Thursday, November 22, 2007

Angels Sign Hunter, 40-man Roster Finalized

Note: A list of recent MLB transactions has been added to the right-hand side of the page. Unless we have specific thoughts on a transaction, it won't be mentioned in the posts.

In the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning, Torii Hunter agreed to a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. At first, reports indicated that the deal was worth at least 80 million dollars, and now the AP is reporting it to be a 90 million dollar contract. That contract is worth 20 million more than that of another Angels outfielder, Vlad Guerrero, over the same number of years. That shows how much contracts have inflated in just the last 4 years since Vlad signed his deal. I, along with many other Twins fans, have been resigned to the fact that Torii was leaving for a while now. However, the fact that the Angels signed him came as a shock to me. I am glad Hunter did not go to the Yankees (though they did not seem interested anyways) or the White Sox, but other than that his new team was not of much importance to me. The one interesting twist with him going to the Angels: Opening Day 2008 is at the Dome against-- you guessed it-- the Angels.

As for the Angels' outfield situation, I have to believe that they have another deal in the works. With Gary Matthews Jr., Vladimir Guerrero, and Garret Anderson already under contract for next year, the outfield is very crowded, and that's without even mentioning arbitration-eligible Juan Rivera and on-base machine Reggie Willits. Guerrero and Anderson are both signed through next season with a club option for 2009, while Matthews is signed through 2011. There is no way the Angels would trade Guerrero, and Anderson is probably too expensive and injury-prone to make a good trading piece. That leaves Matthews, who would most likely waive his no-trade clause if he found out he wouldn't be playing regularly, Willits, and Rivera. Matthews is not worth the money being given him, but I would be interested in seeing if the Twins could trade for Willits if he becomes available.

Now, to move on to a different issue, 40-man roster changes had to be finalized on Tuesday. I think the main aspect of this deadline is that any players in the minor league system must be added to the 40-man or, depending on their eligibility, they can be taken in the Rule V draft. A player is eligible for the Rule V draft 4 years after signing if they signed when they were over 18, and 5 years after signing if they did so when they were 18 or younger. I posted my suggestions for who should be added back in October. My thoughts turned out to be quite different from what actually happened. The Twins added RP Bobby Korecky, 3B Matt Macri, and 2B Matt Tolbert. Adding Tolbert and Macri was a no-brainer for the Twins (I'm not quite sure how I totally missed Macri in my post), but I'm a bit surprised at the addition of Korecky. He had a good year at Rochester in 2007, but he turned 28 in September and the Twins have bigger needs than the bullpen. I don't think it was a bad idea to add Korecky to the roster, but I still think 1B Brock Peterson and OF Garrett Guzman should have been added over him. Those two guys offer some power potential in a minor-league system that is seriously lacking in this area. However, the real problem here is not Korecky; it's the guys who weren't taken off the roster. I'm not going to go into great detail because I did that back in October, but guys like Chris Basak and Darnell McDonald have no place on the roster.

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