Well, after thinking about it for a while, I'm still not really sure what this means. I simply can't believe that this is the roster the Angels are going to take to April 1st. So really any analysis that contemplates that happening is almost sure worthless, but what the hell, that's what blogs are for, right?
The most obvious picture shows Hunter in center, one of Vlad or GA in the field, and GMJ at the opposite corner, which probably isn't ideal unless either Vlad or GA is made the primary DH while the other is in the field 5 out of 7 games. It also means that Juan Rivera is essentially worthless to this management team, despite being a better hitter than at least two of the guys who will see regular time in the outfield or DH, which tells me they haven't really thought all that much about Rivera.
Logic of course dictates that one of either Saunders, Santana or Weaver will be packaged with one of either Willits or Rivera, and probably at least one of Nick Adenhart or Brandon Wood in a package for a Miguel, but your guess is as good as mine. As I write this, nothing has been finalized, but Tony Reagins appears to like to work quickly. New rumors have the Angels essentially giving up on keeping Howie Kendrick, but I can't do anything but hope they're wrong. I don't know what it is, but I really like Howie Kendrick, and I see him winning multiple batting titles in his career. I'd hate to see the Angels give up that kind of offense, damn the walks, at such a difficult position to fill. I'm sure people think I'm nuts and I'm totally overvaluing Kendrick, but so be it.
Back to the signing, six years is a long time, and much like the Matthews deal, the years concern me much more than the dollars. I like to think I have a theoretical grasp on the economics of the game, but hell if I know how much teams really have to spend. Revenues are supposedly booming right now in baseball, and the Angels are one of the teams driving that, with boatloads of fans showing up at the Big A in addition to a monster television contract signed just a year ago. So the dollars aren't my concern. Hell, it's not my money. And honestly, this team has shown a willingness to accept that some things are sunk costs. If they weren't, they wouldn't have already decided to move Matthews out of center field.
Are the Angels better because of this deal right now? I think so, but not a ton, mostly because this means fewer at bats for Juan Rivera, assuming he's even in Halo red next season. And to the extent it precludes them from making other moves, we'll just have to wait and see. Much like the Matthews signing, it has the feel of a move made for the sake of making a move. But again, in the final analysis, I just can't see them going to Arizona without at least one more major shake up, and if this deal is any indication, there's almost no point in trying to predict what that might be, because these guys are working from their own private playbook.