Los Angeles Angels Add Scott Downs to Their Bullpen

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIDecember 10, 2010

TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 23:   Scott Downs #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the game on September 23, 2010 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays defeated the Mariners 1-0. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Brad White/Getty Images

I am going to say that this week was not the best one in the career of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim GM Tony Reagins.

First, he gets smoked by the Boston Red Sox in the Carl Crawford deal. Then, he announced late Friday that they were no longer going to pursue Rafael Soriano. Essentially, the two main Angel targets this offseason disappeared within 48 hours.

If it’s any consolation to Angel fans, they did sign a pretty good reliever on Friday.

The Angels signed former Toronto Blue Jay LHP Scott Downs to a three-year, $15 million contract. Downs can earn another $1 million in incentives if he finishes a certain number of games.

Well, I certainly didn’t see this move coming from the Angels.

I didn’t see it coming because A. I thought Downs would sign with the Boston Red Sox and B. The Angels already signed a left-hander earlier this offseason when they inked Hisanori Takahashi to a two-year, $8 million contract.

For those of you scoring at home, the Angels have spent $23 million on left-handed middle relievers this offseason. That’s umm, interesting to say the least.

Then again, if you have followed the Angels over the last couple of years, they have shelled out some interesting contracts to some not so stellar relief pitchers. Of course, I am talking about the $17.5 million they shelled out to Brian Fuentes and the $11 million they spent on Fernando Rodney.

However, I am going to cut the Angels some slack on the Downs signing. He is actually pretty good.

Since 2007, Downs has compiled a 2.36 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 7.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 236.2 innings. Downs features a fastball that hovers around the upper-80s, a slider and a pretty sweet curve.

What makes Downs so good is that he is one of those rare left-handed pitchers that can get both lefties and righties out. Left-handed batters had a slash line of .152/.247/.241 with two HRs and right-handed batters had a slash line of .243/.283/.354 with one HR against Downs in 2010.

That’s some solid work from the 34-year-old from Louisville, KY.

What role Downs will have with the Angels is still up in the air. If Reagins was telling the truth and the Angels are really out of the Soriano sweepstakes, then Rodney is the only closer on the roster.

Even the Angels have to realize at this point Rodney sucks out loud. Downs could very well find himself closing games in 2011.

Would I have signed Downs to a three-year, $15 million contract and on top of that surrender a first-round pick? No, I wouldn’t have.

But then again, after Joaquin Benoit set the market with his ridiculous contract, how could anyone argue with this contract? I would take Downs over Benoit any day of the week and even three times on Sunday.

In regards to surrendering a first-round pick? I don’t think the Angels cared about that. I think they will sign one more Type A free agent this offseason and that Type A free agent will be Adrian Beltre. I can’t see owner Arte Moreno going down this quietly this offseason.


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