Angels Nice Enough to Give the A’s and Rangers A Leg Up in the Division Race

by npiller88

This from a team that lowballed Adrian Beltre, and then whined about getting into bidding wars and driving up their payroll.

The Angels have taken on a contract that many in the business considered untouchable. It’s hard to understand what GM Tony Reagins is thinking with this move. He is dealing from a position of strength (Losing DH/Catcher Mike Napoli hurts less given their depth at the position) and Wells sure exceeded expectations last season (over .500 slugging), but most of the other years so far in his mammoth deal (86 million left in the last four years) have been dreadful. The angels will have two old centerfielders on the roster now that used to have major defensive chops but are now more like chops of meat that can hit a little bit (Torii Hunter being the other).

The stench of desperation will probably linger for a while after this move. The halos lost out on the Beltre chase to a division rival, and cited financial concerns. So why is it now suddenly okay to take a huge financial chance on a guy whose average OPS for the past four seasons is well south of .800? At least with Beltre, a similarly inconsistent offensive player, you know you’re getting great defense. With Wells, that ship has sailed, at least in center field.

The A’s and Rangers, meanwhile are sitting pretty, as they watch the Angels sacrifice years of financial flexibility for a chance to.. not compete for the division crown. It’s moves like this by financially robust teams that give teams like the A’s a fighting chance.

Wells will probably turn in a huge campaign this year and prove all the naysayers wrong. But they still won’t win the division.

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One Comment to “Angels Nice Enough to Give the A’s and Rangers A Leg Up in the Division Race”

  1. I don’t understand how they can make this trade without getting Toronto to pitch in some kind of money or at least a fringy prospect. I think the bottom line is that Moreno was pissed over missing out on Beltre and on Crawford so forced a big splash here. I think it will come back to bite them.

    Pretty impressive that Toronto was able to shed both Rios (though he’s played well with the ChiSox) and Wells from their payrolls.

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