They Hired Jerry DiPoto To Do This?

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A team that spends their money in this way in free agency—C.J. Wilson ($77.5 million over 5-years); Albert Pujols ($250 million over 10-years); and LaTroy Hawkins (1-year, $3 million)—and to trade a top prospect starter Tyler Chatwood for Chris Iannetta and find a taker for Jeff Mathis, probably didn’t need to hire a new GM to do it.

That’s nothing against new Angels GM Jerry DiPoto who made a series of terrific trades while the interim GM of the Diamondbacks to help build the foundation for this year’s surprising NL West champion; nor the players he acquired—he got quality for the most part and/or filled the Angels’ needs—but don’t make it seem like the act of a genius when he had an owner in Arte Moreno who authorized the payouts.

As for the deals themselves, Pujols for 10 years is more palatable when there’s the DH option as he ages, but $250 million is a lot of money for one player no matter how it’s sliced; he’s a historic player and will produce in the foreseeable future for the Angels; one thing that will be very interesting is how he ages. Will the progression and decline be natural or will he maintain his excellence for the length of the contract leading to…questions?

Pujols is this era’s Joe DiMaggio in both performance and stature; even DiMaggio tumbled rapidly and was finished by 36.

My first reaction to the Wilson contract was: “That’s it?”

From wanting $120 million, he took $77.5 million?

Obviously the visions of riches Wilson had dancing under that thick lustrous hair weren’t available from the Rangers, Marlins or anyone else.

The Angels signed a pitcher for less than the extension they agreed to with Jered Weaver and bolstered an already excellent top three starters with Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

Wilson isn’t young (31), but he has clean mechanics and hasn’t been a starter long enough for wear and tear to be a concern. He’s a good pitcher and will be good for the Angels.

This is a formidable team, but don’t place any appellations of “genius” or provide undue credit to DiPoto because he just did what former GM Tony Reagins and another whom was interviewed for the position, Omar Minaya, could’ve done amid all the criticism they received as GMs—he spent a load of money.

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2 thoughts on “They Hired Jerry DiPoto To Do This?

  1. Reagins was a bumbling fool who showed up late to last year’s winter meetings and acquired Scott Kazmir (unquestionable bust) and Vernon Wells (bust who may redeem himself yet). The winning teams in 2008-2009 that he was GM over were built by his predecessor. He had more of an influence on the 2010-2011 teams, and it showed with their missing the playoffs both years.

    His greatest work was the players he didn’t sign (Chone Figgins, John Lackey, Carl Crawford, and, to an extent, Mark Teixeira [c’mon, has he really been a better player since he signed his contract?]), and all that required was for him to do what he did best…nothing (or nothing of consequence, anyway).

    Jerry DiPoto, on the other hand, should be applauded for finding someone to take Jeff Mathis and actually give him something in return! That’s not to take anything away from Toronto’s front office, who are brilliant if for nothing else for unloading Wells’s mammoth contract.

    1. Reagins acquired Kazmir in August of 2009 and it was a terrible trade.
      I’m not disagreeing with you—you’re right; but my point was that it’s not a difficult job to be a GM when the owner gives you the authorization to spend that kind of money on star players. Tony Reagins and Omar Minaya could’ve done the exact same things.
      DiPoto made terrific deals while the interim GM of the Diamondbacks and laid the foundation for their NL West champion in 2011. He’s a smart guy and will do a good job as the GM, especially in drafting and under-the-radar acquisitions.
      But I can’t credit him for signing Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson.

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