The Balance of Power
The Los Angeles Angels made a major move this morning by signing Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. This is a bold move by the Angels, to say the least. They have the greatest power hitter of our time on board, but also a quality pitcher. The cost of “King Albert” was enormous, and the cost of CJ was also extreme. The Angels payroll has exploded. Not to Yankees/Red Sox proportions, but they are getting there. The future of the Angels has now been written.
In 10 years, the Angels will still be paying Pujols. They will be paying him at the age of 41 to be a DH, or simply they will be paying a guy sitting on his couch. The Rangers were not willing to go that deep with him on a contract, and kudos to JD, Nolan and Co. for that.
In 5 years, the Angels will be paying CJ Wilson. They will be paying him at 35 years of age. They will be paying a high priced serviceable starting pitcher, a Darren Oliver clone, or a guy sitting on his couch. Again, looking at the future, this is most likely a wise move.
Remember this. The Rangers have money, they have a lot of it. And they have a cash cow on the way thanks to a new tv deal in 2013. The difference between the Rangers, Jon Daniels and the Angels, Jerry DiPoto? JD is conservative, with a very calculating attitude, and he has built a 2-time AL Champion. DiPoto, is conservative, with a very calculating attitude, but is under pressure to win, and win now.
The reaction of most Ranger fans is that the Angels have now overtaken the Rangers for favorites in the AL…..not just the AL West…the American League. The Rangers still have a quality club that won the AL West by 10 games. Yes, CJ takes 16 wins away. Yes, Pujols gives them 30-48 more home runs per season. Yes, the Angels have become more potent.
The Rangers, as usual, are quiet. Jon Daniels does not sit still. Just because today was the Angels day on the MLBNetwork, does not mean the war has been won. The free agency battle has just begun. The Pujols and Wilson signing was the first shot…and it was a huge first shot. It is their day. They can take all day or all week or however long it takes to gloat over this. The National Media is all over the story…..and they should be. It is a huge story.
However, the roster is not set. Spring Training is a long way away. There are many free agents on the market, there are many clubs trying to rid themselves of payroll, and/or trying to gain prospects. Texas has a ton of prospects. The have the bait to get another starter. They have the cash to get Fielder or Darvish. They won’t do both, but they could, and should get one of them. My guess is Darvish is a Ranger come next week.
The balance of Power has not shifted in the AL West, not yet. If Texas fails to land Darvish, Fielder or make a trade a someone, and they go into the season with the same club minus CJ, nothing changes. Nothing changes except for one thing. Los Angeles is better than they were last year, that is all. Are they much better? Sure they are. But they still have to win on the field. Look at the Philadelphia Eagles “Dream Team”.
The Rangers have not given up, they are calculating their moves. Albert and CJ were not in their plans. They are sticking to their plan. The only question is: “What is their plan?” JD will let you know when that happens.