The Angels cut off Frankie R and have a giant hole at Closer. For years, they nursed Casey Kotchman along through false starts, injuries, and illness, and just as he became a consistent major league regular, they traded him for the 2 month rental rights to Mark Teixeira. That would have been a solid deal if they retained Teixeira’s rights beyond last October, but they did not, and now they have ended their efforts to resign him, leaving Kendrys Morales as the number one roster candidate to play first base.
The rest of the infield is solid and deep, as is catching. If Kelvim Escobar comes back healthy, despite the loss of Jon Garland, the starting staff is still solid, as is the outfield. But, those big holes at first and in the bullpen could mean another disappointing season in southeast LA.
If Bill Stoneman were still in charge, you’d have to think he had a plan B lying in wait. But, Tony Reagins has no track record yet, and while he seems to have learned pretty well from Stoneman, what he and Arte do in the next few weeks will be keys not only to the 2009 season, but the Angels long-range success with Reagins at the personnel helm.