Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim State Of The Union: Is It Time For Jerry DiPoto To Be Fired?

Mike Trout must feel like he will receive some better help from a full season of Pujols coming.  Heading into the 2013 campaign, they looked to have almost a historic 1 - 4 lineup.  Instead. it was a disaster.  Maybe the 2014 year will be different.

Mike Trout must feel like he will receive some better help from a full season of Pujols coming. Heading into the 2013 campaign, they looked to have almost a historic 1 – 4 lineup. Instead. it was a disaster. Maybe the 2014 year will be different.  With players like Vernon Wells and Joe Blanton still collecting money on the payroll – to the tune of $26 MIL in 2014, their teams salary structure is a disaster.  Those two guys are really horrible – or not even playing for LA anymore.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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As someone who follows the Angels from a distance, I have had it with Jerry DiPoto.

Whether it is the direction of the team’s brass that has been affected, or Arte Moreno himself, this team is heading on a one way ticket to salary hell.

So how does the GM respond this winter?

He trades his 2nd, 4th and possibly 5th best OF on the Roster Depth away – without yielding a OF back in return.

He has added on a couple of players (David Freese and Raul Ibanez) that Strikeout as much as the rest of the clan.  Good work man!

Am I missing something? Does he not see this is the recipe for disaster?

Angels 2013 preview – 2014 wont be as optimistic:

With the club trading away Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo and Randal Gruchuck, arguably the 3 of their top 5 guys on the depth chart, it will be up to Calhoun to bail out the LA club in the OF.  The 25 Year Old did smack 8 HRs and drive in 32 RBI in just 195 AB for this past season (.808 OPS). He is listed as the #3 OF for the team behind Trout and Hamilton.

With the club trading away Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo and Randal Gruchuck, arguably the 3 of their top 5 guys on the depth chart, it will be up to Calhoun to bail out the LA club in the OF. The 25 Year Old did smack 8 HRs and drive in 32 RBI in just 195 AB for this past season (.808 OPS). He is listed as the #3 OF for the team behind Trout and Hamilton.  He will be counted on more if Hamilton sees any time on the DL (which is likely).

DiPoto must really think that Kole Calhoun is the next coming of Mike Trout, because he is resting his entire legacy on the 26 Year old player.

Yes, the man hit for an .808 OPS in 195 AB during last year, but there have been lots of guys who have seen stretches like, to never been heard from ever again.

DiPoto singed 41 Year Old Ibanez to be the primary DH.  Man that is a leap of faith.  He really should have inked a player with OF/DH depth, that could play either position FULL – Time.

Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols should also be seeing some AB as the DH.

Instead of trading Peter Bourjos for David Freese, you could have just signed 1B/3B Mark Reynolds for a small one year deal, and kept your speedy and great Outfielder.

That way you could have rotated Pujols, Freese and Hamilton in and out of the DH spot, thus not needing Ibanez.

I actually agree that Mark Trumbo and Josh Hamilton could not co-exist in the same lineup, so trading him was a good maneuver.

The mistake was dealing Randal Gruchuck and Bourjos to the Cardinals (both OF).  The team also coordinated the Trumbo deal – so they never received a OF back in return.  What the hell are they thinking?

For the record, I like the team picking up Hector Santiago and re-acquiring Tyler Skaggs, because if it is anything this club needs, it is young controllable pitching – but at the expense of one of the best power hitting OF on the market is not the right price..

Dipoto splashed onto the scene as the GM 2 years ago (in Oct of 2011), signing C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols in his 1st winter.  I think that Wilson has been full value so far, and Pujols was a classic overpay to begin with.

I am not sure we can entirely fault DiPoto here, as it seemed this deal was always about Moreno bringing in Pujols to expand the franchise’s brand.

What is lost in the shuffle that offseason, was the brutal trade of young Starting Pitcher Tyler Chatwood being sent to Colorado for unproductive Catcher in Chris Iannetta.

Does he not know there is a distinct hitting advantage at Coors Field – that bloats numbers for specific guys?

Last Year, he lost the bidding war for Zack Greinke (6 YRS/$147 MIL for the LAD) – because they went with Hamilton’s 5 YRs/$133 MIL – and also allocated the rest of the cash to washout Joe Blanton – 2 YRs/$15 MIL.

If they could have kept Greinke, it would have dampened the blow caused by the stellar rookie campaign – that traded Jean Segura provided for the Brewers.

Yet another example of trading futures away – and having nothing to show for it

Blanton has been below average for years, and the Angels GM brought him into the foray last season – only to fashion a 2 – 14 record in 2013, with a 6.14 ERA.

Boy it was tough to figure out how that was going to happen, since the man routinely has been sporting high 4 ERA’s in the NL for the last 6 years!

DiPoto also traded away reliever Jordan Walden last winter – for a trending down Starting Pitcher in Tommy Hanson.  The guy was demoted to the Minors after a horrible half season.  He has since been non-tendered.

The team, strapped for cash now in 2013, also non-tendered Jerome Williams, who had been a jack of all trades on the staff for the last couple of years.

