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Because of the way the lux tax escalates, there's almost no point in barely going over the line. The difference between a $189 payroll and a $192 payroll is not worth paying a 30-40% premium on FAs in the future. Especially since I think the Angels are more than a Matt Garza away from being a top contender.
I do, however, understand the idea that the team is built to "win now" and might as well go for it with a Tanaka or Garza. Pujolsmight have a few more strong-ish seasons in him and if Hamilton has anything left it will be the next couple of years. Couple that with Weaver and Wilson showing signs of age-related decline (not really Wilson, but it's coming...) and I can see the urgency to win now.
I wonder if the Angels would be better off trading Trout than giving him 10/300 and going over 189. I mean, what do you think they could get for Trout?
How about Jackie Bradley Jr, Barnes, Owens, Middlebrooks, Cecchini, Peavy. Red Sox would then sign Drew and move XB to 3B.
Finally, someone who understands that Arte Moreno's mistake was in not spending enough money badly. Wait, er what?
I wonder if the Angels would be better off trading Trout than giving him 10/300 and going over 189.
No one's saying that Moreno should spend money badly. The team needs help, and the farm system's pretty dry. If the Angels are going to be playoff contenders, they're going to have to pony up the money. Just not badly.
Pujols has looked like a sloppy mess the last couple of years. He has been letting himself go Tony Gwynn style. I will believe that he is going to bounce back if he shows up to spring training minus 20 lbs.
Whereas today, as the Angels more than anyone else are aware, fitting a supermegastar salary into your payroll means you probably skimp somewhere else.
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