UPDATE: Vlad Guerrero may not be in the Angels’ future after all

2 Comments

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.”

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

Jon Durr/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.