Williams is a nice #5 Starting Pitcher in the Majors, sported a 19 – 18 record, with a 4.46 ERA, and would have only been due a few million in Arbitration as a 3rd year eligible.  Instead he was let go..  Another bad decision.

Of course DiPoto also brought in RP Sean Burnett for a 2 YR/$8 MIL deal, when he knew the pitcher was recently recovering from bone spurs being removed from his elbow.

Burnett only managed to appear in just 9.2 IP before he was hurt for the year.

I almost forgot the gamble of signing Ryan Madson, (coming off of Tommy John Surgery) for a tune of $3.25 MIL, and never playing for the club before his subsequent release a few weeks ago.

While he didn’t create the salary problem for the club, by trading away Mike Napoli for Vernon Wells, this has also plagued the quick demise of the Angels squad – financially and positionally.

Then there was the club letting Torii Hunter leave the fold, only to thrive in Detroit.  He way outperformed his replacement of Hamilton in 2013.

One of his minor moves (at the Trade Deadline) was also when they dealt Alberto Callaspo to the A’s for INF Grant Green.

Green fanned 38 times in his 125 AB for the Angels, which makes him another prime strikeout candidate off of the bench.  He unlike most of his teammates, does not have HR power to justify it (1 HR in 140 Career AB).

He was a decent change of pace as a contact guy, (47 SO in 453 AB) – compared to the others – and he was only to make $4.9 MIL this coming year. 

While Freese is an upgrade at 3B over the now A’s player, it came at the cost of losing Bourjos.  Not quite sitting well.  The former Cardinals is only under team control for one more year, whereas Bourjos had 2 years left.

About his only good move was to trade Steve Geltz for Dane De La Rosa.

He began this years hotstove, by signing Joe Smith to a deal – which is not a bad move at all,  But he still doesn’t guarantee the club of a bonafide Closer to nail games down.

The club is paying a lot of money for 2B and SS as well, with Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick making nearly $18 MIL combined between them over the next 2 years.

This isn’t that much of a problem, as these guys are about the steadiest players on the franchise.  Where the trouble entirely rests is the free-swinging ways of the ballclub.

Their team might strikeout 1200 times in 2014 – with numbers in 2013 like: Hamilton (158 SO), Pujols (55 SO in 91 GP), Trout (136 SO), Kendrick (89 SO in 478 AB), Aybar (he is not that bad – 59 SO in 550 AB) Freese (106 SO in 462 AB), Calhoun (41 SO in 195 AB), Ibanez (128 SO in 454 AB)  and Iannetta (100 SO in 335 AB) all being whiff masters.

This is a gigantic problem.

The club is hovering around the Luxury Tax Threshold already, and they will likely not add much more to their roster.

If they would have just waited another season with trading away their OF depth, they could have seen a player in the Minor Leagues like C.J. Cron take more steps forward towards being a DH/1B on your team.

You definitely have to hope his progress is expedited, and if injuries to Pujols, Hamilton or Ibanez occur early enough, maybe the guy will get a chance even earlier.

If there are even a few injuries to the offense – this team is toast.  They need a 2010 Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols for this team to take off.

On a bright note, the relievers they brought in can’t work out as bad as the last guys can they?  Maybe the trades will be the same?  If you are asking these questions, never means a good thing for your team’s brass.

One thing has to be a given If they finish below .500 again this year, (which is possible) – they must send DiPoto packing..

DiPoto has not done the job well - as evidence by the team only winning 88 games in 2012 and then catapulting even lowers in 2013 - with a 78 Win campaign.  This is not becoming of team that is spending nearly the Luxury Tax Threshold every year.  With recent Free Agent Signings of Hamilton, Pujols, Blanton not working out, plus some brutal assessments of trades, and other players leaving their club to post good totals, someone must pay for these catastrophic meltdowns, especially if they falter again in 2014.  Jerry DiPoto must be on the top of this list.

DiPoto has not done the job well – as evidence by the team only winning 89 games in 2012 and then catapulting even lowers in 2013 – with a 78 Win campaign. This is not becoming of team that is spending nearly the Luxury Tax Threshold every year. With recent Free Agent Signings of Hamilton, Pujols, Blanton not working out, plus some brutal assessments of trades, and other players leaving their club to post good totals, someone must pay for these catastrophic meltdowns, especially if they falter again in 2014. Jerry DiPoto must be on the top of this list.  The Angels last made the Post Season in 2009, when they lost the ALCS to the Yankees.  It also represents the longest streak for Mike Scioscia as the Manager not making the playoffs.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief WriterHunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured article.  Hunter is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports.

Hunter grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and played baseball with Sheldon Bream (Sid Bream‘s son) at Liberty University in the NCAA.

His favorite player is Brian Wilson (how could you guess?), and he hates when people can’t think outside the box! 

His favorite expression – is ‘ this At Bat is about ten seconds away from a Toe – Tag!

You can reach Hunter on Twitter  

a hunter stokes

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Posted on December 20, 2013, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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