Saturday, January 5, 2008

Konerko to Angels Rumors

A few different organizations are reporting that the Anaheim Angels and Chicago White Sox are discussing a possible trade involving Paul Konerko. A few scenarios have been bantered about, but the 2 names most commonly seen as going from Anaheim to Chicago are Howie Kendrick and Ervin Santana. To a lesser extent, Chone Figgins’ name has also been mentioned in some articles.

From a fantasy perspective (which is what we do here), if this trade happens, I like this deal for both teams.


Anaheim would finally… FINALLY get Vladimir Guerrero the line up protection they have been promising him for years. I think Konerko would fit in well in that Angel’s line up that could project to look like this.

Chone Figgins (3B)

Casey Kotchman (1B)

Vladimir Guerrero (RF)

Paul Konerko (DH)

Garret Anderson/ Juan Rivera (LF)

Torii Hunter (CF)

Gary Matthews (CF/ LF)

Mike Napoli (C)

Erick Ayabar (SS)

Maicer Izturis (2B)

The biggest problem Anaheim would be faced with, based on this line up, is that it is impossible to field a team with a ten man line up. It cannot be done, it would be considered breaking the rules and MLB won’t allow them to do it. Another potential problem would be that the only spot in the line up Konerko could fill would be the DH slot and the Angels have said many times that they would prefer to use the DH spot as a way to keep Vlad and Garret Anderson healthy and fresh. To me it seems like this trade works if Anaheim follows this deal up with another trade involving either Gary Matthews or Casey Kotchman. Perhaps Anaheim likes the idea of going into the season with a lot of bench and outfield depth, which might not be a bad idea. However, I doubt they will pay Matthews 10$ million a season to come off the bench.

The fantasy impact for Konerko, could be great. I think him moving into a much deeper line up, should help his RBIs and Runs totals. He is not an elite 1B, but certainly he isn't far off. After Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, and Carlos Pena you could make the argument that, in this Anaheim line up, Konerko could be a legit top 5 1B. At worst Konerko gives his usual .280, with 30+HR, and 100+RBIs... nothing spectacular, but there is a lot to be said for being consistent in fantasy sports.


Chicago builds on the Swisher trade, and gets another young hitter, this time in the person of Howie Kendrick. I like Howie Kendrick a lot, and I really like him in this White Sox line up. The other day I commented on how Chicago was building its team around sluggers with low batting averages. Well, in Kendrick they get a young player, who can hit for average, with a bit of pop and who can steal a bag every so often, and they are filling a position where they have a hole anyway at 2B. I think Kendrick would go a long way in balancing this line up and helps them rebuild, while trying, once again, to contend.

I think this puts Kendrick into the top 10 of 2B rankings. Don't be fooled, 2B is a surprisingly deep position, but I believe in Kendrick this much as a player. The injury bug bit him in 2007, expect a very nice 2008. Personally I think he will be a top 5 2B, but there isn't enough of a track record for me to go saying that, without facts to back it up.

Chicago would also potentially get Ervin Santana in this trade. Santana is still a young pitcher, with a live arm whose career has been marred by its ups and downs. A change of scenery might do Santana some good, while he continues to find some consistency as a major leaguer. Santana could fill in as a spot starter in the rotation, but I feel his best place, might be as a power arm to come out of that White Sox bullpen that struggled mightily last season.

It could be a while before this even happens. IF this deal happens. So we'll see how things change and comment further from there.


Farid said...

Incredibly interesting, thanks for the heads up.

First thing I'll say: what's up with Reagins and the White Sox? First the Garland deal and now this possibly? Does

he talk to anyone else (WHY NOT THE MARLINS)?

As an Angels fan, of course I am excited by the possibility of acquiring a big bat like Konerko. But I am a little

worried about some of the same things that you mentioned in the article. Why do the Angels need another

soon-to-be-old-and-unable-to-run 1B/DH? Kotchman is young and skilled at first and the outfield is very

OVERFULL. Let's not forget in addition to the big names (Anderson, Guerrero, Hunter and Matthews), the Angels

also have Reggie Willits and Juan Rivera (two rising stars in their own right). In my opinion, the Angels need to

improve at 3rd, not anywhere else. But having listened to Reagins since he began as GM, I've heard a dozen times

his mantra: "We'll always look a trade that makes our team better."

Also, I don't necessarily disagree with the lineup projection you offered. I'd have it more this way:
Figgins, Hunter, Vladdy, Konerko, Anderson, Kotchman, Matthews, Ayabar, Napoli, Izturis

But in reality, this lineup would become so potent that even Scioscia wouldn't know what to do with it. I'm sure he'd

be juggling with it for a while--but this is the sort of problem that I don't really mind having.

As for who the Angels would give up, I don't mind dealing Santana, but Kendrick leaving would bother me. First in

Santana's case, I think you're exactly right in that he just needs a change of scenerie. Santana has AMAZING

stuff (Pedro-esque stuff) when he's ON. When he's not (which was pretty much every road game this year), he's

horrible. I just don't think the Angels have been able to get his head on straight, and if we can get equal value for

him, I really wouldn't mind trading him (especially with the acquisition of Garland).

Kendrick, however, is a star in the making. He hits for average, can run and plays very strong defense. If he can

begin to improve his power game, I think he's unstoppable at the plate. I know the Angels would have to give up

someone good to pull off this trade, but I do think they could end up regretting a trade for Kendrick in the future.


Great article!


mikeyu said...

farid brings up some interesting points. however, as a lifelong white sox fan, i think i can offer a different opinion.

first off, i do not believe that the white sox will be able to land howie kendrick in a paul konerko deal. although konerko is a favorite among sox fans, it would be nice to get some salary relief on a team filled with aging players being paid in excess of 10 million per season. however, kendrick has 4-5 years of salary control and seems to be too highly touted.

i think a more logical deal would involve gary matthews jr coming to the white sox (missing a cf) along with cash, santana (for the reasons mentioned in the article), and probably another prospect. the interesting things is that the white sox have an excess in a position the angels need: 3b. josh fields is the 3rd baseman of the future but joe crede, if healthy, is a gold-glover with 25-35hr, 85-100 rbi potential. he would fit nicely in socal, especially since the angels have tried to trade for him before (rumors 2 seasons ago).

so as a white sox fan, there is a part of me that hopes konerko can be dealt for a package revolving around knedrick and santana. even a package with gmj, santana, a prospect, and cash would be acceptable. however, with the reputation of kenny williams as a man who never leaks a deal to the media, i feel like we're left with konerko at 1b, swisher in center, and quentin and dye at the corners for the season.