WAR: Angels have improved this offseason …

Jerry DipotoI’ve made the mistake of believing the Angels were done before. So when general manager Jerry Dipoto, speaking shortly after trading Kendrys Morales for Jason Vargas, says “in all likelihood” he’s done making major moves this offseason, I’m naturally skeptical. But, yeah, barring a low-risk addition or two to the bullpen, probably via Minor League deals, this essentially puts a bow on Dipoto’s offseason. Seriously this time.

In my opinion, it was a very successful one for the Angels’ second-year GM.

With a very similar payroll (about $160 million), and a ridiculously expensive free agent market, Dipoto was able to add yet another weapon to an already-dangerous lineup, greatly improve a thin bullpen and build more starting-pitching depth. (Here’s an updated depth chart.) Granted, the rotation is nowhere near as heralded as it was at the start of last season, but it is solid and a lot more payroll-efficient.

We could go on forever about whether or not it was better to sign Zack Greinke (six years, $147 million) or Josh Hamilton (five years, $125 million). Frankly, I’m not sure. Greinke’s risk is greater, in some ways, because he’s a pitcher and it’s an extra year. In a vacuum, and if we’re factoring out that sixth year, it comes down to whether you prefer Greinke and Morales or Hamilton and Vargas.

But you can’t analyze offseasons like that because they never play out in linear fashion. It’s like the butterfly effect; each move is dependent on the other. Skipping out on Greinke allowed Dipoto to get Joe Blanton and Sean Burnett, adding them to the additions of Tommy Hanson and Ryan Madson. Then he got Hamilton, which allowed him to then flip Morales for Vargas. Had he delved into a bidding war with the Rangers and Dodgers for Greinke, perhaps he would’ve been stuck with nothing (look at the Rangers right now).

Basically, the 2012 septet of Morales, Greinke, Dan Haren, Torii Hunter, Ervin Santana, Jordan Walden and LaTroy Hawkins is being replaced by the 2013 septet of Bourjos, Hamilton, Blanton, Vargas, Hanson, Madson and Burnett. If we’re going by Wins Above Replacement, as interpreted by FanGraphs.com, the Angels improved this offseason.

Here’s a look at each player’s WAR from this past season …

2012 

Hunter: 5.3
Greinke: 5.1
Morales: 1.8
Haren: 1.8
Walden: 0.5
Hawkins: minus-0.1
Santana: minus-0.9

Total: 13.5

2013

Bourjos (from 2011): 4.5
Hamilton: 4.4
Blanton: 2.4
Madson (’11): 1.7
Burnett: 1.1
Hanson: 1.0
Vargas: 0.8

Total: 15.9

Alden 

33 Comments

Yes, Morales would walk end of year, but what about just trying to win it now! Hate trade here is why.
1. Every team would play Trout in CF, Im sure Trout rather play CF. will it hurt his off
2. Line up 6-9 is same as last year again, a problem.
3. line up 3-6 with Kendry is like Yankees, a pitchers night mare and players 3-6 would of benefited a lot.
4. Who would a pitcher rather pitch to Bourjos or Kenry?
5. Is Bourjos Defense make up for his bat? Strikes out & Hits ball in air too much.
6. Why acquire Hanson & Blanton then if your getting Vargas? RIchards should b in rotation, he had some nasty pitches when in pen late in season.
7. Mike Trout not in CF, will rob teams of HR.
8. Still have 3 infielders who lack power, a CF, and a catcher even though Iannetta can hit maybe 15 home runs.
9 Could of moved Morales mid season, build minor league system as teams would want his bat in National League for playoffs. Lost 3 minor league players 4 Grienke.
10.Seatttle now is a threat had great pitching last year, poor offense, Morales is not the only bat they picked up today and this month.
11. Ho many important home runs did Kendry hit last year? at KC, Texas. He will hit 30 HR or more this year.

