By Chuck Richter - Angelswin.com Senior Editor
Well no Big-A-Rod in Anaheim. According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, Alex Rodriguez will likely be guaranteed about $280 million over 10 years from the Yankees, with the chance to go over $300 million through incentives. Heyman says agent Scott Boras is in intense negotiations with the Yankees to complete the deal.
Now that we forget about Pay-Rod's 50 Hr's in Anaheim, is Plan B or perhaps to Tony Reagins in Co., Plan A in full force? The Angels and Dodgers are said to be the leading destinations for power hitting 3B Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins in a trade that would have to include Howie Kendrick and at least Nick Adenhart or Brandon Wood. Angelswin.com's top 2 Prospects.
According to a League source, a deal could come before Thanksgiving.
The question is this: Is trading a legit a .300 hitting middle infielder with the capability of slugging 40-50 doubles and 15-20 HR's while stealing 20 bases worth the cost of including another top prospect and perhaps more, worth it?
While I would NOT include Nick Adenhart, said to be a future #1 starter by scouts (see our Arizona Fall League article from David Regan) & Brandon Wood (The Angels #1 prospect last year), because of the Angels depth, I wouldn't be upset for the likes of Miguel Cabrera. Nor would it create a hole in what I feel is a deep minor league system. (More on that later).
Cabrera, a 24-year-old Venezuela native, is coming off a season in which he posted career highs for home runs (34) and RBIs (119). He batted .320, marking his third straight season of hitting at least .320. Some scouts have even said that Miguel Cabrera reminds them allot of Albert Pujols, with 40-45 HR power coming later.
Imagine this lineup going into 2008:
2B Chone Figgins
SS Orlando Cabrera
RF Vladimir Guerrero
3B Miguel Cabrera
DH Garret Anderson
LF Juan Rivera
1B Casey Kotchman
CF Gary Matthews Jr.
C Mike Napoli
That lineup will produce runs and with the Angels pitching staff, wow!
After making $7.4 million this past season, Cabrera is in line to receive more than $10 million in arbitration for 2008. The four-time All-Star is eligible for free agency after the 2009 season. The Angels could be working on a contract extension behind the scenes already, as they should be for the price they'd be paying for Cabrera.
The critics of this potential deal say that Miguel Cabrera is overweight and a risk or that his defense isn't very good at the hot corner.
But Cabrera, 24, said that he already has been working out with a goal of reporting to spring training in the best shape of his career according the Palm Beach Post.
"I'll keep at it in order to get to spring training in the best shape possible - to have the best season possible for the team I end up on.'' Cabrera, who was in Venezuela on Tuesday and could not be reached, said he was surprised the Marlins are trying to trade him this winter.
"I've been at it for four weeks now at a gym that specializes in professional athletes, and I'll be there until the spring," said Cabrera, a native of Venezuela, in a story posted Tuesday on LasMayores.com, the Spanish-language affiliate of mlb.com.
As far as defending his defensive shortcomings at third-base in which he made 23 errors in '07, Miguel Cabrera ended up having as many errors as defensive wiz, Ryan Zimmerman (23), just 2 more errors than All-Star David Wright (21) and 3 more than the assortment of players the Angels sent out to the hot corner in 2007.
One would think the Angels are in a better position to make this trade before the LA Dodgers. The Dodgers will be forced to not only deal Andy LaRoche, but also Matt Kemp or James Loney, and either Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley. The Dodgers don't have the starting pitching depth the Angels have and to lose either Billingsley or Kershaw, counting on older injury-prone arms like Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf at number 3 & 4 in their rotation would not be wise.
The Angels on the other hand, if they lost Kendrick, could remedy that in a hurry with Chone Figgins, the Angels 2007 Co-MVP. Losing Adenhart would sting, but we have Joe Saunders & Ervin Santana at the back end of the rotation, with Nick Green and a host of talented young arms moving up to High-A Ball, Rancho Cucamonga in '08. Remember as I mentioned previously, the front of our rotation which includes John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar and Jered Weaver are solid and are set to stick around for a while.
I would try at all cost to keep Brandon Wood so that we could give him another full season in Triple-A, Salt Lake but at a new but old position (SS). He could supplant Orlando Cabrera in 2009 after his 4-year deal has been fulfilled. Sending them 3B Dallas McPherson & CF Reggie Willits along with Kendrick and Adenhart could be a possible counter.
One thing is for sure, even without Howie Kendrick and recently traded away Alberto Callaspo and Alexi Casilla, the Angels are still loaded at the middle infield positions. Maicer Izturis, Sean Rodriguez, Erick Aybar, Hainley Statia, Ryan Mount, PJ Phillips, Andrew Romine & Ivan Contreras.
The Angels are loaded with depth and as much as it hurts to see a a quality guy and incredible player like Howie Kendrick go, you have to give up to get, and deal from your strengths to improve your weakness.
Miguel Cabrera is a middle of the order phenom that will not only protect Vladimir Guerrero in the lineup and improve the club obv, but give us a legitimate chance against top tier teams in October. That in itself after a painful 3-0 thumping at the hands of the Red Sox in the 2007 ALDS should prompt Reagins & company to pull the trigger.
So is Miguel Cabrera worth the cost of high profile young talent? This guy says, YES! It certainly worked for the Boston Red Sox in the Josh Beckett trade. Cabrera at 24 already has an impressive resume and a World Series ring. The World Series is the goal and if you can assemble a strong and balanced team without depleting your depth, you do it.
Consider this as you walk away from this article.
Vladimir Guerrero and Miguel Cabrera would be the best 1-2 punch in any lineup in all of Baseball.