The Departure of Dallas McPherson

MLB.com reports that the Angels chose not to offer Dallas McPherson a new contract, making him a free agent.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported a week ago that Dallas was encouraged by his trial in fall instructional league and was willing to take any job, even in the minors, to get back into the game.

This morning’s Los Angeles Times reports Dallas was offered a contract but it was withdrawn:

McPherson, 27, said the Angels offered him a one-year contract but backed off before a deal could be finalized.

"We were close to an agreement on a contract," he said. "For whatever reason, they decided to pull the offer off the table. I wanted to be an Angel.

"They’ve been loyal to me. My biggest regret [is that] I can’t return that loyalty, the investment the Angels made in me."

I don’t expect Dallas to give up and go home. He’ll sign somewhere. And maybe in a couple years the Angels will regret withdrawing that contract.

Thanks for the memories, Dallas. You’re a class act.

11 Comments

I thought for sure when Tejada went to the Astros DMac was going to get a shot.
I mean Rolen and Crede both are injury risks and a lot more expensive.

I guess the positive out of this is the club must have confidence in a new direction or Woods progress at the corner.

So long Dallas, I wish you well!

I’m very sorry to hear this. I really hope that a guy with Dallas’ character does well, we are forced to sit through too many Albert Belle’s and Milton Bradley’s in sports.

Good luck, Dallas!

Didn’t Bootcheck have this done to him last year? Basically, D-Mac is now off of the 40-man roster and is a free agent. He could still sign a *minor* league contract w/ the Angels, still be invited to Spring Training, and still, possibly, play somewhere in the Angels’ organization.

Well, let’s see. The current biggest need is at third base. This third baseman’s upside is HUGE, if healthy. He claims to be pain-free for the first time in years. This 27-year-old, dedicated, hard-working, class act of a ballplayer publically declares his undying loyalty to the Angels and his utmost desire to be a productive member of this organization at virtually any level.

Yes, I can fully understand why McPherson would not even merit a Spring Training invitation as a minor leaguer. I mean, who would want this kind of player working his behind off in camp? And all this while we lament the unsuccessful attempt to trade several top prospects for a human tattoo exhibit with a reported weight problem, attitude issues, mediocre defensive skills and questionable work ethic.

Maybe the Angel medical staff decided Dallas’ back couldn’t possibly hold up to the rigors of a long season. Uh, that might be the same medical staff that figured Bobby Jenks’ arm would never hold up under stress. Or maybe it was part of the ongoing personnel retention wizardry of our new GM. (Warner Madrigal, anyone?)

Please excuse my sarcasm, but I’m just not seeing the big picture here, at all.

If Dallas steps up to the plate at Anaheim Stadium in an opposing team’s uniform, I’ll be among the thousands of red shirts that will stand and applaud loudly.

rwilliams@nhsandiego.com asked about Chris Bootcheck. I did some research. Chris was designated for assignment, which meant he could take his release or accept a minor league contract if he passed through waivers. No one claimed him, and Chris elected to go on the Triple-A roster rather than take free agency. In Dallas’ case, the Angels simply didn’t offer him a new contract, making him a free agent. The Angels never released Chris from his contract, but he had that option if he wanted it. So there was a difference.

But you are right in that Dallas could theoretically sign a minor league contract with the Angels if he wished.

aamares@aol.com wrote, “Uh, that might be the same medical staff that figured Bobby Jenks’ arm would never hold up under stress.” That wasn’t the issue with Jenks. Yes, he had pins in his arm, but the disciplinary actions also played a large role. And keep in mind the Angels did not release Jenks. They were trying to move him off the 40-man roster onto the Triple-A roster, but he was claimed on waivers by the White Sox. So the Angels didn’t release him or non-tender him. Had he cleared waivers, he would have still been Angels property.

Yes, I remember the problems they had with Jenks. They knew he was a project from the time they signed him. He was touted by scouts and others as a rising star, provided they could get him to focus on his profession. And, despite his personal problems, the Angels deemed him worthy of a place on their 40-man roster.

It was when his exceptionally live arm began to falter that they became less tolerant of his immature behavior and weight problem. If memory serves me, when he had arm surgery, the reports were that it was major, reconstructive and possibly career-ending. He was said to be facing a long and uncertain recovery. That’s when they tried to move him off the 40-man list. They were fully aware, as all teams are, of the risks of exposing him to waivers.

And not long thereafter we got to see him not only become a dominant closer, but we also got to repeatedly hear how the Angels had given up on him and the White Sox had astutely snatched him up for a song, helped him straighten up and rode him into the World Series.

But that’s water under the bridge. My dissatisfaction stems from the possibility that they may have just done it again, with McPherson. I see Dallas as having Jenks’ potential without the baggage. And, by his own account, feeling better than he has in a long time. What’s the risk?

I hope someone has an Ace up their sleeve.

aamares wrote:

“If memory serves me, when he had arm surgery, the reports were that it was major, reconstructive and possibly career-ending. He was said to be facing a long and uncertain recovery. That’s when they tried to move him off the 40-man list.”

Um, well, I don’t remember any of that. I was there when Bobby got hurt; in fact, the video footage is in the FutureAngels.com Video Gallery.