1.) every team prob would, unless they had the one guy who might actually be better.why would it hurt his offense?
2.) incorrect. iannetta hopefully wont miss 70+ games and bourjos will be batting ninth.
3.)3-6 in the lineup would have been great, but what about 3-5 in the rotation?
4.) im sure the answer is bourjos, but to be fair, they both get their fair share of Ks. they just both impact the lineup in different ways. i can tell you this for sure, pitchers would rather have kendrys on base.
5.)Bourjos defense abilities ensures that he will have a positive impact on the team regardless of his offense. than being said, no reason to believe fleet pete cant find his ’11 form with consistent at bats.
6.) dipoto clearly stated he was looking for SP depth this offseason. well, pitching depth 1-12 overall. he had a plan and executed. our rotation was supposed to be incredible last season, but then what happened? they got hurt or struggled and we had no one to turn too. Now, our projected 5th starters (williams or richards) are our 6th or 7th pitchers. richards will still get looks this season, trust me.
7.) all OF positions have a fence.
8.) and what of their other tools that often come in handy when putting together a major league line up? speed, on base ability, working counts? i agree with you that we dont have 9 players that can hit 20 HRs a season. dont know what to tell you.
9.) i mean, i see what you are getting at and i am certainly not going to disagree that we need to improve our minor league depth, but we needed another starter for sure. both teams traded surplus with similar contracts to fill a need. this is most certainly my own opinion, but i think this is fair and am unsure we would have gotten a better deal. we can wish for the jeremy hellickson’s of the world all we want, but fact is, it takes two to tango. a potentially damaged DH with a high K rate and one year left on his contract repped by boras is not exactly a hot commodity.
10.) are you talking about jason bay? mariners now have to worry about resigning him as well. vargas is home. i we wanted to resign him at the end of the year, we can absolutely get it done. cant say the same about kendrys and seattle.
11.) yah, maybe. vargas could toss 3.5 ERA ball this year too. well find out.

Does any of you understand about the mental part of the game? I bet Trout is disappointed to b playing LF. WIll u see Bourjos jumping over walls bring in Home runs? DO u ever think, mentally Trout takes that to the plate & has a drop off year? Im telling u, why upset your franchise player and Trout wont say anything because he has class.

Bourjos WAR of 3.6 which was all defensively based. Trumbo 2.6 what do u think now about War?

i think it is accurate.

The Angels and Jerry D have done excellent this offseason. I dont know how you can complain about trading Morales, Ryan. He’s represented by Boras and would of never resigned. Vargas finished 4th!!!! in quality starts in 2012. 4th!!! If you take away his 10 run outing at Arizona in inter-league play, he would of finished with an ERA at 3.30 ish. That is outstanding. 200 plus innings. WHIP at 1.18. A career ERA at Angel Stadium thats sub 3.00. A lefty. He’s from SoCal as is most of our pitching staff (Weaver, CJ, Vargas, Hanson, Madson). That creates great clubhouse chemistry. This trade is a good one. I cant wait to see Bourjos running around the outfield EVERY day now. Put Hamilton in Right Field (big scoreboard would limit any ability to rob homers), Trout in Left (so he can rob homers over the shorter bullpen fence). I think Bourjos can now hit 9th in the lineup, in front of Trout, and he’s a terror on the basepaths. Thanks Jerry. You are proving your smarts this offseason no doubt. Go Angels!

I thought the Angels would trade Morales last year when Wells came back as yes I know BorASS is his agent, no chance of him coming back. But, u trade him for a pitcher who will b a FA too? I am usually for trading a player u cant resign. But, dont agree this time. Mainly, Trout moving to left & the line up 3-6 would of been a nightmare for pitchers. Go 4 it all this year. Plus, if they really wanted to move Kendry, I said could before trade deadline this year for to build the minors. With the WC, several teams would love to have his bat. I just dont get how u move the #1 CF every team wants. What will all of you Bourjos lovers say when he is hitting 240 and leads the team in strikes outs?

I’m throwing it up on the DVR as well man. Looks amoeswe!Totally get into Adventure Time man. You will NOT be sorry. One of my faves but as far as cartoons now goes I’m tapped. I’d say you need to pick up the Turtles series on blu-ray and The Real Ghostbusters. Our nostalgia will carry on!

He made the right pitch at the right time. Plus his defense was there for him, expcet for Ibanez’ dopey throw in the first inning. But that’s nit picking after a nice win.

Yes Kendrys was going to be a free agent next year but so is Vargas. Who’s going to guanrantee Vargas will sign with us next year. If we were going to trade Kendrys, why not trade him for a pitcher that has a few more years left in his contract? Now were in the same situation, only 1 left handed power hitter. I sure hope Conger steps up his game and becomes the hitter that they’ve been saying he is.

Who plays Right Field now? Trumbo is the DH. Bourjos in CF. Trout or Hamilton in RF. But who has the better arm?

PB is fast once he gets rolling. His base stealing mechanics need work though. His first step is slow and he’s too “jumpy”. When you watch MT in comparison you see a guy supremely confident and relaxed in his ability to swipe a base.

To me, it appears MT is quicker from home to first and second base, and PB will beat him to third and home.

Torii likened Trout to a football player when he runs. He said you can hear his feet tearing at the ground with each step. Must be terrifying for whoever is covering second. A lot of alligator arms reaching for a throw.

Fast and has no clue how to steal bases and strike out a ton. Did you all love the line up 6-9 last year? Remember the feeling if the 3, 4, 5 hitters did not come through? U were pissed because u didnt expect 6-9 hitters to do anythings.

