The Winter Meetings are over, and the long-coveted 3rd baseman Miguel Cabrera has been traded. The only problem: he went to the wrong team, and now he will be crushing pitches for Detroit rather than in Los Angeles of Anaheim.
Let me get this out of the way now: I am furious. I am beyond furious.
Tony Reagins has come in, taken the GM job, and done exactly what I was praying he wouldn't: overvalue unproven talent and refuse to pull the trigger for Hall-of-Fame talent.
I can't claim to know all the details—only the Angels and Marlins officials do. But I know this much: Reagins had a chance to plug the Angels' biggest hole with a 24-year old sure-fire Hall-of-Fame bat, and he balked because of reluctance to include young talent, probably both Ervin Santana and Nick Adenhart.
Question: Who is Ervin Santana and who is Nick Adenhart?
Answer: Two highly talented young pitchers who both share something in common: they are not power-hitting third basemen.
They are, in fact, talented pitchers, something the Angels are well-stocked with. No one knows what they will produce or if they will blow out their arms down the road at some point, like many young talented pitchers do.
We do know that Miguel Cabrera, even when out of shape and unmotivated, put up insane numbers in a terrible hitter's park. Let's review:
2007: .966 OPS, comprised of a much needed .401 OBP and a .565 slugging. That would look mighty nice either in front of or behind Vladimir.
2006: .998 OPS, boiled down to a .430 OBP and a .568 slugging.
2005: .946 OPS, with a .385 OBP and a .561 slugging.
The guy is improving, and he did real damage in a terrible environment on a bad—though talented—young team.
As for Tony Reagins, he seems like a great part of the Angels' organization, with a good demeanor and a tender smile.
But unfortunately, he has made a rather large mistake here. Even worse, this mistake was preceeded by another rather large mistake—the signing of Torii Hunter to a long-term deal.
More on that signing to come.