If our dreams are small enough.
The team’s being sold. It’s what you want. No major change comes without inconveniences. This off season is such a bugaboo. You’re gonna get a new owner, you don’t get a bunch of shiny new players, nor do you get to demand a champion, while that process happens. This here is a chicken fried steak off season. But with the right gravy CFS can be delicious, and that’s what I went for. A delicious gravy of generally above average production with the chance to win if Trout and the other two big stars do their jobs.
NOTE: All names are linked to their Bref page.
THE POSITIONAL ROSTER
THE MOVE: Sign Adam Duvall for 3.5 (+3.5mil)
1B – Jared Walsh (LF,RF)
2B – David Fletcher (SS,3B,LF)
3B – Anthony Rendon
SS – Gio Urshela (3B,1B,LF)
RF – Taylor Ward (LF)
CF- Mike Trout (LF)
LF – Jo Adell (CF)
C- Max Stassi
DH – Shohei Ohtani
C – Matt Thaiss (1B)
UTL – Luis Rengifo (2B,SS,3B,LF)
UTL – Adam Duvall (OF, 1B, DH)
AAA Depth about to get called up Luis Soto (IF) Logan O’Hoppe(C) Mickey Moniak (OF)
First, the burning question regarding the side detail every sadboy seems to need to focus on. Why did I choose one semi-good infielder over another to start? I just chose Fletcher because I’d rather hang out with him. If he sucks ass this spring he goes to the bench, Rengifo starts for him, and dozens of old white men make excuses for him.
As has been covered, if Rendon goes down, Fletcher/Urshela/Rengifo become our infield mix with Walsh/Duvall/Urshela at 1B. If Adell doesn’t pull it together Duvall takes his spot and Moniak becomes the defensive OF with Adell in SLC. If Thaiss fails he’s cut. If Stassi fails he sucks. O’Hoppe comes up. Duvall and Urshela can platoon against lefties for Walsh. If Ohtani is hurt these UTLs at least allow for some offensive coverage at DH.
THE MOVE: Sign Michael Lorenzen. 2/14 million. (+7mil)
Ohtani’s the obvious ace here. I think Sandoval’s not an ace but is well on his way to being a solid #2 with a contract extension. After that we have a bunch of guys who may not dominate but will also likely not give up bags of runs very often. I actually think Detmers and Lorenzen have wild card potential and either may blow up into fairly good starters on a level with Sandoval. We have few guys in AA/AAA this year who will be able to spot start and maybe even replace a long term injury after the first few weeks. Unfortunately we may lose Tucker Davidson.
So, let’s talk about the bullpen. The spot I can never guess who will actually do well in. In what is apparently going to be a lifelong battle to pick some good relief pitchers for a season, in 2023 I am going to try to solve the “Loup Problem”.
I wanted Loup last off season. I was happy to get Loup. Contrary to the wank, the Angels did not sign Aaron Loup to a contract based on his career year in 2021. They signed him to a contract that a generally effective lefty reliever gets, not a closer, etc. BUT he sucked. Even with a pretty solid track record, he sucked. But what really chaps me is that, while his WHIP and ERA+ dipped, they were still good, far better than we all saw Loup to actually be last year. So WTF? What should we look for in a relief arm other than being very successful for years and years? You know, like Raisel Iglesias.
Well. First, as PTP, I would like to avoid spending on the pen at all in the future.
Second, I think I am going to strive for an “above average” pen. How will I look for this white buffalo? I am going to try looking at RAA (Runs Above Average) and RAR (Runs Above Replacement Level) to avoid some of the squirreliness that comes with reliever stats. For example, Loups WHIP and ERA+ may have been OK last year, his RAA of -10 and RAR of -5 is what we saw with our eyeballs.
To this point we have a bunch of guys like Murphy, Joyce, Torres etc in the high minors looking ready to go soon. It’s also why I signed Tepera, Loup and Iglesias in the past, as a bridge to move towards eventually having a cheap pen with a little time under their belt. I am stuck with Loup and Tepera, at least for now. What else do I have to start with? I’ll put their lifetime and last season’s RAA/RAR next to their names.
Sign Tommy Kahnle (2/8) (+4mil)
Sign Brad Boxberger(1/3) (+3mil)
Tommy Kahnle (0,27)(2,3)
Brad Boxberger (10,54)(4,10)
Jimmy Herget (14/25)(13,19)
Ryan Tepera (21/57)(2,6)
Andrew Wantz (3,10)(4,9)
Aaron Loup (24/72)(-10,-5)
Jaime Barria (29,67(12,19)
Jose Quijada (-4,5)(2,6)
Kahnle, Herget, Boxberger and Quijada handle most of the leverage. None of these guys are making so much money that, by the end of June, they can’t be cut in favor of C Rod, Murphy, etc etc. Deep secret…. I want them to try to stretch out C Rod in the minors while he seasons.
So in total PTP and I spent
13 on Anderson
8(?) on Urshela
4 on Kahle
3 on Boxberger
7 on Lorenzen
3.5 on Duvall
Total: 38.5 Millions. Fk. I’m 100K over.
None of these moves really light the world on fire or move the needle or whatever term needy fans use for spending money. The thing is, all of the trades I looked at left holes that then needed to be filled, usually with spending I can’t do. I also didn’t have the cash to make any splashy moves and cutting players like Walsh to gain funds to make a splashier signing didn’t seem likely to yield me much more certainty than hoping Walsh heals up.