Agreed. 11 for 30 is, what, a .367 average? That’s damn good in a bslbeaal context. Pretty sure that’s a tad better than the career batting average of the man with the best career batting average ever, Ty Cobb.

I like the move. Yes you are losing HR with Kendrys but Hamilton makes up for that and more but here is the thing, trade deadling deals affect a team especially when it is a vet like Morales and make no mistake, at the deadline he would have been dealt as the Angels have made no secret of thier disdain for his agent Boras.

I would rather see them do it now then at the deadline because that is disruptive and in a division where one win or loss can be the difference in going to the playoffs you have to go with continuity. To be honest I see the starters as probably better than last year, Haren and Santana were inconsistent and Wilon was hurt. These guys are probably a better 3,04, and 5. Losing Grienke was it a big deal? Maybe but he also has mental issues and one day could show up and not be able to pitch. I think DiPoto had a excellent offseason, we are better then last year and if we are a few win better that is the division. I think this kid from Seattle in the Big A will be worth three to four more wins and that puts him in what Grienke would have given you.

Look forward to Angels playing the Dodgers in the World Series.

The Angels will or should win their Division in 2013….. They greatly improved their
Ball club.1)Solid Starters,2)major improvement to their major weakness of last year(Bull Pen)3-Added power & Speed4)Now the only blemish is replacing Macir
Izturis? How about getting Figgins back?
Texas lost Hamilton,Napolli,and Young,and signed ?? Oakland was on a mission
last year(14 walk-off hits)won’t repeat similar in 2013…Seattle has an abundance of Pitching,still lack the offense to keep pace with the contenders..and well the Astros
picked the wrong Division to expand too!!

Western Division
1-Angels
2-Oakland
3-Texas
4-Seattle
5-Houston

Where was police at? At laregr gatherings, there is usually some kind of police inforcement somewhere. And Seriously, why weren’t the Damn Parents of that Child Holding that 3or 4 year olds hand? Child endangerment and neglect on their part!Who the hell gives those so called “Men” any Right to beat anyone! I Hope and Pray they get caught and Punished for their actions.

Where was police at? At lgrear gatherings, there is usually some kind of police inforcement somewhere. And Seriously, why weren’t the Damn Parents of that Child Holding that 3or 4 year olds hand? Child endangerment and neglect on their part!Who the hell gives those so called “Men” any Right to beat anyone! I Hope and Pray they get caught and Punished for their actions.

Good pitching always beats good hitting and run scoring really wasn’t the Halo’s problem. Their ‘pen last year was bad with about a 6 ERA. That said, they will Hunter’s bat in the # 2 spot as well as his 14 outfield assists in right. Couldn’t they have signed him for $18 mil for 2 yrs with the 2nd a club option? He’d have gone for it. I heard they offered only one year. The bullpen was strengthened in the middle and the end. Remember the World Series club in 2002? Average starters, get them thru the 6th, then Donnelly, Shields and Percival were lights out from the 7th on. ERA under 2.50. Set AL record with most come from behind wins from 7th inning on. If Pujols and Trumbo repeat their HR’s from last year (30, 32) adding Hamilton’s 43 makes them as dangerous a 3,4,5, trio in MLB. However, Hamilton doesn’t have Texas Stadium’s jet stream in Anaheim so look for his HR’s to drop 15% to about 35 and he’ll still get 100 RBI’s even with Pujols ahead of him. 2013 will be an exciting year.

Bourjos was growing in every aspect of his game. Even his power was more than people suspected. I was thinking … trade this guy and he’ll be Lou Brock … embarrassing you for years for trading him for a handful of beans.

You just don’t see defensive game changers this often. Crud, put Trout in Left Center, Bourjos in right center and play 5 infielders sometimes lol. Or four and a rover.

Peanut Butter PB is gonna jam this year sandwiched between Superkid and Superstud.

Has everyone forgot the numbers Bourjos put up offensively in 2011 when he got over 500 Ab’s. He had 49 xtra base hits compared to Morales who had 47 last year. Given the chance to play every day as he did in 2011 he is one dangerous number 9 hitter. Not to mention when the lineup rolls around you will have great speed in 9-1-2 (Aybar at #2).

Typical Gonzalez BS. You cant count the numbers for Madson or the 2011 numbers for Pete. Pete couldnt hit anything last year, so theres no telling what hes gonna be able to do now. Madson has been out for a year. All we can do is hope they all perform and stay healthy.

