December 13, 2009

Angels non-tender three

The Angels non-tendered three players yesterday; Jose Arredondo, Dustin Moseley, and Matt Brown. The players become free agents, free to sign with any team. Each has an interesting story and history with the Angels and Angel fans.

Jose Arredondo had an incredibly bright future. After his astounding 2008 season with the Angels, many Angel fans were ready to anoint Arredondo as the Angels next closer. Francisco Rodriguez was about to become a free agent and despite saving a record 62 games in 2008, many Angel fans were ready for a change. Mostly because many chose to focus on the seven blown saves and the countless times he put their hearts through roller-coaster-like finishes.

When the Angels signed Brian Fuentes as their new closer, some fans gave pause and wondered why? Arredondo clearly looked like he was ready to step in and become the next big thing. Well, baseball is a funny game. One season a player looks invincible and the next he looks like he doesn’t belong at all. Such was the case for Arredondo who struggled mightily in 2009.

Turns out, Arredondo may not have been healthy, thus explaining his poor season. On Friday the Angels announced that Arredondo would have Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2010 season. Adding insult to injury, he was then non-tendered.

This is why you can never have too much pitching and also goes to show that Angel fans don’t make the best general managers. A once bright future now appears to have a black cloud hovering over it.

Matt Brown is another curious Angel with an interesting history. In 2008 Brown had a solid AAA season with the Salt Lake Bees; hitting .320 with a .953 OPS. Many fans saw him as the heir apparent to Robb Quinlan’s role on the team and in some cases saw even a bigger role for him. Brown even had impressive Spring Trainings and did everything asked of him.

Then 2009 happened. Unlike the previous two seasons, Brown never got a call up and struggled in Salt Lake City; hitting just .245 with a .748 OPS. Now 27 years old, Brown no longer looks like a promising prospect and his window for a career in the majors looks to be all but closed. Perhaps he became frustrated about not getting an opportunity, despite solid minor league numbers. Perhaps we simply saw the best we were ever going to see in 2008. In any case, Brown will most likely have to prove himself elsewhere in 2010.

Dustin Moseley is one of the most well spoken young men I have ever seen. When his friend and teammate Nick Adenhart died tragically, Moseley stepped in front of the cameras and delivered an emotional tribute to his buddy

The video is a permanet link on my list of favorites. It's moments like the one in the video that make baseball players more than just names and numbers to me. I root for players not only because of their statistics and what they can do on the field, but also because many of them are fine young men. I will miss Moseley.

No matter what Moseley does or doesn’t do moving forward, I will always remember him for the way he honored Nick. You hate to see young men of such character leaving your favorite team. Moseley spent parts of the last four seasons in the Angels rotation, but also spent most of the last two on the disabled list. We probably never saw the best he could do and that’s unfortunate.

All three are now footnotes in the Angels history book. Each showed some promise; however, in two of the cases (Moseley and Arredondo) injuries got the better of them. Baseball can be a cruel game and an even meaner business. Sometimes good guys just don’t make it.

I wish all three the best. Perhaps they’ll find their way back on the Angels roster down the road; although that’s unlikely.


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