aren't the type of players that you acquire if you are dead-set on competing in 2019; they are the type of players you acquire if your focus is on the future and are filling holes in the mean-time, yet also don't want to write off your chances of competing in 2019. In other words, they are the type of players that you can hope will surprise, but probably shoudn't expect to. If Eppler was focusing on the so-called "Trout Window" of 2019-20, he'd have gone hard after a more reliable starter--if not Corbin, then certainly Keuchel or Happ. He'd have signed at least one elite reliever, and have upgraded the offense in some significant way - either offering more to Ramos or signing Grandal. He also could have traded some of their prospect capital for further upgrades. A few other tweaks and the team could have been a good bet for 90 wins. Yes, it would have pushed the budget up higher, but he could have done so while staying under the salary cap. But the problem with that approach is that while it makes the team better over the next few years, it lessens the chances of long-term success through tying up funds in more good but non-premium players (Keuchel being a prime example). The Angels already have a near-term salary problem, with $80M owed to three players in 2019 (Trout, Pujols, Upton), $84M to the same three in 2020 (plus another $15M to Simmons, to make it $100M for four), and if we assume that Trout is extended for $40M/year and Simmons for $20M/yr starting in 2021, that's $113M for four players in 2021. That's also the year Tyler Skaggs hits free agency and Shohei Ohtani has his first arbitration year. Thankfully Cozart ($12.67M/yr) comes off the books, so that helps a bit. In 2022, the Angels will (hopefully) be paying Trout, Simmons, and Upton something like $90M, but then Upton comes off the books, but then you have to factor in extensions for various players, rising arbitration, etc. Fielding a competitive baseball team is expensive. Unless you're willing to spend $200M+ a year, you need to be savvy and try to fill as much of your roster with low-cost talent. The best way to do that is through farm development. You focus on growing talent from within, then you extend the best of that talent, and augment the team through free agency and trades. But you protect that farm talent as best you can, because it is the source of your low-cost talent. The temptation for many a GM is to trade that talent for "Proven Veterans." Sometimes this is the right thing to do (e.g. Simmons), but sometimes it is devastating, both by leaving the farm barren of talent and requiring more money spent on free agency, and you end up with crippling albatrosses like Wells, Pujols, and Hamilton. Back to 2019. What I see Eppler doing is focusing on the 2020s. He hopes to be competitive in 2019--that's why he did spend some money, rather than just "playing the kids." But he refuses to dip into the quickly improving--but still delicate--farm system. The Angels, by general consensus, have a farm system ranked somewhere around 10th in the majors. A big trade or two could quickly set them back to around 20th. Continued careful cultivation for another year or two puts them in the top 5. Now the farm rankings aren't important - they are rather subjective and conjectural, after all. But what they represent is the point: the quantity and quality of talent. The farm system is getting riper year by year, but isn't quite there yet. In another year or so, it will really start bearing fruit as players like Canning, Suarez, Thaiss, Rengifo, Adell, Marsh, Jones, and Sandoval start contributing on the major league level. Further waves include Soriano, C Rodriguez, Hernandez, Bradish, Jackson, Knowles, Adams, Deveaux, and Maitan. Last year we saw rookies such as Ohtani, Barria, Anderson, Buttrey, Fletcher, Ward, and Hermosillo. Most of these guys will get better in 2019, when we'll see Canning, Suarez, Rengifo, and probably Thaiss and Adell. In 2020 we'll see Marsh, Jones, Sandoval, and probably others. In other words, each year will see the graduation of promising young talent, with a cumulative effect of both increasing the talent in Anaheim, and also decreasing the need for higher price free agents. Eppler knows this, and doesn't want to a) trade this talent away, and b) block