Monday, November 19, 2007

Angels trad O-Cab for Jon Garland

If you haven't heard this by now, then you're probably here looking for Sharin Foo pictures. I don't blame you.

Can't say as I saw this one coming, but the initial reaction is that the Angels aren't done. I can't believe they would have made this deal without something bigger on the horizon. Certainly the speculation will be around Miguel Cabrera, but that doesn't make sense to me, as it still leaves the Angels without a shortstop*, and without a day-in day-out position for Chone Figgins, which one would figure would be either 3rd base, 2nd base, or center field. 2nd base only opens up if they trade Howie for Miguel Cabrera, which still leaves them without a shortstop*. Center field only opens up if they find someone dumb enough to take Gary Matthews Jr., and seeing how Allard Baird and David Littlefield don't have that power anymore, it's a long shot.

All of which means the deal that's more likely to be on the table is something, primarily pitching, for Miguel Tejada. It's going to take Santana and either a top prospect (Wood) or maybe a couple of mid-level prospects (Rodriguez and Conger?). Perhaps Santana and Adenhart, since Nick grew up a lot closer to Ballmer than Anaheim.

In return, the Angels get Jon Garland, who was rumored to be on the way to the Angels six years ago, not long before Darin Erstad helped lead the Angels to a World Championship (at least with his playoff performance). Now they get a better than league average innings eater who will be just 28 this year, the final year of his contract. Obviously this leaves the Angels with six starters if you assume Ervin was heading back to the rotation next season, which will lead to the invevitable speculation that he (or Saunders, or even possibly Weaver) is headed somewhere else. If I had to bet, I'd put money on Miguel Tejada over Miguel Cabrera. He fills (in theory) the hole at short, and brings a pretty big bat along with him.

*I use the asterisk to note that I don't really think the Angels need a shortstop right now. I think they're better right now than they were yesterday. The rotation is deeper, and I think Maicer Izturis could, health permitting, play 145 games at shortstop, provide adequate defense, and hit better than Cabrera did last season. Plus, he's only 27, so his best years are arguably ahead of him. I like this deal for that reason alone. I'll miss OC. He was a good Angel, and very likable guy, but I can't see him putting up another season like he had last year. I'll root for him in Chicago, but I'm not heartbroken over this deal.

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