Monday, November 21, 2011

Predicting Anaheim Angels offseason trades/free agent signings and the starting lineup of 2012

With David Wright and C.J. Wilson getting closer to the Angels organization, they should sign Wilson before anyone else does. If they want to have the best starting pitching in baseball next season, they would have to sign another ace like C.J. Wilson and if they want to have a powerful offense they would have to trade for third baseman David Wright of the New York Mets. Here are my predictions for the LA Angels offseason and their 2012 starting lineup.

1. FA signings from best to worst

1.C.J. Wilson
Wilson is coming off a 16 win season with the Rangers and had a 2.94 ERA and struck out 206 batters: all career highs. Wilson made the All star team in 2011 and finished 6th in the AL Cy Young award balloting. Wilson also had a nice season in 2010 when he won 15 games and lost 8 to go with a 3.35 ERA. Wilson has a career taking him up and down,until he made himself one of the best pitcher in all of Major League baseball. Up until 2010, Wilson was a solid reliever for the Rangers from 2005-2009. I expect Wilson to be signed for 84.2 Mil. If a team like the Phillies or the Giants signs him, they would have the best pitching staff in the Majors because they already have one of the best. If Anaheim signs him, they would have 4 aces and a young pitcher with high potential all in their pitching staff. Wilson will win 19 games, post an ERA of 2.48, strike out 239 batters, and make the all star team with any team. With C.C. Sabathia re-signed early by the Yankees, Wilson is probably the best Free agent pitcher in the majors.

2.Ramon Hernandez
With the worst catcher in the major leagues(Jeff Mathis) the Angels are in need of a reliable catcher like Cincinnatti's Ramon Hernandez. However, Hernandez is 36 and has not averaged much more than 100 games in the past couple of seasons. He is a free agent and could likely go to the Angels IF a team like the Mariners don't re-sign him.
That IF is very scary for teams like the Angels who have made bad free agent signings and trades in the past. Seattle also needs a catcher because current catcher Miguel Olivo is not durable, lacks defense behind the plate, cannot hit for average, and is very inconsistent. Although, Seattle may not worry about their catching depth which will open the door for Hernandez and the Angels. Hernandez is coming off a season in which he batted .282 and hit 12 4-baggers and drove in just 36 runs. His .341 OBP however, will draw attention to other organizations. Hernandez has a .266 career batting average, with 161 homers and 723 RBI. 2 years and $56 mil. sounds like a good deal. The teams with probably the most interest are the Angels, Mariners, Rockies, and Pirates. Hernandez should finish with a .287 average with 22 homers and 87 RBI.

2. Trades from best to worst

1.David Wright:

The Angels will spend most of their offseason looking for the missing link in their lineup. David Wright fits that spot perfectly. But it will be almost a miracle if the Mets trade Wright to the Angels or any team because he is a good player and a very likable person on and off the field which you don't see often. Wright is coming off possibly his worst season in his 8 year tenure with the New York Mets when he hit just .254 and hit 14 home runs and out up only 61 RBI. Wright has not hit over the .300 mark since 2009 and has gotten closest to the milestone with a solid .283 average en route to his 5th and 5th straight all star appearance. Wright is expected to improve and has a bit of a high contract on a team that is rebuilding by trading big money players for young prospects. If the trade goes through, the Angels will likely trade one of their utility infielders such as Maicer Izturis or Alberto Callaspo and slugging prospect Randal Grichuk. Wright has a career batting average of .300 and 183 home runs with 725 RBI.Wright also has 2 gold gloves and silver sluggers both at third base. David Wright should still be all star caliber and still has enough left in the tank to blast 25 homers.

2.Huston Street

The Angels had one of baseballs worst bullpens last season and will be looking to change that by trading for Colorado Rockies closer Huston Street who won rookie of the year honors in 2005 by winning 5 games and posting a microscopic 1.72 ERA with 23 saves and 73 strikeouts in 78 innings pitched. Though in 2006, after saving a career high 37 games in 2006 Street went up against Detroit outfielder Magglio Ordonez in the ALCS where Ordonez hit a home run which would end the Athletics postseason but eventually the Tigers lost in the Fall Classic to St. Louis. Then in 2009, Street saved 34 out of 36 games in his first season with the Rockies. The problem is is that Colorado will probably want to keep their solid closer. Street will fill in in the Angels closer role very well who would take Jordan Walden's place in the bullpen. Street is a top 10 closer and durable. However, Huston Street is not consistent and will have to reduce his blown save total. I see Huston getting traded for prospects Orangel Arenas and Cam Bedosrian with relievers Kevin Jepsen and Anthony Ortega. Huston Street should save at least 35 games.

Predicted lineup

1.Peter Bourjos CF
2.Howie Kendrick 2B
3.Kendry Morales DH
4.Mark Trumbo 1B
5.David Wright 3B
6.Torii Hunter RF
7.Erick Aybar SS
8.Mike Trout LF
9.Ramon Hernandez

Predicted Starting Rotation

1.Jered Weaver
2.C.J. Wilson
3.Dan Haren
4.Ervin Santana
5.Tyler Chatwood

Predicted Bullpen

Closer:Huston Street
Right handed setup:Jordan Walden
Left handed setup:Scott Downs
long reliever: Rich Thompson
long reliever: Bobby Cassevah
middle reliever: Jerome Williams
middle reliever: John Hellweg

This is probably my best post yet. Oh, and by the way, I am 9 years old and the son of Francesca Lia Block.

THX for reading!

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