Friday, January 21, 2011
A Tale of Two Teams Going in Opposite Directions
Wells turned it around last year with 31 homers in 2010, but is still way overpaid. He can't hit lefties as he hit .201 against them the last two years. The fact that The Jays were able to get rid of him (and at least part of that albatross contract) is pretty great in itself, but to be able to get a big time power bat like Napoli puts a cherry on top. Juan Rivera also adds some bop to the line up. The Angels will be paying Kazmir, GmJoke, and Vernon Wells big money in 2011. Tony Reagins hasn't impressed with some of his moves. Whether it was overpaying for Hunter or the trade for Kazmir or this move, he has had an unimpressive run as the Angel's GM. They have little to no chance of overtaking the Rangers and this trade just adds another aging player to the roster.
The Rays many people felt were heading to a bit of a down year with all the guys they lost this off season. They lost a cornerstone guy in Crawford and Soriano who was great last year. They also lost a couple important relievers (Choate & Balfour). Andrew Friedman is without question the best GM in Baseball and he got to work. He got four prospects for an overrated by some Garza and used the money left over to get big time offensive help.
Manny when healthy was productive last season. Last year he had an OPS over .800, while Damon struggled some in 2010. He was pretty damn terrific the previous two years. They are taking a chance on both guys but it's worthwhile ones. Friedman in two moves built for the future and made the team better in 2011. There are many that figured 2011 was gonna be a bridge year and The Rays would be able to compete for the division again in 2012. Well now they are showing they're in it in 2011 and have a good chance of making a run at the division. There is a lot riding on their young pitching, which is extremely talented. Their bullpen might be a sore spot this year, but they're gonna be good for a long time. They've won the division two of the last three years with a small payroll. They only have good days ahead. Meanwhile The Angels are taking on water with an old roster and a front office that is making things worse.