By Glen McKee, Angelswin.com Prognosticator
I know, it’s December and that means it’s late to be making an offseason prediction thread. That’s OK though because not much has happened yet. I still have time. Without further ado, here is what will happen over the next three-plus months. Bookmark this page and come back to it on March 1, and be amazed at how accurate these predictions are.
- Justin Upton will avoid opting out and sign a new contract with the Angels, giving him an extra year. It just makes too much sense. It should have already happened.
- Yusmeiro Petit will sign with the Athletics. Again, it seems like it should already have happened. He’ll be their closer and dominate us. But don’t worry, if the Angels need a closer in June they can trade with the As to get him back. Beane is a genius!
- Albert Pujols will show up for spring training in the best shape of his month. He will even have a decent spring, giving us false hope.
- The Angels will trade for a 2B. Who will it be? Hernandez or Gordon? Prying Cesar Hernandez from the Phillies would give me a stiffie so hard that Wolverine’s claws couldn’t cut it, so that won’t happen. It’s gonna be Gordon. Oh, and don’t get your hopes up because…
- The Angels will not trade for Mikecarlos Stanton. It’s the Dodgers or bust for Stanton. You know it, I know it, Stanton knows it, even that moron you work with (you know who I’m talking about) knows it. Oh yeah, and while we’re riding the train of bad news…
- The Angels will not sign Shohei Ohtani. I know the odds are slim, but really, they’re not slim. They’re none. There are tiers for teams in the major league. The top tier has the destination teams: the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs. They get first dibs at the international dinner table. The Angels are in the second tier: they get to root around through the leftovers and hope they find something tasty. Editorial note: When I started writing this the Angels weren’t in the Ohtani discussion. You’re welcome.
- Mike Scioscia will return as manager, and during the spring he’ll sign a three – year extension. I’ve come to peace with this even though I disagree with it. It will be great for board traffic, though. Guaranteed 15 pages in the first day after the extension is announced.
- Luis Valbuena will be the opening day 3B. If the Angels upgrade at 2B (they will, sorta, with Gordon) and 1B (wait for it…) then having Valbuena at 3B won’t be too bad. It will be like the doctor saying you have a hernia, but it’s just a small one so there’s not much you can do about it except wait for it to pop. That’s Valbuena, our little hernia.
- The Angels opening day 1B will be…Logan Morrison. GMs are getting smarterer about contracts. I know that’s true because I read it somewhere on the internet. Anyhoo…that means that they’ll look beyond Morrison’s anomaly of a year in 2017 and realize he isn’t worth the megabucks. That’s will Eppler will swoop in and sign him for a three-year deal. And ya know what? That sucks because it will mean CJ Cron is gonna be traded for a spare part. Why does it suck? Simple math, my friend. LoMo has produced 5.2 WAR over 2953 AB (I’m using Baseball Reference, nerds), or 1 WAR for every 568 AB (roughly every year). CJ has produced 2.8 WAR over 1366 AB, or 1 WAR for every 488 AB. Cron will be cheaper and let’s face it, Cron is more fun to look at. Based on this simple math and five minutes of agonizing research, I’d like to plead with Eppler to stick with CJ and also submit it as my resume to be an assistant assistant GM. Billy, if you’re reading this, I’m trying to save the team millions of dollars. You can use those savings to hire me, I’ll start in the mid three-figure range. Call me.
- Using the above math, how about some Trout porn? 2018 will be Mike Trout’s seventh full season. Man, where did all that time go? Trout has produced 55.2 WAR over 3399 AB. That’s 1 WAR for every…wait for it…60 AB. Damn, son. For comparison, Bryce Harper produces 1 WAR for every 106 AB. Giancarlo Stanton, every 102 AB. Jose Altuve, every 133 AB (that indicates the weakness of the basis for statistical argument but I’m sticking with it). For giggles, I checked out Barry Bonds. 1 WAR for every 61 AB. Trout>Bonds, if only just barely.
- What about the pitching staff? Eppler has already said he’s not going to acquire a starting pitcher, so I fully expect Eppler will acquire a starting pitcher. John Lackey and Joe Blanton are available! Seriously, though, the Angels will add a starting pitcher. Not an ace, not even a sub-ace, but another Parker Bridwell type that nobody will see coming. Eppler is crafty like that with pitchers; he’s the anti-Dipoto.
- There will be two equally obscure relievers signed. Who are they? I don’t know, they’re obscure. Are you even reading this? Check out Ettin’s excellently researched article to get a few names. Editorial note: shortly after I wrote this, Eppler traded for Jim Johnson. I’m sticking by this.
- Kaleb Cowart will be a bench guy, again. I love the trochaic meter of his name (That’s a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable, you troglodytes. Yes, I had to look it up). Kaleb Cowart. Maybe his name is why he has some of us, myself included, hypnotized. Name aside, he’s a solid late-inning defensive replacement. If LOOGY is a thing, then Cowart is a LIDR. Dibs on that term. Note: I googled it and there was no notation of it being used before. LIDR is my “fetch.” You could even combine LIDR with another acronym, Helping Offense Score Ein ruN, or LIDR-HOSEN.
That’s all for now, folks. These are all guaranteed to happen or your money back. Feel free to post your own predictions or foolishly tell me how wrong I am. You’ll regret it.