Tuesday, December 15, 2009

California Dreamin'...or is it

It seems to me that California baseball is truly in a funk. Where it looked like in years past that teams like the Angels and the Dodgers made important moves in the offseason, they now seem to have let the Jones' pass them by rather than keeping up with them. Let's take each team individually.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I know I spoke about the Angels in yesterday's post and I apologize for rehashing but I'm still amazed that the Angels let both Lackey and Halliday slip away. We may have seen Lackey's exit from Anaheim quite clearly on screen when Sciosica took Lackey out kicking and screaming during Game 5 of the ALCS. It just seemed that the Angels did nothing to retain the services of its ace similar to the manner that they did nothing to retain the services of their previous closer, Francisco Rodriguez. I can see letting injury prone Lackey go if the Angels figured prominently to acquire Roy Halliday from the Blue Jays. But after all the rumors and speculation the Angels were left holding an empty sack while their division rivals, the Seattle Mariners improve significantly with the aquisition of Cliff Lee, the signing of Chone Figgins and the ability to sign Jason Bay.

Los Angeles Dodgers
There is certainly an air of forboding covering Chavez Ravine. The martial issues of the McCourt family have left the Dodgers in limbo. Losing Randy Wolf to the Brewers (3-years 29.75 million) without a peep in negotiations or arbitration means that they get nothing back from the Brewers, It also means that there is a big hole in the rotation that contains Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsly and Hideki Kuroda. The rumors have mentioned Yankees castoff Chien Ming Wang as a potential addition to the rotation. But will the Dodgers get the two-time 19 game winner or the two-time season ending injury pitcher. The Dodgers also traded OF Juan Pierre to the Chicago White Sox for two prospects to be named later. The Dodgers will also pay 8 million of the 18.5 that is owed to Pierre. Maybe the prospects will become major leaguers but it seems to be that the team is just idling making small moves to just stay on the radar..

The San Francisco Giants
My friend Justin says (in much more colorful language) that the Giants are sitting around doing nothing and I agree with him. Aside from the bright spots of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Pablo Sandoval the Giants are very mediocre. The team can pitch but is hard pressed to score runs. Whatever supporting punch they had with Sandoval is all gone with the free agent departures of Juan Uribe and Ryan Garko. What I thought would have been a good fit is no longer available. I believed that 3B Pedro Feliz (who signed with the Houston Astros for 1-year 4.5 Million) would have provided an economical bat to play along side Sandoval who could move to 1B. If the Giants wanted to keep Sandoval at 3B, they could go after free agent 1B Nick Johnson who (if healthy) can provide not a power bat in the lineup but a steady and reliable hitter. At the very least, the Giants should make a run for 3B Adrian Beltre before the Red Sox snap him up. But it seems that the Giants are content with just sitting by and see what players happens to fall in their lap..

San Diego Padres
After a 70-92 last place finish in the N.L. West and a season that saw ace Jake Peavy traded to the Chicago White Sox there's really not much more to say about the Padres. Most of the news surrounding the Friars concerns the potential trades of 1B Adrian Gonzalez and 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff. Though all the news coming out of San Diego is negative. The Padres did resign their best starter, Kevin Correia to a 1-year deal worth 3.6 million. Correia led the team with 12 wins and 190 innings pitched. It seems that the Padres will continue to utilize their farm and keep the team young and energetic. But will the youthful exuberance be enough to retain the look of the team that finished the season 37-25 or will they go through the bumps and growing pains that a young team tends to go through.

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