The Angels Big Off-Season

Last year the Angels brought in future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols and desperately needed lefty starter CJ Wilson.  Along with a few other smaller moves last years off-season seemed to be the biggest one in recent history for the Angels.  This year however has been an even more substantial off-season.  And here are a few reasons why.

Number 1:  The Angels desperately needed some help in their bullpen.   They brought in Ryan Madson and made a quiet move by bringing in lefty Sean Burnett.  The moves that they made should have been done last off-season when they new the team was going to be in trouble closing out games.  Oh well, they made the right moves this season it appears.

Number 2:  It is sad to see Torii Hunter leave the team.  He was a guy that I had a lot of respect for.  He always played the game the right way, with a big smile and hustle.  I will miss seeing him out on the field in an Angel uniform.  Also, it appeared that he was willing to take a major pay cut just to stay in Anaheim.  Unfortunately, the Angels had other ideas and let him walk so they could bring in Josh Hamilton.  Don't get me wrong, Hamilton is a major acquisition.  He is a game changer.  Pairing him with Trout, Trumbo and Pujols in the line-up could make this batting order one of the scariest in all of baseball.

Number 3:  Is our starting pitching as good or bad as it could be?  Last year was the year of the starting pitchers for the Angels.  They were supposed to have one of the best in all of baseball and then they added Zack Greinke.  The problem was that the starting pitching aside from Jered Weaver was so horrendous last year that they had to pick up Greinke.  This season the starting five will see 3 new faces with only Weaver and Wilson returning.  The Angels may not have added any big names this season here, but they do add some quality pitchers like Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas.

Number 4:  The expectation circus hasn't been as loud in Anaheim as of yet this off-season.  I am sure that as we draw closer to the baseball season we will start hearing all the World Series expectations that haunted this team last year.  The Angels need to find a way to fly under the radar a little bit this year and though that is pretty much impossible without having a start to the year like they did last year, it is always easier for a team with little expectations to win games.

All I know is that this team has a different feel to it than last years team did.  It isn't a dozen or more new parts trying to mesh on the fly.  This team upgraded in many ways while getting rid of some parts that were once indispensable and replaced them with simple, but solid baseball players.  If I were to make a way to early assessment of this team I would say that anything less than 100 wins in the regular season and at least a World Series berth would be failure.  We all know what failure looks like though.  Go Halos!

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