Found December 21, 2012 on Monkey with a Halo:
Marinersroyals_fd60
The December 21st, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Vargas and park effect, how pitchers adjusted to Hamilton, debating if the Angels improved and much more... The Story: The park factor change from Safeco Field to Angel Stadium should be about the same for Jason Vargas. The Monkey Says: As many have pointed out before, Vargas has had great success at the Big A in his career.  Small sample size is a factor there as is the possibility that he is just a tough match-up for this particular Angel roster, but it definitely bodes well for his numbers not taking too much of a hit this season. The Story: How pitchers adjusted to Josh Hamilton last season after his torrid start. The Monkey Says: This all makes sense, but I also think there was a lot more going on with Hamilton during his tough stretch than just him seeing fewer fastballs.  He had a much-discussed problem with quitting tobacco that may have affected his focus at the plate. The Story: Have the Angels actually improved? The Monkey Says: Plenty of people, myself included, have taken a shot at this topic, but really it is a fruitless endeavor because we make assumptions about future performance that we can't possibly ever really know. The Story: Have the Angels actually improved? This time according to WAR. The Monkey Says: Like I said, EVERYONE is going after this topic.  And, again, you can't really apply this kind of analysis and come up with any kind of a reliable solution, especially since WAR is scaled to the specific season in which the performance took place.  Theoretically, a guy can post the exact same counting stats in 2013, but have a different (albeit only by a little bit) WAR value.  But since we are looking at it this way, I think there are some dangerous assumptions.  A 4.5 WAR for Bourjos seems ambitious, as does the 1.7 WAR for a post-Tommy John surgery Ryan Madson.  I think once the projection systems come out for 2013, we will see that the WAR spread is much more in favor of the 2012 Halos. The Story: The Angels are done dealing, but their division rivals aren't. The Monkey Says: I still think the Halos will find a way to dump Wells, but that is pretty much it.  I think Oakland might be more or less set as well, though I don't think one can ever assume Billy Beane is set to stand pat.  The real intrigue comes from Texas, who just added the uber-hateable A.J. Pierzynski, but still needs to find a big bat to replace Hamilton.  They could go out and sign Swisher, LaRoche or make an unexpected trade, but it certainly seems like they will be hard-pressed to field a lineup as potent as the last few years. The Story: Rob Neyer thinks the "win-win" trade between the Mariners and Angels may not have actually been a win for Seattle. The Monkey Says: I agree with his central point that this move makes a bad Seattle team only slightly better, but as a Seattle resident, I kind of get it.  People here give zero ***** about the Mariners.  They think they will never ever improve the roster, specifically the lineup.  They had to go out this season and land a "big bat" with a semi-recognizable name to try and fool the fans into thinking they are headed in the right direction.  I mean, people here are legitimately pissed the M's didn't land Hamilton, who was NEVER going to sign in Seattle, but the fans think this team somehow has that kind of allure.  It is cute and sad at the same time. The Story: Josh Hamilton moving from Texas to Anaheim only made the AL West race even more jumbled. The Monkey Says: I'm not sure it does.  I have real questions about Oakland being able to be quite as good again in 2013 since they rely on so much youth, which can be a very volatile in performance.  I'm also not sold that Texas is still as good as they were last season, not mention set up to suffer from some kind of hangover induced by their late-season collapse and quick exit from the playoffs.  All three should be good, but, and I realize I am highly biased, I think there is a decent chance that the Angels can win the division by a handful of games. The Story: How does Hamilton's history of substance abuse affect his future? The Monkey Says: It is worth noting that while Hamilton's contract does not have any language in it about drug abuse, MLB has policies in place.  Specifically, if a player is suspended for drugs of abuse, they don't get paid while they serve a suspension.  That's really all the Angels could ask for anywyay.  As for the abuse causing his body to deterioriate, keep in mind that Hamilton was hooked on heroin at one point and there a belief (and possibly a myth) that opiates like heroin actually have a bit of an anti-aging effect.  That could be total crap, but so could be the theory that his hard living lifestyle in his younger days could cause his body to deteriorate more rapidly. [follow]
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Adjusting to Josh Hamilton

The easy thing is talking about what Josh Hamilton has done. For his career, he’s hit .304, with 161 dingers. Last year, his WAR was 4.4, and before that it was 4.1, and before that he won the American League MVP. Hamilton just signed a substantial contract with the Angels, and the season most relevant to the Angels during negotiations would’ve been Hamilton’s 2012. Hamilton...

