Every transaction under the management of Tony Reagins is recounted, analyzed and graded.
Tony Reagins served as Angels General Manager just a month shy of four years. He inherited a team that had been to the playoffs in three out of the previous four seasons. He saw the Angels go to the playoffs the first two years he was in charge but as the Bill Stoneman era grew smaller in the rear view mirror, the Reagins stamp yielded no oomph and the Angels finished with 80 and 86 wins in 2010 and '11 respectively.
Let's look at the major moves over which Reagins presided...
Prior to the 2008 season:
Orlando Cabrera for Jon Garland ...Garland wasn't really needed on a one hundred win team and Cabrera might have made a difference in the ALDS, but the major league experience it gave Erick Aybar makes this a good trade. Grade: B
During the 2008 season:
Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek for Mark Teixeira ...They would have gone to the playoffs anyway without Teix and he hit like a girl in the ALDS, but the draft picks they got for Teixeira yielded them Mike Trout and Garrett Richards. Good Trade. Grade: B+
During the 2009 season:
Sean Rodriguez, Alexander Torres and Matt Sweeney for Scott Kazmir ...This was a testosterone swagger to put a strikeout starter in the playoffs. Kaz had a good September, sputtered in the 2009 postseason and was the worst pitcher in baseball in '10 and '11. Bad trade. Grade: F
Prior to the 2010 season:
Gary Matthews Jr. for Brian Stokes ...Managed to get a ten percent rebate on a bad contract in exchange for roster filler. Ehhh. Grade: C
During the 2010 season:
Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith for Alberto Callaspo ...This trade was a pushing of the panic button on the Brandon Wood decline. Usually the panic button being pressed leads to more panic, but not this time. While Callaspo's ceiling was lower than that projected for Wood, he managed to actually reach it and contribute serviceable 3B for a season and a third. The chips we sent have not amounted to much in KC. Good trade: Grade: B+
Joe Saunders, Tyler Skaggs and Pat Corbin for Dan Haren ...At present a decent trade, but if Skaggs and /or Corbin reach their ceilings this might not look too fabulous mid-decade. No way the Angels contend in '11 without Haren although Saunders managed to hold his own facing pitchers batting in the National League. Good Trade: Grade: B
Prior to the 2011 season:
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS:
Prior to the 2008 season:
Torii Hunter ...Despite the naysayers, Hunter has earned his $90 million, become the face of the franchise and been a team player in situations like capitulating to Peter Bourjos taking over in CF. Signing Torii out of nowhere at a Corona Del Taco earned Tony the nickname "Ninja" for doing the unexpected. Grade: A+ and if you have any argument with that, do not forget the curse-ending impact of Torii's 3-run Game 1 2009 ALDS HR against the Red Sox. Grade: A+
Shane Loux ...Ehh. Grade: Incomplete.
Prior to the 2009 season:
Brian Fuentes ...A controversial reliever who had to live up to thirteen years of Percy/Frankie. Grade: C
Matt Palmer ...Every GM makes signings of players who had a sip of coffee somewhere else and want to prove they still have it. Palmer had a little skill and a lot of luck behind him. Grade: C+
Bobby Abreu ...We will get to his re-signing in a minute but Bobby did come in handy on a 2009 team that came to within two games of the World Series. Grade: B+
Prior to the 2010 season:
Hideki Matsui ...Vlad wanted two years, or so they say. Hideki sold a lot of jerseys and had a hot second half when the team needed it least. Grade: B
Fernando Rodney ...The F in F-Rod is for Failure. Grade: F
Joel Pineiro ...League average pitching and then below-league-average pitching all at the cost of not paying Matt Palmer league minimum. Grade: D
Prior to the 2011 season:
Hisanori Takahashi ...Not exactly a big splash, not a disaster. Grade: C
Scott Downs ...You want to dismiss this signing as luck, but it was more like hitting the lottery by playing it so many times. Still, you got to give the man the credit for the payout. Grade: A
During the 2011 season:
Russell Branyan ...Warning to the next GM who supposedly will not have Scioscia's heavy hand to consider: Mike may not use the parts you buy for the engine of the car he still shooses to drive his own often sputtering way. Grade: B
Jerome Williams ...Every GM visits the scrap heap as an unseen part of the job. When a diamond shines, though, they look more brilliant then a number four starter might actually be. Grade: B-
Darren Oliver ...We will get to his not re-signing later, but this was great for the club. Grade: B+
Juan Rivera ...Uninspired but competent. Grade: C+
Ervin Santana ...A slight overpay for an average starter, Ervin has at least been durable. Grade: B
Bobby Abreu ...Was Yankee-loving Angels chairman Dennis Kuhl whispering in Tony's ear: "Bobby wore the pinstripes, he knows how to win, if they fire you ,you can be my special assistant" ? Now the Angels are stuck with a no-power DH at $9 million for 2012. Grade: C-
Maicer Izturis ...The greatest utility man in Angels history still producing with bat and glove at a bargain. Grade: B+
Jered Weaver ...He fought the Boras and he won! Grade: A+
NOTABLE RELEASES and NON-TENDERS:
Dallas McPherson ...Had enough subsequent chances to prove this was the right move. Grade: B
Justin Speier ...Dumping the mistakes of the previous regime is the fun part of the job. Grade: B
Jose Arredondo ...On one side he was injured, on the other, he was a headcase. On the third, though, was a good arm. Grade: C-
Darren O'Day ...Gave up on a torn labrum too soon. Grade: D-
Brandon Wood ...It is pointless to grade people on moves not made, but if the organization saw enough holes in his swing to be leery, they should have traded him on hype alone. Instead they got nothing. On his release, this is graded as... Grade: incomplete.
WALKED AWAY FROM:
Chone Figgins ...Brilliant, and brave in the face of fan merchandising throngs that loved them some Figgy. Grade: A
John Lackey ...Saw the light and lowballed. Theo McSaber cannot say the same thing. Grade: A
Darren Oliver ...In hindsight a terrible move, at the time it yielded some shrugs. Grade: D
Vladimir Guerrero ...There was the guy who dumped his hot Dominican wife to try out a Japanese girl for a year. The following year, he was left with neither of them and always wondered what might have happened if he had just stayed with fading beauty he knew. Grade: C-
Garret Anderson ...A few grumbling fans didn't stop this logically sound move. Grade: A-
Francisco Rodriguez ...Fuentes, Rodney and even Walden did not match his post-Angels production. But it has been a much happier clubhouse if a man gets points at all for chemistry, this was an easy problem to solve. Grade: C-
Warner Madrigal ...A nobody, to be sure, but an indicator of how in over his head he was. Grade: D
The only extenuating circumstances to be mentioned on Tony's behalf are the death of Nick Adenhart and the non-chronic injury to Kendrys Morales. While an organization is supposed to have the depth to overcome the absence of any player, these were two young budding prospects for whom room on the roster was being cleared.
Even with these extenuating circumstances, Tony's final grade in Anaheim is at best a C Minus and most of that comes form the momentum he inherited. A squandered term tainted by tragedy and revealing a stubborn side of our manager. Who knows what the future will hold, let's just be glad that Tony cannot be the one ruining it.