UPDATE: Mark Saxson of ESPN Los Angels says that Vlad is not part of the Angels’ Plan B.
That’s the speculation from the Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna:
Adrian Beltre, according to numerous media reports, is closing in on a deal with the Texas Rangers, a move that would be a considerable blow to the Angels’ playoff hopes and would greatly increase the chances of slugger Vladimir Guerrero returning to Anaheim.
While the 2010 line looked nice, Vlad had a pretty poor second half and a simply dreadful postseason for the Rangers last year. An extra year on the odometer and moving out of the friendly confines of the Ballpark at Arlington aren’t likely to help him either. And of course, bringing in Guerrero also means leaving Bobby Abreu in the field full-time, when there was a lot of talk about making him the DH in 2011. All in all bringing back Vlad would be a meh-at-best move for Anaheim. He doesn’t really help much even if everything breaks perfectly. And if it doesn’t break perfectly, it’s potentially harmful.
But my favorite part of all of this is the following line — delivered tongue in cheek, I hope — in DiGiovanna’s article:
But the Angels pulled their offer to Beltre before Christmas, and owner Arte Moreno made it clear at the time that the team would not increase what it felt was a very competitive offer. Beltre’s deal with the Rangers will reportedly be for five or six years and between $90 million and $100 million.
Loosely translated, the second sentence in that passage means “that word ‘competitive’ you just used; I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.