Morales for Vargas: Reviewing Seattle Mariners trade

M’s find another bat for 2013 With the trade of Jason Vargas to the Los Angeles Angels for Kendrys Morales, the Mariners have made their biggest splash of the offseason. Both players are 29 years old and set to be free agents in 2014. But they also fill big needs for their news teams. This is a win-win for everyone. And it was certainly the right move for Seattle. Gaining Kendrys...

Angels Clear Logjam, Land Jason Vargas

The acquisition of Josh Hamilton gave the Angels what they wanted, but it also left the Angels with a little problem: between Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo, and Kendrys Morales, they had too many good players for too few spots. This was, as they say, a nice problem to have, and the Angels also felt they had a need for another innings-eating starting pitcher. So in a move surprising...

Josh Hamilton Blames Second-Half Struggles Exclusively on Quitting Chewing Tobacco

During the 2012 season, Josh Hamilton‘s struggles in the second half were well documented. After blowing away baseball to the tune of a .635 slugging percentage over the course of the Texas Rangers’ first 81 games, Hamilton noticeably tailed off in the latter half of the year, his slugging percentage falling by .125 points and his OPS by .183.  Many ideas were put forth for...

Reasons To Like The Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales Deal

By Chuck Richter - AngelsWin.com Executive Editor The Angels Wednesday acquired left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for infielder Kendrys Morales. Today’s transaction was announced by General Manager Jerry Dipoto. Vargas, 29, finished the 2012 season with a 14-11 record with a 3.85 ERA (217.1 IP – 93 ER) and 141 strikeouts. The left-hander...

Angels deal Morales to M's for Vargas

The Angels traded for a starting pitcher Wednesday, but perhaps the best part of that news for them wasthey didnt have to give up Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo to get him. Left-hander Jason Vargas, a 14-game winner last season with the Seattle Mariners, was acquired in exchange for designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who made a successful return last season after missing all of 2011...

Halo Headlines: reactions to the Morales-Vargas trade, estimating a Mike Trout extension, sexy ...

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...

2013 Texas Rangers calendar features some non-Rangers players

In case Texas Rangers fans forget how different their lineup is going to look when the 2013 season begins, the team’s 2013 calendar is here to serve as a reminder. As you know, Texas has parted ways with several stars this offseason including Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young. However, the calendar you see above was already printed before any of those transactions went...

Report: Rangers Looking Into Michael Bourn As They Seek to Replace Josh Hamilton

Since the Rangers lost perhaps the offseason’s best free agent in Josh Hamilton, it only makes sense that Texas would kick the tires on another intriguing outfield option. According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, the Rangers are looking into free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn, who many consider to be the top free agent remaining on the open market. Bourn, who turns 30 on Dec...

How can the Angels protect the future of the ballclub?

With the recent monster signing of former Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton to a 5-year, $125 million  contract it's become obvious the Angels are in "win now" mode harder than they've ever been before. Harder than they were last year when they spent $300 million on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. The Hamilton signing is nothing but amazing for the Angels, in the short...

Josh Hamilton says Rangers had first shot, never offered contract

The Texas Rangers watched outfielder Josh Hamilton sign with division rival Los Angeles days after both teams lost out on Zack Greinke. Reports came out that the Rangers were speaking to Hamilton in the days leading up with his signing with the Angels, though Hamilton says a contract was never offered. Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday Hamilton refuted the notion that he...

Mariners acquire Kendrys Morales from Angels

The Seattle Mariners have acquired DH/ 1B Kendrys Morales from the Los Angeles Angels for pitcher Justin Vargas, the Mariners announced. The Angels had been looking to move someone, as they had a surplus of outfielders/ DHs after the Josh Hamilton signing. The team preferred to move Morales and keep Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos. Morales who missed about a about a season and a half...

Insurance, Thy Name is Bourjos (or Why Morales Was the One to Go)

By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer My uncle John just recently passed, and he has been on my mind a lot. Our families would spend Christmas together, and the holidays just aren’t the same without him. My uncle John was an insurance agent. He always told me never buy anything expensive if I couldn’t afford the maintenance and the insurance on it. He’d tell me that...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.