Originally posted on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 1/3/12

The January 3rd, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Moreno staying out of baseball decisions, Halos still considering Madson, the full annual breakdown of Pujols' deal and much more...

The Story: Arte Moreno is letting it be known that he is leaving all the baseball decisions to his new front office and not himself or Mike Scioscia.

The Monkey Says: This is what we all want to hear, but I don't necessarily think it is 100% true.  Moreno might not be dictating moves, but I don't think he ever really was.  He still is the one that has to sign off on giant expenditures like the Pujols contract, so he is involved that way at least.  Cutting Scioscia out of the major decision making is a step forward though.  Sosh definitely should be consulted, but shouldn't have the final say.

The Story: The Angels are still considering Ryan Madson but would likely want him on a backloaded deal too.

The Monkey Says: I'm pretty sure I have linked to some version of this rumor everyday for the last few weeks.  Let's just assume that the Angels are pursuing Madson up until he signs with someone else.

The Story: Here are the full annual salary details for Albert Pujols' new ten-year contract.

The Monkey Says: The only thing I can say about the backloaded deal is that it at least gives the Angels some time to plan for his hefty salaries towards the end of the contract.  It will be interesting to see what that means when it comes to the Angels considering handing out extensions to Kendrick, Aybar, Haren, Santana and others.

The Story: Buster Olney rates the Angels' outfield as the fifth-best in the majors.

The Monkey Says: I'm sorry, but that is way too high unless Olney is somehow certain that Vernon Wells is going to bounce back or that Torii Hunter is going to start aging in reverse.  It is definitely a fantastic defensive outfield, but the offensive output is highly suspect.  It is worth noting though that Olney left the Angels out of his top ten lineups, which is kind of weird since he gave them top five infields and outfields.

The Story: The Angels have a legitimate shot at bringing their franchise record over .500 for the first time since their first ever game.

The Monkey Says: What I love about that line chart is the huge upward spike in the 21st century.  It really is amazing what Mike Scioscia has done with this team in his tenure.

The Story: Hank Conger is committed to improving and earning a job out of camp.

The Monkey Says: Apparently yoga is going to be his solution.  What Hank probably isn't accounting for is that he just isn't very well served making the roster out of camp and then playing maybe 60 games all season.  His defense needs to improve and it is only going to happen if he catches everyday, and that means going back to Triple-A.

The Story: The wisdom behind backloading contracts like the Angels did with Pujols and Wilson.

The Monkey Says: Backloaded.  Frontloaded.  It doesn't really matter, if you ask me.  The wisdom is all in how you plan around those contracts.  Teams can gain flexibility by backloading contracts, but if they just backload deal after deal after deal, it will eventually catch up with the team, especially if backloading turns into deferred salary (i.e. the Mets are STILL making payments to Bobby Bonilla and the Dodgers the same for Manny Ramirez).  It is all in the planning.

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