The Angels have had a pretty good offseason, particularly with the upgrades to their bullpen.
They’e signed the motivated Ryan Madson, who will close a year removed from Tommy John surgery. And on Wednesday, they reportedly reached agreement on a two-year, $8 million deal for Sean Burnett, who might just have been the best left-handed reliever on the market.
Los Angeles remains in on the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, too.
But it hasn’t all been roses this winter. They had to say goodbye to veteran outfielder Torii Hunter, who’s had his heart set on Detroit for quite some time — and wasted little time making that happen, signing a two-year, $26 million deal with the Tigers in November.
It’s a significant void for the Angels, not just because of the player they’ve lost, but the person they’ve lost.
“There’s no doubt it impacts our club,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said yesterday at the winter meetings in Nashville. ”I think when you lose a presence in the clubhouse — I think we have plenty of guys in the clubhouse that are a presence, and they’ll absborb that. I think what have to carve out is that No. 2 spot (in the lineup) that Torii fit like a glove.
“He took that role and he just ran with it, and played at a high level for us. That’s what we have to, I think, be able to replicate.”
Hunter, 37, moved into the No. 2 spot, and was great batting between superstar rookie Mike Trout and superstar slugger Albert Pujols. He’ll be a somewhat similar situation with the Tigers, batting smack dab between Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera.
Hunter played five seasons with the Angels, hitting .286 while averaging 21 home runs and 86 RBIs.
In 2012, he hit a career-best .313 with 92 RBIs.