Can we make an even more delicious roster sausage from FA’s scraps?
Here is a list of players I can think of who I would maybe throw an MiLB or small MLB contract at if I were our current GM. Truth be told, contenders don’t rely on Matt Thaiss and Brandon Walsh when disaster strikes. Sure, the kids can contribute too, but teams need those David Freese or Jim Thome type veterans to sometimes step in and keep the ship from sinking when the storms hit. So while I know the mantra is always going to be “play the kids” because they are shiny and may be stuffed with gold, here are some guys that may be worth stashing or even breaking camp with if we can get them cheap.
Click on their names. See their BRef pages. A major reason I am writing this is also to figure out the posting tools, so sorry if it’s a disaster.
Why? Innings. He is a starter and he will pitch innings. Afraid of Tijuana Walker and Danny Salazar’s 84 MPH fastball? Afraid of watching Dal Pozzo Tires pitch again this season, sign Vargas. He won’t be great, but he will probably handle at least 100 innings this year, probably more.
Why? Because I think Hermosillo sucks. I am also afraid of rushing Marsh and Adell. If we can get a CF capable veteran to play in Salt Lake why not? We wouldn’t need him unless disaster strikes, but why risk it?
Why? The main reason, click on his name and look at his split stats. He is the answer to the Pujols problem if it gets worse. Besides 1B he can also man a corner OF spot, 2B and 3B if we get desperate. He has power, he’s versatile. He helps avoid ever having a season of Tovarish discontent.
He had a 117 OPS+ in 2018, the year before his life fell apart. He’s useful in the field. Maddon probably doesn’t know how to quit him. If he’s cheap, why not?
Do you like steady bullpen arms that don’t need to walk the bases loaded before they get out of an inning? I do. That’s what Reed was till 2018 when he started to get banged up, then missed all of last year with a thumb injury. Why not see if the guy has another season of 117 ERA+ in him?
Ryan Buchter and Tony Cingrani
His WHIP and FIP jumped up last year and the A’s didn’t want to pay him for his low ERA and veteran grit. Still, he’s left handed and has been generally nails for a long time, still K’s more than nine a game.
Cingrani is also a lefty reliever who lost all of last season to a labrum tear. He is riskier than Buchter and has been a little more all over the place career stats wise, but I have watched him pitch a bit with the Reds and even a few Doyers games I couldn’t avoid on a bar TV. When he is in good shape he is diet Aroldis Chapman. Worth a dice roll to see what he has.
Well. Those are the guys I could think of to act as the mortar in the beautiful tile mosaic that is our 2020 Angels roster. Any other bright ideas?
I’m surprised Ryan Butcher is still out there. He seems like a good fit in a lot of bullpens, even with the stupid 3 batter rule. He walks too many guys, but Eppler seems to like that.
Addison Reed was a guy I wanted for several years. Pretty stable Just wonder about his health. He is definitely worth a camp invite to see what he has.
WE GOT HIM! We got Buchter! Our dream off season is complete!
Are we talking Beyond or Impossible meat here or real rain-forest shaving & methane-producing cattle?
Vargas might be the kind of pitcher that thrives on that extra day of rest, his 2019 game logs show he doesn’t get blown up on the launch pad very often, he can give a team innings, crafty lefty veteran, would be good insurance policy if he’s willing to be just that. Our 6 man rotation might be appealing to veterans who could get a second wind from pitching 20% less often, aging manifests in recovery time and stamina, less is more.
It would also free up Maddon to use Pena long out of the bullpen when he returns. It could be pretty wild to have a guy arrive in the pen in June who can face two plus innings of batters really effectively twice a week. I think Pena could be a powerful reliever and if Vargas keeps Pena from starting that adds to his value for us.
I wouldn’t hate any of these adds, considering they (1) come at minimal cost and (2) don’t impede anyone who is clearly worthy of a roster spot to begin with. Good thoughts!
The big win would be getting any of them in MiLB contracts, though I think Buchter and Vargas will get MLB contracts…. still, I could be persuaded to risk losing Parker Markel, Mike Mayers or Luke Bard for these two.
Bard had a 553 OPS allowed in the 2nd half last year. It looked like he finally started to turn a corner. I thought his struggles were mostly being way way way too predictable last year. I could guess what he was going to throw when he was struggling like 90% of the time. He wanted to throw his slider too much, and they’d get laid off, he’d then throw fastballs in fastball counts which hitters teed off on. I think he could be one of our better relievers this year.
I can’t speak informedly on any of your particular choices, but I think your general idea is solid.
Just to be clear, even with Joc Pederson on the roster and MarDell in the minors I want Hernandez because I fear the situation where the kids are not ready, Mike Trout goes down, Pederson’s splits are still crazy, and we need a CF. Plus, if he tears it up in AAA we can trade him to a team that needs a CF maybe. He’s not super necessary, but if we can pay him 700K to play in SLC I’d do it.
Just to Clarify on Hernandez
You want a 32 yo player who has (mostly) proven over 1000 MLB PA hes a sub-replacement hitter and barely a league average defender in 2300+ innings over Hermosillo (25 yo) who has a just about a 100 MLB PA and is an Average/Above defender (small sample) in CF & RF? Hermosillo has better MiLB and overall (while smaller sample size) professional numbers so I can’t really see the point of this move except to bring in an established “name”.
What are you seeing?
The word established sums it up. Is he good? No. I’m not saying that. But a 643 OPS is better than a 577. Hermosillo is younger, and has a higher MiLB OPS, as he should playing in the western batting cages our system lives in. I’m not saying that we even have to get rid of Hermosillo. I’m saying that, if the total collapse that would necessitate either one of these guys being used comes along I’d rather have a guy with a few MLB seasons under his belt fill in, IF we can have that for next to nothing.
You’d have to be pretty desperate to categorize Hernandez as a “name”. But being even slightly able to play CF could really help us, or another team, if needed. Hell, just last year there was a horrible draught at the position once injuries set in around the MLB.
.577 OPS is 108 PAs is a bad month.
.643 OPS in 1,091 PAs is a bad 9 months.
If all has gone to hell, personally I would find it more interesting to watch Hermosillo play and see if he is any good than watch another throw away player who’s PAs you know you can skip on a regular basis.
World Series winner.
Apple Valley HS Grad.
We always need a Dirtbag.
After the really disgraceful meltdown Vargas had last year with the Mets, challenging a beat writer to a fight over an innocuous comment, that would be a hard pass from me.
Even if he was defending the honor of current pitching coach Callaway from a misunderstood/misheard comment, the last thing this team needs is to turn into Real Housewives of Anaheim.
Or…. he made an ass of himself and has said in his mind “Well, I’m never doing that again. That didn’t go well at all.” then he signs with some team and pitches 140 innings of 4+ ERA.
There’s got to be a limit to the range of my outrage cannon. Cheat, steroids, beat a woman or kid, manipulative junkie? Yup, you suck. Wanting to punch a reporter? I get it, I can live with it, just don’t make a habit of it.
I met the Vargas family, minus Jason, in 2014 in the elevator at the Double Tree hours before he beat us in game 1 of the playoffs. Very nice family, said they missed living in southern California but also enjoyed it in KC. They seemed very down to earth, friendly and humble. He’s from So Cal so it could be coming home for his final season.