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I absolutely love the fact we are getting Trout out of center field, guys who play like Trout in center have many injuries due to crashing into wall, Erstad played same way. I want this kid heathly and not getting injured crashing into wall in center, I watched to many times this year when he was slow to get up after heavy impact into wall, as we all know that getting back up gets harder with age ! Bourjos roams the center field better than anyone I have seen, his speed and Trouts are similar, but Peter gets the best jump on the ball and makes plays Trout dives for running. I think our new hitting coach will get Peters bat back in line. Peter makes our outfield a very hard place to get a hit, getting a ball to drop between left and center will be a tough chore ! And the best part is this will help Trout stay healthier for the long run !
GO ANGELS !

At Bats loses: Torii Hunter and Kendrys Morales
At Bats gains: Josh Hamilton + more Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos

Baserunning, Defense: Bourjos > Morales.
Versatility: Trumbo > Morales
DH flexibility: Resting needing players there without losing their bats trumps
Resting same players there and losing Morales bat.
Pitching: Vargas > Morales. And Santana and Haren last year.

Starting Pitching loses: Greinke, Haren, Santana
Starting Pitching gains: Hanson, Vargas, Blanton, (or Garrett Richards or Jerome Williams or Rookie)

Bullpen loses: Hawkins, Isringhausen, Walden
Bullpen gains: Burnett, Madson, Brandon Sisk,
Bullpen retains: Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs, Kevin Jepsen
Bullpen contenders: (Wiiliams, Richards, Blanton nonstarter(s) ) Maronde, Cassevah, Kohn, Enright, Mills, Chaffee, Geltz, Taylor, Carpenter, Shoemaker

Greinke 19 million, Haren 13 million, Santana 13 million = 45 million for 2013
Hanson $513, 000 + arb, Vargas 7.4m, Blanton 7.5 million = 15 million for 2013

Blanton 4.71 ERA and 166 innings vs.Santana 5.17 ERA and 178 innings
Hanson 4.48 ERA and 174 innings vs. Haren 4.33 and 176 innings
Vargas 3.85 ERA and 217 innings vs. Greinke 3.48 and 212 innings

This looks pretty good.

If Trout doesn’t approach the numbers of last season, it will have nothing to do with moving to left. It will be because they were too good to expect ANYONE to improve on, as nobody had ever done them before (combo of runs-rbi-sb and I believe hr) so likely the only direction is down. Unfortunately,because of his great year, he’ll actually have more pressure this year to live up to. Also, remember, had they not signed Hamilton, he was already slated to play left anyway and had played there often last year, which is apparently why he was robbed of a gold glove. As far as 6-9,that weakness is overstated. Remember there were alot of injuries that made it worse. Kendrick is fine, Aybar was hurt for a period,will probably move to 2nd(Izturis was weak while Aybar was out-he’s gone), Ianetta is more productive than Wilson who took over at catcher while C.I. was hurt (of course Wilson no longer there),Callaspo did ok, but I would like to see them give Luis Jimenez a shot at third, or perhaps sign Kelly Johnson and try him at third and atleast get production there, and if Bourjos struggles, like him or not, Wells would also atleast produce if healthy. Batting average is way over rated, based on 600 ABs, a .300 hitter is only going to get 30 more hits than a .250 hitter(180 to 150) which is about one extra hit every 8 games and will probably be stranded 20 to 25 of those times. If everyone stays healthy AND play to their usual potential, they will be better next year, largely due to their bull pen. I say, good job Dipoto!

Angels biggest problem last year was the bullpen. A problem that was addressed. The team can hit, and they’ll hit this year without Kendrys and with Bourjos. We still have incredible defense and our biggest threat, Texas, appears to have taken a step back. Nice off-season for the Halos!

With increased inter league play, and no DH in NL parks, Morales’s lack of versatility would leave doing nothing but pinch hitting. Add that to the fact that they already don’t let him hit against lefties, and you just have more games he is sitting on the bench. I expect Bourjos to repeat his 2011 numbers and if he does, he will be very similar to Michael Bourn. If not, Vernon hitting .250 with 25 homers with greater versatility and better D makes him a viable replacement for Kendrys .280/22 homer campaign last season.

I havent really seen anyone addressing the fact that we will have an Albert Pujols who will be hitting like Albert Pujols FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON. We lost MANY games because he wasnt hitting the first half of the season. With the adjustment phase now out of his system I think we can count on 10-15 more productive performances this coming season with his bat alone. However, the real issue here is how do we replace Hunters productivity. I think it will have to fall to Howie Kendrick. I believe he will be asked to become the #2 hitter that was Hunter. If he can be that guy then great. If not then we will be in trouble. I think he has the greatest potential to become the productive #2 hitter that Hunter was. If not him then it will fall to Aybar. Personally I dont see that happening as it was tried once before and he kept hitting outfield flies. So, I think its up to Howie.

Where did the Blanton WAR of 2.4 come from? Baseball-Ref is showing 0.0?

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