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Sunday, January 11, 2004

SOONER. WELL, TECHNICALLY IT IS TOMORROW.

It looks as if Vlad is, shockingly, on his way to Anaheim. The figure quoted is for 70 million over 5 years.

I don't think I'm the only one this caught off-guard. My vote for shocker of the off-season.

ALRIGHT:

I've had a chance to catch my breath and now I can give a short breakdown of this, I'll say it again, shocking development.

I think this is a very good decision by Vladimir Guerrero. The Angels are only one year removed from a WS title and they still have most of the key components from that 2002 season. They have also made some major additions this off-season grabbing Escobar, Colon, and Jose Guillen. Speaking of which, I don't imagine Jose is very happy right now.

After bitching about being benched in Cincinnati, and not without cause, he seemed pretty happy thinking he would be the Angels everyday RF this coming season. Jose, things have changed. However, don't dismay Jose, it is possible that the Angels might put Erstad at 1st and move either Jose or Garret Anderson into the CF spot. Both Guillen and Anderson are excellent defenders and I have no doubt either of them can play CF full-time and play it well.

Erstad actually played a lot of 1st base early in his career, appearing in 295 games at the position. The Angels may have been looking to move Erstad out of the CF spot anyways, with a lot of people saying that his rough and tumble style in center has taken its toll on his body. He's not as good a hitter as Guillen at this point either so maybe there's hope that a positional change will help Darin regain some of his 2000 season form. (.355/.409/.541) With the departure of Scott Spiezio, they don't have anybody else with significant experience at 1st anyways. An outfield of Anderson/Guillen/Guerrero will be one of the best defensive and offensive OFs in baseball. (Tim Salmon will most likely become the full-time DH.)

So calm down Jose, I think it'll be okay.

Garret Anderson might also be wondering "Where is the love?" pretty soon. His contract is up at the end of next season and I'm not sure where the Angels will find the money to re-sign him. He's pretty much been Mr. Angel so I can't imagine them trading him, but hey, as Sol Rosenberg once said, "You neva neva know.".

In addition to Anaheim now being an AL West favorite, it's not a huge market and there are a lot of Latino players on the team so both of those things must make Vlad happy. Also, no trips to San Juan this year.

I'm starting to like this Arturo Moreno guy. He's spending money to make money although I'm not sure how much longer he'll be in Bud Selig's good books. Donald Fehr must love him though; he helped save the off-season for him. It looks like Art has learned a thing or two from watchin' Big Stein's work over the years.

That's it for me and this Vlad thing. I'm happy to see him in Anaheim. I'm outta here.

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