Purgatory Online

Friday, November 19, 2004

No Piazza for us! Jose Guillen has been traded to the Washington Whomevers for Juan Rivera and "a prospect."

Rivera is a reasonably promising 26-year-old outfielder who's never played full-time in the majors, coming closest in 2004 with 391 ABs. His splits last year:

vRHP: 235 AB, .328/.390/.468
vLHP: 156 AB, .276/.323/.462

Ehhhhhh...okay. I'm not sure what the Angels are going to do with Rivera; he could be a fourth outfielder, a DH, a pinch-hitter, or trade bait. The Angels already have a fourth outfielder in DaVanon, though of course some combination of Rivera and DaVanon could play the outfield while GA DH'es. I'm a little bit skeptical of the Angels' intentions to play Rivera full-time, though, since they're already committed to putting McPherson at third, and having both of them learning on the job like that may be a little much. Still, Rivera's not eligible for arbitration yet, and should make less than half a million dollars in 2005, so the club has the luxury of seeing how he does in spring training, and can carry him on the bench or trade him elsewhere if they so desire.

More interestingly, the move frees up about three million in payroll for 2005. More and more, it's looking like the Angels could make serious runs at two top-tier free agents. By my calculations, they're committed to about $78 million for 2005 right now, and need a starter, two relievers, and an outfielder or a DH.