For the past several years, Andrew Bailey was a reliever I had wanted the Angels to get to help address their bullpen woes that have been their biggest weakness on the field since 2010. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and the former 2009 Rookie of the Year stepped into the injury abyss. He wasn’t heard from much for a few years, and then the Angels came knocking on his door this past August while he was struggling in his comeback with the Philadelphia Phillies.
He changed squads, and the results were better than even I expected.
In 11 1/3 innings, Bailey posted a 2.38 ERA with eight strikeouts and just two walks and six saves. The righty became the Angels’ new closer after a season-long ninth inning scavenger hunt.
I actually found myself hoping the club would re-sign him. And then this happened today…
The #Angels have agreed to a one-year deal with Andrew Bailey.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) November 9, 2016
The deal is worth $1 million, and has incentives tied to his ability to be the Angels’ closer. This would be a huge steal for the team and a bullpen that struggled most of the season.
Things won’t come that easy, however. Huston Street has been the Halos’ primary closer when healthy. But he’s been told he will have to fight with Cam Bedrosian for the job this spring.
And that was before Bailey signed his contract…
More From the GM’s Office
.@Angels reinstate RHPs Matt Shoemaker, Huston Street, Nick Tropeano, Garrett Richards, LHP Andrew Heaney from 60-day DL; DFA Cory Rasmus.
— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) November 8, 2016
- That’s a lot of players coming off the disabled list. This is mainly to begin rounding out the 40-man roster going into next season.
- Most likely, Heaney will be put back on the 60-day DL to start the season so the Halos can use that spot for depth in 2017, as the lefty likely won’t be back until Opening Day 2018.
- Same goes for Tropeano. Richards, Shoe, and Street should all be ready, however.
- Rasmus was DFA’d to make room. But we’re hoping he accepts his assignment to work out the kinks after core muscle surgery. The kid has good stuff and should be an effective reliever like he was in 2014 for the Halos when healthy.
For those who wondered yesterday about Angels and Howie Kendrick, seems highly unlikely to me. Doesn't fit what they want.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) November 9, 2016
- That’s how the Angels are looking at the situation. They need lefty bats, and there are plenty of affordable options out there that are productive without being flashy.
- Derek Dietrich is the Miami Marlins‘ second baseman, also with the ability to play third base and left field. He also hits lefty, and is has a pretty good glove.
- Oh, and he’s one of those Billy Beane-type players who draws a lot of walks, which helps him post a eyebrow-raising .279 / .374 / .425 slash line, with a 119 OPS+ and a 2.4 WAR in his first full season in 2016.
- Plus, with barely making above the league minimum heading into his first year of arbitration, the Halos could save mightily to fill second base here, and then spend bigger money on pitching.
- Not bad, kid. I say go for it!
- Scooter Gennett is one that fans have quietly been asking about. Currently with the Milwaukee Brewers, Scooter is less of a walk machine and more of an aggressive and prototypical second baseman-type, but with some pop.
- With three full seasons under his belt out of four total, this lefty hitting youngster has a .279 / .318 / .420 career slash line with a 162-game average of 12 homeruns a season, and a 99 OPS+.So he’s basically a league average hitter overall, but he averages a 2.5 WAR per 162 games, and his defense is back and forth, but averages a 0.6 dWAR.
- So he’s serviceable with the glove.
- Like Dietrich, Gennett also makes just above the league minimum, and is in his first year of arbitration.
- Not a particularly great option, as he’s league average and only exclusive to second base. But he would be just fine for the Halos if acquired.
- Cesar Hernandez can fly. With the Phillies in 2016, he had 13 triples in 2016 to lead the National League. But he doesn’t have any power. The Angels could use some more of that, as they were fourteenth in the American League in homers.
- Cesar is a switch-hitter, and can take a walk. Although he doesn’t draw them quite as much as Dietrich. Hernandez is also a base stealer. The Halos definitely need that.
- With a .294 / .371 / .393 slash line, a 107 OPS+, and a 3.3 WAR, the Venezuelan native had his best season out of four in the Big Leagues. His career line is .281 / .350 / .361, with a 96 OPS+, averaging 16 stolen bases, and a 2.1 WAR.
- Hernandez right at the same financial level as the first two: barely above league minimum and heading into his first arbitration.
- He fits the bill as well.
- At first glance, I was intrigued by Luis Valbuena off the free agent market, as he’s listed under second base on the MLB Trade Rumors free agent list. But then this happened…
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) November 7, 2016
- Scratch that one… So which of the first three should the Halos go for? I’m fine with all three. But out of preference, I’m actually torn between Dietrich and Hernandez.
- Then of course there’s my number one pick at second base whom everyone is fully aware of (or should be!): Neil Walker.
- And then there’s this…
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) November 6, 2016
- Unless the Halos stick with the Jett Bandy / Carlos Perez combo, I think that one is probably between Jason Castro, Ryan Hanigan, Donier Navarro, Nick Hundley, and Wilson Ramos. They’re all pretty much the same at the plate, give or take. Basically like re-signing Geovany Soto. Defense varies as well. But that isn’t a problem anymore behind the plate.
- As with second base, the Angels are just looking for at least league average production (or better if possible) at catcher. The big guns in the lineup are already accounted for.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) November 7, 2016
- So who will the Angels sign? MLB Trade Rumors has their Top 50 Free Agent Predictions. And they have the Angels signing Ivan Nova, Nick Hundley, and Chase Utley.
- This is going to be a very busy offseason for the Halos!