The December 3rd, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including reaction to the Hanson-Walden trade, Angels lose out on Fujikawa, Greinke meeting with teams and much more...
The Story: The Tommy Hanson trade is unikely to pay off for the Angels.
The Monkey Says: So says Keith Law and most baseball people. The word seems to be out that Hanson's shoulder and back are in bad shape although Atlanta's GM claims that Hanson's down season last year was not health-related. Some also seem to think the Angels are dumb for taking on his $4 million salary or so this season, which I think would be a more valid concern for a team with a smaller budget. There is no doubt that this is a gamble for the Halos, but I don't think it is one that they can get too badly burned on as they can always non-tender Hanson after the season if he doesn't pan out. All it will have cost them is a few million bucks and a young reliever that they didn't like anymore.
The Story: Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa chose the Cubs over the Angels.
The Monkey Says: This coming right on the heels of reports that the Angels were the front-runners. Oh well. My guess is that this was less about money and more about Fujikawa looking for a chance to close. There is some speculation in there that the Halos could now revisit the trade for Carlos Marmol, but I doubt it as I think that original deal had a lot more to do with the Angels just looking to get whatever they could for Dan Haren.
The Story: The Angels, Dodgers and Rangers all met with Zack Greinke over the weekend.
The Monkey Says: And so the final courtship begins. The three big players have all made their initial pitches and now Zack Greinke's agent will do what he does. He also claims the a decision could come in the next 48 hours possibly. That is probably just ploy to put pressure one teams to make a panic offer though.
The Story: The Angels replaced risky Dan Haren with risky Tommy Hanson.
The Monkey Says: That is a good point, but this is a risk that gives them more payroll flexibility than keeping Haren would have. I also think it has a higher upside if Hanson is able to get healthy.
The Story: OF Scott Cousins was claimed on waivers by the Angels.
The Monkey Says: Cousins has been claimed and waived by several teams already this off-season, so the Angels are just taking a turn. It would be no shock to see him released at some point, but he could also be given a shot to win the fifth outfielder spot in spring training.
The Story: Brian Wilson names the Angels as one of four teams he would prefer to sign with.
The Monkey Says: That's nice and all, but the Angels already have one former closer coming off TJ surgery. Wilson's colorful behavior probably isn't anything the Halos have much interest in either.
The Story: Jerry Dipoto heads to the Winter Meetings with a pitching shopping list.
The Monkey Says: A list that he seems pretty certain of, so at least he has his ducks in a row for Nashville, but his plans are going to all be put on hold until Zack Greinke gets around to making a decision.
The Story: Vernon Wells could be a trade candidate for the Angels.
The Monkey Says: Sure he is. He has been available for months, but nobody wants him. Maybe they find a taker this off-season, but it isn't going to be at the Winter Meetings while everyone is busying themselves with all the big fish still in the free agent and trade pool.
The Story: Could Hank Conger be a trade chip for the Angels?
The Monkey Says: Now we're talking. I don't buy for one second that the Angels are going to keep Conger as the back-up catcher. He seems like the perfect candidate to be flipped for a reliable relief pitcher to take Walden's vacated spot and minimize some of the risk they took with Madson.
The Story: Albert Pujols' declining walk rate is not only alarming, but coming earlier than expected.
The Monkey Says: Well, it isn't earlier if you buy into the conspiracy theory that he is lying about his age. In fact, this only provides more evidence for that claim.
The Story: The Arkansas Travelers have announced some front office changes.
The Monkey Says: I still don't know what minor league front offices really do, but I suppose this is newsworthy and possibly not a good thing or possibly just part of what happens when a new GM takes over for the MLB parent club.