the talent with older, more expensive and lower upside players. Now obviously there's a balance. It is easy to overrate prospects, and probably only a few of the guys I mentioned will become stars, a few more impact players, some quality regulars, and a bunch will be either bench players or minor league flame-outs. But again, that talent pool represents the priceless commodity of "low-cost, high-upside talent" and it has to be protected. The plan for 2019 is, again, to try to field a wildcard-capable team, but not at the expense of the future. My guess is that Eppler looks at the AL and thinks, "I can either spend big and trade away talent and improve my chances of making a wildcard but not win the division, or spend less, keep the talent, and still have a decent shot at a wildcard." In other words, the Angels almost certainly couldn't seriously compete for the division or be a lock for the playoffs in 2019, and the cost to simply improve wildcard chances in the short term is just too great, and too debilitating to the franchise in the long-term. 2020 will be a further step forward, with more of that young talent graduating and maturing. By 2021 that young talent should be really starting to flourish and be the core of the 25-man roster. In fact, I could see a 2021 team that is comprised mostly of players below age 28, except for a few notable exceptions: Trout, Simmons, possibly Upton, maybe one of Skaggs or Heaney, a few others. So the Eppler plan is to continue strengthening the farm, while retooling in the majors in ways that give the team a chance to compete over the next couple years, but with the eye of turning this franchise into a farm-driven powerhouse in the 2020s. Its a good plan, but requires patience.
  2. 27 points
    Dear Fellow Angels Supporters: Under the heading, be careful of what you ask for, as you may get it, Mike Scioscia is gone, just as many of you have been so anxious to see for years. I recognize that I may receive hate mail, but I believe Mike was a really good manager. Here are my reasons (not in any particular priority order): His players loved him, even when they had losing seasons. In 19 years, he never lost the club house. That is amazing. Orlando Cabrera said he was the best manager he ever played for. Torri Hunter, Juston Upton, Garrett Anderson, Mike Trout, Otani, etc, --they all loved playing for Mike. Lots of manager lose the clubhouse when seasons go south. That never happened with the Angels under Sosh. To me, that says something about his ability to manage the clubhouse. You can't blame Mike for the past 3 seasons, How can a team win when four fifths of their starting rotation is gone for the season. I think it's incredible that the team was as good as it was last year and this year they projected a rotation of Richards, Otani, Skaggs, Ramirez, and Shoemaker. Basically, except for Skaggs, the rest were out for the year and Skaggs had at least 3 stints on the DL. You take 4 starters out of most teams, and I think they may have trouble competing. Yes, I know Oakland managed it this year, but I suggest that is an outlier. I think it's amazing how Sosh developed quality bullpens despite significant injuries over the years. Last year, Street basically missed the entire season. This year, Kenyon Middleton missed the season. His players love the guy, his peers respect the guy as as very knowledgeable, and the Angels fans have, by and large, ripped him since I have been on this site. I really don't get it. When he had talent, the team won. When his team was destroyed by injuries they often were still in the hunt late in the season. And most importantly, to me, it speaks volumes that in 19 years he never list the clubhouse. That is very rare. It's not his fault the club signed Josh Hamilton, Pujols and Vernon Wells. He and the entire club suffered as a result. It's not his fault that Dipoto savaged the farm system , leaving the Angels with little talent to draw on for years. Of course, I hope the Angels select a great manager and I am confident they will. They should be much improved next year, as many of their pitchers are set to return (Ramirez, Shoemaker, Bridwell, Middleton, Meyer).
  3. 23 points
    Ha, I am having a lot of "I told you so" feelings today
  4. 23 points
  5. 21 points
    krAbs

