The December 20th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including reactions to the Morales-Vargas trade, estimating a Mike Trout extension, sexy baseball GMs and much more...
The Story: The Morales-Vargas swap was a win for both teams involved.
The Monkey Says: I'm not wild about Vargas, but I wasn't exactly thrilled with Morales either. It really is rare when you find teams making trades that make so much sense for both sides, but this one certainly seems to fit that billing.
The Story: Trading for Jason Vargas was a smart long-term move for the Angels.
The Monkey Says: Great point because there was no chance the Halos were going to re-sign Morales, but they might re-sign Vargas. Plus they get to keep Bourjos. Considering Vargas as a hedge against the risk of Tommy Hanson makes a lot of sense too. But the best part is that this is now two breakdowns of the trade done by pro-Mariner writers that seem to think the Angels did just fine here, which is always a good sign.
The Story: Park factors suggest the Mariners might have a steal in Kendrys Morales.
The Monkey Says: I agree for entirely different reasons. People forget that Morales basically hadn't played in two years before this last season. It was always going to take him a long time to shake off the rust. By the final two months of the season, he was crushing the ball, posting .500+ SLG in August and September. There is real upside here for the M's. For the Angels? Not so much. Vargas pretty much is what he is.
The Story: Determining what a Mike Trout contract extension might be worth.
The Monkey Says: A great breakdown here and not just standard finger-in-the-air estimating. The thought of Trout potentially landing a $300 million deal on the open market should be enough to scare the Angels into working something out with him. I really don't think that a $137 million extension is that outlandish either.
The Story: Ranking the sexiest GMs in baseball.
The Monkey Says: Thank Hiroyuki Nakajima for the existence of this post. Also, Dipoto got screwed.
The Story: Signing Hamilton instead of Greinke gave the Angels the flexibility to trade Morales.
The Monkey Says: One could argue that they wouldn't have had to do that if they had signed Greinke, though the $22 million saved is a salient point. Also, I'm not sure what kind of position player would have been worth trading Morales for, so I guess I see the point. Sort of.
The Story: C.J. Cron was named one of the next top prospects likely to be traded.
The Monkey Says: When the article ran in the morning, I only kind of disagreed with Jim Bowden. Now, after the Morales trade, I totally disagree with him, which is always the proper thing to do.
The Story: The difference in baserunning between Mike Trout, who is the best, and Jesus Montero, who is the worst.
The Monkey Says: In a roundabout way, this almost serves to justify the Morales trade anymore. Last season, Morales posted a 121 OPS+ and 339 wOBA while Bourjos posted a 116 OPS+ and a .335 wOBA. That really puts them not very far apart with the bat, assuming Bourjos rebounds. But once you factor in that Morales is one of the worst baserunners and that Bourjos is obviously a good baserunner, the gap is even smaller. Of course, once you factor in the defense, it becomes pretty clear that Bourjos is the more valuable player and more deserving of an everyday job.