It’s Angels Contract Tuesday

The Angels signed contracts today, avoiding four of their six remaining possible arbitration cases, with Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Reggie Willits and Kendry Morales. Wait, Kendry? The Angels and a Scott Boras client reached a deal quickly and amicably? No snarling, gnashing of teeth or packing up of toys and running home swearing never to play with one another again? Apparently so, and amen to that I say. So, is this the dawn of a new era? Doubtful. I chalk it up to the classiness of the client (which as we all know, especially after watching contract negotiations this year, only goes so far) and an early Boras lull into a false sense of security before Kendry becomes a free agent. But for now we’ll take it…and it’s highly possible teeth were gnashed in private.

In other Tuesday Angels news, the team apparently traded dollar amounts with the other two arbitration eligible players, Jered Weaver and Mike Napoli. In terms of baseball dollars (you know, what’s an extra million give or take), the numbers being reported in the papers don’t look like the players asking prices and the Angels offers are too far apart. Personally, I hope the Angels just give Weaver and Napoli what they’re asking for. Weaver pitched an All-Star year and filled John Lackey’s vacated ace shoes like he’s been wearing them his whole career and meeting his request now might earn us some good will in negotiations when he’s a free agent…okay, he’s Scott Boras’ client so probably not, but it couldn’t hurt. Napoli did everything the team asked of him and more…okay his runners in scoring position clutch was a little broken, but when has that not been an off and on issue? He still had the most home runs of anyone on the team, a career high for him in a year where career lows ran rampant through the clubhouse, and he moved over to first base and played it admirably well when the team needed a first basemen.

Wow, did typing that ever bring on a flood of memories. (Yeah, yeah. I digress. You are all shocked.) Memorial Day weekend. My husband and I were in Cambria. Oh no, the whole home stand against the Mariners was blacked out on the Central Coast! No problem, we can catch bits of the games on our phones. Wait. Kendry did what? Naps is playing first? The next day we desperately platooned our Blackberries to “watch” the game on Gameday intermittently with Cambria and Paso Robles’ notoriously sketchy cell phone signals and wound up jumping up and down like loons in the middle of a Giants territory bar while the Giant’s season ticket holder bar owner (great guy and a great bar by the way – been favorite of ours for years) chuckled at us when the Angels actually pulled it off. As long as everyone is healthy and hale this season, this officially becomes a good memory.

At any rate, the 2011 team is starting to take shape…and it’s pretty much the same shape as last year but, for whatever reason. Call it not losing any more key players this year? Call it Kendry’s back? Call it plain old fashioned excitement because I’m starting to see the barest glimpse of Spring Training on the horizon like that first glimmer of the beacon on top of the Luxor seen from just outside of Baker? For whatever reason, I am starting to feel just the tiniest bit of that preseason optimism.


  1. raysrenegade

    After what the Angels owner said about Carl Crawford * a Boras client) contract and worth, possibly Boras just cut his losses and asked Kendrick what he could live with for 2011.
    Heck, Boras will get another shot at the Angels in the Winter of 2012, and might bge hunting for bear…or at least flet mignon.

    Rays Renegade

  2. blithescribe

    Jeff – I think they did too, they just never pulled it together for any length of time after that. Yes, I am picturing very sedate celebrations at the plate from Mr. Morales this year, possibly just a gentle head nod in the general direction of the plate after he crosses it. Although, to be honest the celebration that broke his leg was neither over the top nor particularly dangerous. He just jumped up and down on home plate, something thousands of ball players do everyday all over the world without incident. It just really was one of those weird freaky things, flying fickle finger of fate and all that.
    – Kristen

  3. blithescribe

    Rays Renegade – I suspect that you are right and Boras will come loaded for bear, wild boar, and Woolley Mammoth (just for good measure – you never know, that whole extinction thing could just be a red herring) in 2012.
    Jane – Thank you for the kind offer. Though I think showing up at your house might be kind of Rain Man like – 10 minutes to Angels game. Gotta watch Angels game, LOL. My in-laws have a vacation house in Cambria so we’re up that way quite a lot, but fortunately the Central Coast black out thing only happens every once in a while.
    – Kristen

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