While the Angels’ much-hyped prospects didn’t always pan out, Tony Reagins had a very good record as the team’s director of player development from 2002-07. As a general manager, the 44-year-old was simply overmatched. It’s safe to say he didn’t resign Friday on his own terms.
Reagins’ legacy will be the Vernon Wells deal. It was viewed by many as a terrible risk at the time, and through one year, it worked out even worse than anyone could have imagined. Not only was Wells one of the league’s worst regulars, hitting .218/.248/.412 with 66 RBI in 505 at-bats, but Mike Napoli, who was simply given away, came through with a .320/.414/.631 line and 75 RBI in 369 at-bats for Texas.
And the Angels still owe Wells $63 million over the next three years.
Reagins also made a habit of assembling expensive but mediocre bullpens. After Francisco Rodriguez left, he signed Brian Fuentes for $17.5 million, Scott Downs for $15 million and Fernando Rodney for $11 million. Only Downs worked out from that group. Of his three biggest starting pitching acquisitions, again, only one worked out (Dan Haren did, Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro didn’t).
On offense, Reagins never addressed the Angels’ biggest weaknesses — catcher and third base — instead splurging on the outfield. Ironically, even if Wells had put together a solid season, he’d already be obsolete: the Angels best outfield next year would have Mike Trout in left and Peter Bourjos in center.
Now, Reagins certainly doesn’t deserve all of the blame. No deal like the Wells trade goes down without ownership playing an active role, and Mike Scioscia certainly had a big say in the catching situation. Reagins should land on his feet; there figure to be several teams interested in him in a player development position.
The Angels, though, shouldn’t have to look too hard to find an upgrade in the GM role.