Sunday, January 11, 2004

Vlad goes to the Angels 

Wow! That was one I was not expecting! Vlad signs a 5yr / $70M deal with the Angels and the AL West is not only a 3 team race for sure, but the Angels just moved into the favorites chair.

Vlad in RF gives the Angels an impressive offense with Jose Guillen in left, Garrett Anderson moving from left to center, Tim Salmon moving to DH, and Darin Erstad to 1B. Add in Bartolo Colon to go with Washburn and you have an excellent rotation as well although rumblings are that this signing pushes the Angels over the $105M mark, and they may have to trade some players, maybe one of Washburn, Ortiz or even Percival.

Should the M's have offered Vlad a similar contract? Well, it probably would have taken more as Seattle does not have much of a Hispanic community which was apparently a requirement of Vlad. But lets say he would have signed for the same amount. The Seattle fan base would probably be MUCH more excited with the addition of one Vlad then by adding Ibanez, Spiezio, Aurilia and Guardado, whose contracts roughly add up to the same $14M that Vlad will make this year. We would have Vlad in place of Ibanez in LF, Justin Leone manning 3B, and another young gun (Nagoette?) in the bullpen, while Soriano certainly stayed a reliever. I think I would have been happier with Vlad, and certainly more excited, but only time will tell how these offseason deals play out for the M's and the Angels. And if this is how the optimist sounds, you can guess what's going on at the other boards.

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