The Los Angeles Angels did well today, sending shortstop Orlando Cabrera and cash to the Chicago White Sox for right-hander Jon Garland.
Cabrera is coming off a career year, where he batted .301 with a .345 OBP, eight home runs, and 86 runs batted in. The right-handed Colombian has one year left on a four-year deal that will pay him $8.5 million in 2008.
Though a contract year is sure to drive Cabrera to match his numbers from 2007, Southsiders can't expect too much from a 33-year-old who exceeded the .300 mark for the first time in his career—and who hasn't hit double-digit home runs since 2003.
By moving Orlando Cabrera, the Angels open up space on the left side of their infield to make a run at another Cabrera—the Marlins' talented third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who is rumoured to be on the trading block in Miami.
Now that the Angels have lost out on Alex Rodriguez, they would do well to make a big splash this off-season by bringing in M. Cabrera—not the aging Miguel Tejada—to help star right-fielder Vladamir Guerrero by adding some much needed protection in the middle of the lineup.
The 24-year-old Venezuelan-born slugger is coming off of four straight seasons with at least 26 home runs and 110 runs batted in. He has the rare ability to hit for power and average—and in both his talent and demeanor reminds many of a young Manny Ramirez.
Jon Garland is also a solid addition to the Angels' already-stellar rotation. Having logged over 200 innings in the past four seasons, Garland is as reliable as they come in the big leagues. And though his results are often inconsistent—as seen by his 10-13 record in 2007—he's thrown well below the average league ERA in each of the past three seasons.
In sum, he's another live arm for Mike Scioscia—and gives new GM Tony Reagins some added ammunition to take a shot at M. Cabrera.
A good first deal for Reagins—and another head soon to be scratched by oft-emotional Kenny Williams.