So this was the big splash Arte Moreno promised for this offseason? The Angels have signed Gary Matthews Jr. to a five-year $50M contract.
This will go down as one of the worst Angels free agent signings in history. And you know the Angels have made some bad free agent signings in the past. This will make you long for the days when the team traded top prospects for guys like Dave Parker and Von Hayes.
Matthews, 32, is a career .263 hitter who happened to hit .313 with 19 HRs last season. In his contract year. In Texas. It was the first time that Matthews had surpassed the .300 mark in his career. This was a total panic move. A panic move that would have never had to have been made if the team didn’t let go of Troy Glaus (a move that has cost the team at least one World Series title).
While you have to give the Angels credit for being good neighbors to the Dodgers and not making them feel bad about their over spending for Nomar and Juan Pierre, this is just ridiculous. The Yankees are supposed to be the team that gets suckered in by a .260 hitter having a career year, not the Angels. This also likely means that the Angels will not be making any trades to really get an impact bat.
Now you can imagine a lineup that has Matthews Jr. leading off and hitting .250, while slap hitting Chone Figgins plays third base. It is hard to imagine the offense being worse in 2007, and not only that, the Angels paid $50M to do it. Just a dumb move.