The Angels re-signed Juan Rivera to a 3 yr. $12.75 mil deal. I assume he will replace Garrett Anderson in left field. The Angels already have Torii Hunter and Gary Matthews, Jr., signed to huge deals and, of course, still have Vlad. I'm guessing they'll go with Rivera in left, Hunter in center and Matthews in right when Vlad dh's, which he should do a lot more of in '09. Matthews may sit a lot in favor of a left-handed dh when the Angels face right-handers. Matthews is a good defender, but really a platoon player, offensively. If the Angels sign Big Tex they'll be set, with a full outfield and Vlad at dh, but it sounds like they won't keep him. That makes Kendry Morales and Rivera pretty important pieces to their team. With Big Tex, Rivera is less important. Of course, they still have Reggie Willits who played great in '07, but didn't see much playing time in '08 after they signed Hunter.
All that to say that the Reds surely could have outbid the Angels for Rivera. A 3 yr. $15 mil. deal would not have been outrageous. Maybe they tried and Rivera wanted to stay in L.A. (California, not the Louisville Area -- I love going to the well too often) but I like to think an extra $2.25 mil over 3 yrs would have made him a Red. So I'm now officially off of the Rivera band wagon and will have to find a new obession. Maybe Randy Johnson? (But the Reds have shown no interest in him.) Maybe I'll revive my Andruw Jones trade idea. I've been thinking about that one a lot.
On Baseball Prospectus Joe Sheehan is doing "GM for a day" for several teams. He threatened to do the Reds but so far he hasn't. Unless he beats me to it, I'll do my own version shortly, so watch for it. It will really be an update on my 25-man roster posts from before the winter meetings but will reflect the moves the Reds have made and not made.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
4 weeks ago