Angels Show Commitment To Winning Titles With Rendon Signing
The Angels have reached an agreement with free agent 3B Anthony Rendon on a seven-year, $245M contract, as Rendon was "swayed by Angels Owner Arte Moreno, who has drawn to Anaheim other big-name free-agent position players" such as Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton in his "pursuit of a championship," according to Maria Torres of the L.A. TIMES. New Angels manager Joe Maddon this week described Moreno as "all in" on improving the team (L.A. TIMES, 12/12). ESPN.com's Alden Gonzalez wrote the Angels signing Rendon shows they "want to win, they know there is a sizable gap to make up" to become World Series contenders and they are "willing to do what it takes to accelerate their timeline." The Angels "made a promise to Maddon, who chose to return to the organization, despite having his pick of managing jobs." The Angels said that they were "going to do what it takes to compete," and "perhaps now is as good a time as any to take the leap" (ESPN.com, 12/11). SI.com's Emma Baccellieri writes the Angels have a "chance to be in the best position now that they have been in years" (SI.com, 12/12). CBSSPORTS.com's Dayn Perry writes Moreno "wanted to spend big to put a competitive roster" around CF Mike Trout. Gerrit Cole, who yesterday agreed to a record-breaking nine-year, $324M deal with the Yankees, was the "'priority item' given that the Angels had one of the worst rotations in baseball last season." But as "consolation prizes go Rendon is an impressive one" (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/12).
FEELING BLUE: In L.A., Dylan Hernandez writes with "postseason failure practically an annual tradition at this point, the Dodgers have become educated on the downside of not acquiring the best available players" in the free-agent market. They "still didn't do what was necessary this week to sign" Cole. Meanwhile, with "financial restraints preventing them from reaching the postseason in any of their last five seasons, the Angels have learned about the dangers of entering long-term agreements with star players." The actions of the Dodgers and Angels this week at the Winter Meetings were "reflections of their respective owners." The Dodgers' "aversion to risk" was inherited from Chair Mark Walter, while the Angels' "gambling spirit" is a trademark of Moreno. The Dodgers have a "history of refusing to meet the asking price of top players," and the Guggenheim Baseball Management ownership group with their latest inaction "might have cost the team the chance of winning their first World Series in 32 years" (L.A. TIMES, 12/12).
TOP DOG BACK ON TOP: CBSSPORTS.com's Perry wrote some observers "would attest" that agent Scott Boras had "lost his fastball over the last two offseasons." That was "of course a league-wide trend, as markets were slow to develop." But this winter, Boras has "reasserted himself as being at the top of his field" after getting deals done for Stephen Strasburg, Cole and Rendon this week (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/11). SI.com's Baccellieri writes Boras not only successfully negotiated new deals worth a combined $814M for his top three clients, but he leaves the Winter Meetings with the "satisfaction that he ran the week," with each deal "announced just after the last, in three days of deftly planned theater." In the space of less than a week, Boras "facilitated answers for the winter's most crucial questions, and he did it with panache" (SI.com, 12/12). USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale writes Boras had the "greatest week by an agent" in MLB history. He was "ridiculed last winter for misreading the market." But Boras has now "shredded the narrative on baseball's slow free-agent winter, tossed it into a bonfire and watched it go up in flames" (USA TODAY, 12/12).