The January 23rd, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Luis Ayala considering an offer from the Angels, Haren's duel with Verlander was the best of the year, David Eckstein (sort of) retires and much more...
The Story: Reliever Luis Ayala is choosing from a few offers, including the Angels.
The Monkey Says: This article claims it is just the Orioles and Halos, but a subsequent version of the rumor claims two other teams are in play. I wouldn't wait on the edge of your seat for this to be resolved, mostly because Ayala isn't anything special. His ERA was great last season, but his FIP and xFIP were almost double his ERA, suggesting he had a lot of luck on his side. It isn't that Ayala wouldn't help, but he just doesn't fit the mold of a guy who will be that late-inning help Dipoto has been seeking.
The Story: Dan Haren's two-hit shutout versus Justin Verlander and the Tigers was the best pitchers' duel of the year according to Bill James.
The Monkey Says: And yet the Angels game against Verlander that everyone will remember is the one where Weaver went ape and got ejected.
The Story: Former Angel David Eckstein has retired... sort of.
The Monkey Says: So he didn't actually officially retire, but he didn't play last season and is only willing to play in the right situation this season. That situation probably won't arise, but it is a smart thing to say, especially when a contender like the Boston Red Sox just made a trade to create a giant hole at shortsop that he might be able to fill.
The Story: Emotions are high and positive with Marcel Lachemann returning to the Angel organization.
The Monkey Says: Lach is a great baseball man, but it is going to be hard for me to ever separate him from the 1995 collapse.
The Story: The complete organizational chart of the Los Angeles Angels.
The Monkey Says: This is pretty dang awesome. Definitely a great resource, so let's hope they keep it updated.
The Story: Who would you rather have: Mike Trout or Bryce Harper?
The Monkey Says: I would go with Trout, partially because I am biased but also partially because of Harper's potential attitude problems. If I want an elite prospect, I want one that will stay with the organization forever and that is less likely to be the guy who thinks he is God's gift to baseball.
The Story: Who has the better leadoff hitter: Angels or Rangers?
The Monkey Says: This really isn't even a debate, it is the Rangers in a walk. The only hope of the Halos winning is if Mike Trout gets called up and occupies the leadoff spot while performing as well as we believe he can.
The Story: C.J. Cron rates as the #4 first base prospect in baseball.
The Monkey Says: He is in some pretty nice company, but Cron is really a first baseman in name only. Everything about him right now suggests he is destined to be a DH.