As is always the case, this roster pretty much depends on Trout, Rendon and Ohtani doing well. Fletcher, Walsh and Stassi returning to form will not hurt either. If that happens I think the teams depth in both pitching and hitting is much stronger than past years and will perform like a Toyota if not a Porsche.
Some surprises included here, but it is original and well thought out. Everyone one of us is relying on full seasons for the Big Three so we can make the playoffs, and an injury free starting staff, so there is that for all.
Now if we could get 2002 to tell where you failed, well I need a good laugh. 😂
Good job Gitch! Glad you put in some hard work on this. I’m still scared of our LF situation with Adell. He really needs to take a step forward in his progression.
Not sure about making Barria pitch left handed. 🙂
Outside the box!
Ung. I swear to gah my brain basically just thinks of Barria and Suarez as the same chubby soft contact pitching person.
No biggee, we’re family…….
I agree on your bullpen moves. The recent playoffs proved to me that you need a shitpile of really good/great arms that can be plugged in the middle to late innings as needed instead of just hoping that you can get the game to the ninth to bring in your big dog closer. Of course there are still a number of 40 man DFA candidates ( Marte, Ortega, Davidson, Rosenberg or Weiss could all disappear and I dont think anyone would notice) So addition to your proposed veteran pickups we have the Trash Can 4 ( Ingram, Torres, Murphy & Joyce) as well as handful of other under the radar arms that can materialize for the bullpen’s backend (Bachman, Bush, CRod or even R5 returnee Jose Soriano or Percy 2.0 Kenyon Yovan)
Curious how you would modify your IIWPW moves with the Renfroe acquisition obviously I don’t think you would need Duvall but I still think we are devoid of a preferably LHB CFer 4th outfielder type. Of course we really don’t know what Perry has left to spend until his reclusive boss finally realizes his wallet was lifted by Frustrated Angel fans in the Big A parking lot last September.
I’m still wondering if the Angels will go to a 5 man rotation as many “experts” have suggested but this decision will probably be influenced by Perry’s real budget. If a 6th man is needed you are spot on with resigning Lorenzen. I just feel like he has all of this talent but cant figure out how to harness it. Maybe Perry will wait out the market and bring him back late in the off season so at least we have something to talk about in Early February.
I didn’t know experts were suggesting we might go down to a 5 man rotation. That’s exciting. Can you link me to one? As an armchair expert, I was saying that all last season. I really think the 6 man rotation has got to go. It’s too hard to find 6 decent starters, and plus then we lose out 5 or so starts per season from our ace. That can have a significant impact on our playoff chances.
So – Renfroe and his predicted $12 million in 2023 basically eat up Lorenzen, Boxberger and Duvall.
But the addition of Renfroe arguably also makes one of our young outfielders tradable. Ward is the one I focused on as his trade value will likely never be higher.
You want to trade a 29 year old outfielder with an .800 + OPS (.360+ OBP) just to save a meager $2.9 million on either a retread bullpen arm or a washed up 6th starter or no hit shortstop. And then forcing us to play either Adell, Moniak or Rengifo in left field every night with their career sub .300 OBP’s?
No thank You.
Hey, you haven’t seen what I’ve done yet. Wait til Sunday. Here’s a hint – neither Adell nor Moniak is in my starting lineup.
I hate chicken fried steak, but I really like some of these moves you make, especially bringing back Lorenzen. If healthy, this roster could get you into the post season.
First a small nit to pick – Urshela is predicted to make $9.25m in 2023. Not a big deal but it does slightly affect the budget.
That said, I like this and think it’s realistic budget wise. It’s likely to run closer to a Toyota – solid and reliable – not enthralling. But if everyone stays healthy this team could be closer to a Lexus.
Yah. Can’t remember which link I clicked on to get Urshela’s number (MLBTR?) but it’s likely higher, as is any solid relief pitcher we sign.
As more relievers are getting signed and courted since I wrote this I am pretty sure I may have undershot what Kahnle and Boxberger will get…. but we’ll have to see. Even what pen arms get paid is a wild ride. For example, the contracts Andrew Chafin and Chris Martin pitched under last season.
I still think Duvall would have been a great pick up. He can play CF and costs less than Renfroe. But I like Renfroe too and if PTP has a payroll bump, as it looks like he does, then it’s even less of an issue.
BTW. Have you been wondering where the pennies that were pinched by trading away Syndergaard and Iglesias for scraps went? No, guy with daddy issues, it did not go to Arte’s collection Wild Turkey and whippin sticks, it is likely showing up in Renfroe and Urshela as apposed to Magnificence Sierra and Matt Duffy.
I left it off cause roster crunch, but I would also like to sign Michael Chavis to an MiLB contract and stash him in Salt Lake where he will try to hit baseballs over the mountains. Why? Offensive depth and a possible platoon partner for Walsh. He’s 27, so could get better, has power, has a .715 OPS against lefties and can play an OK 1B and 2B. OF in a pinch too. And he’ll cost beans. DO IT PERRY!
I have Biggiswrth scheduled for 10 AM Saturday and Fansince1971 for 10 AM Sunday. You guys should have plenty to talk about this weekend.
Awesome. Thank you!
It’s like an early Christmas!!!
You guys wrote some nice articles. Gitcho’s been a little naughty from time to time, but he posted first