The Los Angeles Angels, well ahead of the ceremonial ball drop, have already begun to fulfill their New Year's resolutions for 2013.
Following their 2012 third-place finish in the AL West, owner Arte Moreno and general manager Jerry Dipoto wasted no time in retooling areas of need: The bullpen, the bullpen...and the bullpen.
And, of course, the merry-go-round ride possibility of signing Zack Greinke—which was eventually eased by signing Josh Hamilton.
That’s right, Angels' faithful. While the move may not make total sense, the forecasting of ticket sales because of it is crystal clear. Besides, what's the hurt if Hamilton can also bring his career .304, 35 home run and 122 RBI average?
Headline power aside, the club did proceed as promised and upgraded the bullpen. They signed Ryan Madson to an incentive-latent deal with a base salary of $3.5 million (h/t LA Times' Lance Pugmire) and also added left-handers Sean Burnett and Brandon Sisk for mid- to late-inning relief.
After several (questionable?) acquisitions that brought starting pitchers Joe Blanton, Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas to the club, plus the signing of Hamilton, the club looked set for 2013.
GM Jerry Dipoto, in an article by MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez, expressed his delight saying this:
We have a very good defense, we've got a strong offensive club, we have a top of the rotation that's representative with the better top of the rotations in the league, and we've got a bullpen now that I think matches up depth for depth with anything that we've had here for quite some time.
Without question, he's right. They do. However, just like skipping the gym a week into January or grabbing those extra chocolate cupcakes at work, resolutions can also get broken with weakness.
And the Angels are no exception to the rule. Let's take a look at five weaknesses that may hinder any thought of a 2002-like campaign for the club in 2013.
(All stats provided are from baseball-reference.com unless otherwise noted).