Why Spend $325 Million in 90 Minutes? Because They Had To
Look, I'm not naive. I understand the Angels shopping spree from Hell yesterday morning will absolutely make them better and that my friends is good for the AL West as a whole.
The Rangers and Angels will wage an epic battle in 2012 the likes of which is rarely seen outside of the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry.
Now let's take a step back and look at what the Angels actually did yesterday besides add a ton of tax revenue to the state of California.
They signed the best hitter in baseball no doubt, but who protects him in that batting order like Berkman, Holliday and Freese did in St. Louis?
These guys are good but are they enough of a presence to make a pitcher challenge Pujols on a regular basis?
My guess is no meaning the guys hitting in front of Pujols had better get on base on a very regular basis otherwise he'll approach Barry Bonds in terms of walks in a season.
In other words, the Angels offense had more than one hole in the order and as big of a piece as Pujols is, he doesn't fill more than one spot.
Now, as for CJ Wilson, we all know what he brings to the table.
Overall he'll give you a fine season, but the Angels were already very good in their rotation and after blowing all their money on a hitter and a starter, they still have that same suspect bullpen and a batting order a smart pitcher can work around.
From a rational standpoint, these two moves everyone is freaking out about only brought the Angels even with the Rangers, not necessarily better.
Why you may ask?
Simple, the Rangers still have the better offense, the better defense and the better bullpen and while the rotation is young and unproven, it's not all that far behind the Angels.
Add in a Yu Darvish, trade for Matt Garza or Gio Gonzalez and all of a sudden the rotations become much more even and the Rangers maintain the edge everywhere else.
Remember, the Rangers are bringing back four of their five starters from last year; a rotation that was near the top of the league in quality starts in 2011.
Darvish or Gonzalez would at least replace Wilson's production from last season and likely gives the Rangers more of a return.
Texas could even jump into the Prince Fielder market and answer the Angels move for Pujols straight up.
Adding Prince means Napoli is the club's number eight hitter each night, think about that for a second.
Still, you have to ask yourself why the Angels spent $325 million in less than 90 minutes on Thursday.
Because they had to, that's why.
The Rangers have put the Angels in that position and because of all the hard work put in by Jon Daniels and his staff, the Rangers only have to make one or two much smaller moves to maintain their edge; moves I fully expect Daniels to make and somehow I know they'll be moves none of us are expecting but also be strokes of genius.
The Rangers are the two-time defending American League Champions and everything American League related comes through Arlington next season.
That includes the American League West.