I Do Not Covet Cliff Lee for the Angels

The coveting of Cliff Lee has been an understandable thing on many blogs so I just thought I’d put that out there. I’m not saying that he’s not an amazing pitcher. Though I will not praise him to the positively silly degree that the post season announcers did, he is definitely one of the best pitchers currently in baseball. He is one of these pitchers, and seemingly one of those teammates, who would be an asset to any team’s starting rotation.

But asset though he may be, unless we all somehow walk through the backstop into a magical baseball wonderland where players are always treated fairly even without a contract, umpires have the perfect angle to make the call on every play and Cliff Lee is willing to come to the Angels and *poof* just take over Scott Kazmir’s contract while Kaz begins an epic Tolkein-esque quest in search of his lost slider, I don’t want him for the Angels. Our starting rotation was one of our strengths this season – once you ignore the aberration that was April and, unfortunately Kaz’ difficulties. If everyone stays healthy in 2011 -and the Angels don’t make any abysmally stupid decisions regarding Weaver’s arbitration – we will have two aces in Weaver and Haren and two additional excellent starters in Pineiro and Santana (Be the good Santana please! You are not a Star Trek movie. We don’t need even and odd number rules about you.). If Kaz is able to work things out in the offseason – and I really hope he is but I’m not holding my breath – then we’ll have a great 5th starter too. If not we do have a few options that keep this from being a catastrophic need.

What the Angels need is Kendry back healthy and ready to play at the level to which we have all become accustomed – and to all reports so far, he’s looking like his old self, yay! We need another outfielder and a third baseman, and we need them both to have big or, barring that, consistent bats. The minor league call ups in the Angels’ bullpen were really something special this year and helped shore up our reliever woes at lot towards the end of the season, but an additional, reliable reliever with some veteran status wouldn’t hurt and then there is the closing situation. Myself, I like Walden for the position. I think he showed some promise there in September. But if those who know far more than I disagree and Rodney isn’t performing any better, then this will need to be addressed as well.

This is the Angels real needs list and it’s long and expensive, so I am glad Tony Reagins hasn’t been making any trips to Arkansas this fall and doesn’t appear to have any planned for the future. Angels fans often joke that Tony is some sort of trade and player acquisition ninja, that you’ll rarely, if ever, see one of his deals coming until it’s negotiated, signed and everyone involved is ready for the press conference. Torii Hunter. Del Taco. Need I say more? So I suppose anything is possible. But I certainly hope this one is as far off the radar as it appears to be. Lee is wonderful, but leave him to the Yankees and Rangers to duke it out over. They have a lot less holes to shore up in the off season than the Angels do.



  1. lheath

    I agree. Its like putting the whole game of baseball onto one pitchers hands when its about a whole lot more than that. Angels are about the whole game, small games and not highlight reels. That’s what got them so many division titles in the first place when they all played together and not looking for the big Morales finish.

    If we can’t bring the veterans and the young talent together and perform together like we did previously, then bringing in a “headline arm” won’t make any difference.

  2. Jane Heller

    I agree that if your guys already have a solid starting rotation then why would you need to pay big bucks for Lee, who is the best free agent pitcher out there. I do keep hearing the Angels (or at least Hunter) have been recruiting Carl Crawford though. He would be a sweet Christmas present.


  3. raysrenegade

    Instead of disturbing a pretty good starting rotation why not just build the back end of the game forward.
    With the whispers that Los Angeles wants Rafael Soriano I can tell you from experience they would get a solid player who loves to close and announces his presence with authority.
    Both Carl Crawford and Soriano, better known in Tampa Bay as MFIKY (Mother Fragger I Kill You) for his stares in at hitters will cost a nice bankload of money…But the pair do come with future All Star promise and great character for the clubhouse.

    Rays Renegade


  4. blithescribe

    Heath – Here’s to hoping the Angels can do just that and make 2010 no more than a strange aberration in the team records.

    Jane – Crawford really would be a sweet Christmas present :). Torii has been talking a lot about recruiting Crawford and made a recent joke about inviting him out to California to eat at Del Taco. I really do hope it’s more than just talk but, like Swisher, Torii also talks all the time so who knows. *fingers crossed*

    Jeff – I agree. I don’t think it’s likely at all. But I see Cliff Lee talk all over the place including Halos Heaven so I figured I would throw my nickel (2-cents adjusted for inflation) out there.

    Rays Renegade – I have heard those whispers too, as much as any just plain fan can at least, and sure hope they are more than just whispers. Crawford and Soriano would indeed be expensive together but I certainly agree they would be more than worth it. I didn’t know they called Soriano MFIKY. I think that’s awesome!


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