Two Outfielders, One Day
Two blog posts for the price of one.
Andres Torres is back. I’m surprisingly non-conflicted about this.
I’ll be honest, considering how popular he was with a few female friends of mine, I wasn’t all THAT upset to see him leave in the Angel Pagan trade last season. I mean, I liked him well enough, that he was one of those scrappy players who jumped up for the Giants, and overcame some legitimate issues. I was rooting for him, and I wished him the best.
He didn’t get the best.
On a disappointing Mets team, hit just .230 with a .664 OPS, which admittingly was still better than his 2011 season with the Giants. He still had more home runs in 2010 (16) than the rest of his career combined (14 in 408 major league games). Mets fans didn’t care for him much, although they had bigger fish to fry.
Torres returns as a fourth outfielder. At best, the plan is for him to platoon with Gregor Blanco in left field. At worst, he’ll fall into a fifth outfielder role behind a talented youngster coming up, like Gary Brown or Francisco Peguero (Stop laughing…I still believe).
Realistically, though, this is a no-risk move. At $2 million, Torres has no real negative impact on the payroll. He’s an experienced outfielder with World Series background that can compete to keep the starters on their toes, like he did with Aaron Rowand. And…he’s an old friend coming back, hopefully for another career resurgence.
Even if the girls will swoon a bit.
So, Josh Hamilton is going to the Angels.
I respect Hamilton for what he’s overcome as a human being. And for the most part, I like the guy. But $25 million a year seems to be too much for a guy who’s played more than 135 games in a season just twice in five years.
Is he going to hit 43 home runs away from the yard in Arlington? Doubtful. His contact skills seemed to drop, as strikeouts rose. He wasn’t running as well. And there were issues at the the end of the year.
I don’t think the Angels are going to be very happy about this deal in the next couple of years. The year Albert Pujols had was nothing if not a disappointment, although he did look better later in the summer. Maybe I’m biased in the NL, but C.J. Wilson’s 3.83 ERA didn’t really wow me.
Frankly, Hamilton’s going to be a supporting player to Mike Trout, who is going to be my number 1 ranked player if I decide to do fantasy baseball this year. Trout is amazing. And he’ll keep the Angels contending. And probably in the playoffs. But I don’t see a dominating lineup the way others do.
Oh, and about those Rangers. I feel bad for them. I would’ve been happy to see them win…in 2011. But their window pretty much has just shut.