    AND he's done.

    I was 100% sure this was going to be an injury report on an Angels pitcher.
  6. 21 points
    Inside Pitch

    Angels Christmas gift to you?

    Trout extension..... The rest would fall into place.
  7. 21 points
    Stradling

    Met This Guy Yesterday

    I was at a celebrity charity bowling tournament sponsored by In N Out yesterday, and Salmon was one of the few celebrities I’ve heard of that were there. Pretty amazing day where we raised over $300k for people with substance abuse issues. Tim couldn’t have been a nicer guy, he didn’t seem annoyed when I thanked him for giving my son his wrist bands back in 97. He asked follow up questions and gave the appearance he really cared, which is a nice humble thing for him to do. He’s a big dude, huge hands.
  8. 20 points
  9. 20 points
    I highly recommend Chuck doing the same thing in order to post on here.
  10. 19 points
  11. 19 points
    Chuckster70

    BEST. OFFSEASON. EVER!!

    We have signed the best player in all of our lifetime's to contract in which he'll finish out his career with the Angels. It doesn't get better than this. A future that will consist of Trout, Ohtani and Adell is pretty damn exciting.
  12. 19 points
    Did Jerry trade SafeCo?
  13. 19 points
    Dochalo

    Why not waive Pujols?

    Whether people like it or not, it's a respect thing. He's a first ballot HOFer. They're gonna treat him like baseball royalty. Hopefully there have been discussions behind the scenes about when he will retire. They'll buy out whatever is left and his final season will be the victory lap where every city he goes to will shower him with praise and teams will buy him gifts. If you ever want a big name free agent to come or to extend your own star players that's how you have to treat someone who's so well respected within the game. It part and parcel with signing someone to a 10 year deal of Albert's stature within baseball.
  14. 19 points
    tdawg87

    Brad Ausmus Named Angels Skip

    Well, Eppler's test included a portion where the candidate has to write an essay. Ausmus wrote the essay, and Chavez wrote his friend in Pomona.
  15. 18 points
    Have you guys noticed that Machado and Arenado both signed with teams that haven’t won much and aren’t where they are from? The narrative that Trout wants to play for an east coast team because he’s from there is so overblown. As is the narrative that the Angels have to prove to him they will win. All players want to win, but that depends on a lot of factors out of their control. What they can do is sign for the most money in a place they want to be, where they are treated well and with people they like.
  16. 18 points
    I see them both as #1s because I have no idea what I am talking about and am blindly optimistic! Wouldn't it be awesome though?
  17. 18 points
    In before someone says in before
  18. 18 points
  19. 18 points
    The same as these restaurants that want to make you pay to eat their food.
  20. 17 points
  21. 17 points
    90% sure Eppler is lurking on AW. Basically consolidating all of KevinB and Troll Daddy’s thoughts into a multi year organizational roadmap.
  22. 17 points
    https://www.mlb.com/news/scouting-top-contenders-to-sign-shohei-ohtani/c-262478194 http://larrybrownsports.com/baseball/yankees-seen-favorites-shohei-otani/409825 https://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2017/11/mlb_free_agency_rumors_yankees_supreme_favorite_fo.html And there's a lot more where that came from, and also just as entertaining, the hurt other teams endured in their failure.... https://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/12/shohei-ohtani-mlb-los-angeles-angels-decision-sign-mariners-stunned-sad-fan-reaction And the there was the reaction to his Spring Training.... https://www.sportsbettingdime.com/news/mlb/shohei-ohtani-baseballs-biggest-bust/ I post these as a reminder for all of us. Shohei Ohtani is an Angel, and didn't even give the Yanks a chance. Then he led the Mariners on to trade actual prospect us for international money, only to leave them high and dry. The truth is, NONE OF US know who will sign where or how good or bad they'll be. Not Jon Paul Morosi, not Tim Brown, not Andy Behrens, not Ken Rosenthal. A year ago, the Angels weren't even a dark horse candidate for Ohtani. Then after they landed him, it was only because he's not as good as everyone thinks. His rookie year was a campaign to shut everyone, including the experts....the heck up. And I'm grateful for it.
  23. 17 points
    Stradling

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I just wanted to take a minute to say Happy Thanksgiving to our AngelsWin family. It would be neat to sign a nice little player today, like the year we signed Hunter, but either way, today will be a great day as it will be spent with the ones we love. I appreciate all of you and hope you have a wonderful day with your family and friends!
  24. 17 points
    I'm more partial to this design
  25. 17 points
    mtangelsfan

    Trout's Tribute to Aaron Cox

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/trout-shares-emotional-tribute-to-late-brother-in-law/ar-BBMlG4q Aaron, words can’t describe the emotions that I’ve been feeling the past week and a half,” Trout wrote in the emotional message. “You were more than just my brother-in-law… you were my best friend. You made such an impact on my life since the day I first met you. You were an amazing person inside & out that showed us all how to live life to the fullest. Seeing and hearing about your impact on other people are all things that made me a better person every single day. The things we have done together like hunting trips, family vacations, golfing, fishing, and all the fun times we had together I will cherish forever… you brought so much happiness and joy to my life every time I was with you. You will always be remembered for your crazy dance moves and your big smile and how much you cared for people and our family. You were always the life of the party and you were always making people laugh. You were a great kid and it kills me to know that you are gone… I can’t thank you enough for what you have meant to me over these last 11 years. I know you will be watching over me now that you are gone, I promise to take care of your sister and watch over your whole family. Heaven got a great one and I know I will see you again someday… I love you bro!!!!


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