Bobby suffered a “stress reaction” in his elbow in 2003 and was shut down for two months during the summer. A stress reaction is not quite as bad as a stress fracture; it didn’t break but it was close. The Angels sent him off to Arizona Fall League, followed by a winter ball stint in the Caribbean that ran into January. I was concerned at the time because I knew he’d be going into major league camp in mid-February and felt he wasn’t getting enough rest for the elbow, especially considering he wouldn’t get any off time until next October. I wrote on the MLB.com Angels board at the time I thought winter ball was a mistake for that reason.

What happened on April 19, 2004 was that the stress reaction returned. To quote the 2005 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, “He was shut down for the third time in two seasons because of a stress reaction in his right elbow and eventually had surgery in August. While he was rehabbing at the Angels’ base in Mesa, Ariz., he was involved in an altercation with a teammate, suspended and sent home. When Anaheim needed to find room on its 40-man roster for Cuban defector Kendry Morales in December, it designated Jenks for assignment and lost him on waivers to the White Sox.”

At that point, Jenks had very little value. He was a very high risk — bad elbow, bad attitude and no inclination to take care of himself. The Angels had a lot more talent to protect than the White Sox, so Chicago could afford to absorb the risk. Remember, the Sox sent him to Double-A (a demotion) to start 2005 as a reliever. So it’s not like he was lightning in a bottle, more like a reclamation project that paid off.

I don’t recall anyone with the Angels ever saying Jenks at that stage was in a career-threatening condition. All they did was put a pin in his elbow, which suggests fragility but not “career-threatening.” There are people drifting around on fan boards who make things up or exaggerate or just say things that are flat wrong. The only threat to his career at that point was himself. Perhaps being acquired by another organization was a wakeup call. Good for him and his family; quite frankly, I was worried about his wife and two little children, because if he permanently self-destructed they would be the ones who suffered.

My only complaint with the Angels was their sending him to winter ball after 2003, because I felt he should have taken off the winter in preparation of a full 2004 season. That, I believe, was the mistake.

As for Dallas, my assumption is that the Angels looked at his medical evaluation after fall ball and came to the conclusion he wasn’t going to make it back to the point he’d make much of a difference. As with Jenks, right now he has no trade value because he’s come off major surgery on top of another major surgery and no one has seen him at peak performance in three years. From Dallas’ perspective, this allows him to find a job with 29 other organizations, so it’s a win for him. They probably felt this reclamation project would block the development of Brandon Wood, Matt Brown and Sean Rodriguez, so they let him go.

Do I wish he were still here? Sure. Do I hope he gets another chance? Sure. But I’m not going to get angry about it. This is the way the baseball system works. They have rules like waivers and 40-man rosters and six-year minor league free agency and whatnot to force organizations deep in talent not to bury their players forever. It gives those guys a chance to play elsewhere and maybe make the big leagues with someone else. That’s how the Angels got guys like David Eckstein and Brendan Donnelly, back in the years when the system was still thin and they could afford to take on reclamation projects. We’re not thin anymore.

Stephen, if I’m out of line and not welcome here, please let me know. For someone who claims to not be angry, you had a lot to say about very little. I did say I was disappointed about the way some things have unfolded for the team this winter. But, trust me, I don’t lose sleep over this stuff.

I have neither the time, nor the inclination, that you apparently have to research and provide quotes and references to support my opinion. So my opinion is based on my best recollection of how things occured and, since memory does fade with time, I may be off by a little or by a lot. Nevertheless, with all my limitations, it’s the only opinion I own and it’s what I come here to express and share as long as I’m welcome to do so.

“There are people drifting around on fan boards who make things up or exaggerate or just say things that are flat wrong.” Wow…I hope that’s not your opinion of those who post their views on your site.

We either mirror your view or we’re hampered by inferior knowledge?

“I was there when Bobby got hurt; in fact, the video footage is in the FutureAngels.com Video Gallery.”

I don’t think you know if I was there also, or not. But why is it worth mentioning? The issue was the prognosis, not the diagnosis.

“Bobby suffered a “stress reaction” in his elbow in 2003 and was shut down for two months during the summer. A stress reaction is not quite as bad as a stress fracture; it didn’t break but it was close.” Were you there for the medical diagnosis? Are you a physician or physical therapist? Did you speak with the team trainers? Have teams ever been known to “spin” or downplay the truth about injuries?

“As for Dallas, my assumption is that the Angels looked at his medical evaluation after fall ball and came to the conclusion he wasn’t going to make it back to the point he’d make much of a difference. As with Jenks, right now he has no trade value because he’s come off major surgery on top of another major surgery and no one has seen him at peak performance in three years.”

Obviously. But then, we hear this: ” McPherson, 27, said the Angels offered him a one-year contract but backed off before a deal could be finalized. “We were close to an agreement on a contract,” he said. “For whatever reason, they decided to pull the offer off the table. I wanted to be an Angel.” Why would they even discuss contract if their mind was made up?

By the way, I agree that “we’re not thin any more”. But we all know that the reason we chased M.Cabrera so hard (to the point of Artie’s frustration) is that although Figgins is adequate at 3B, he’s not the ultimate answer. Wood or Rodriguez would really have to come on fast to break camp on the major league roster. Brown was a darkhorse last year and is still just that, although he, too, could surprise. And despite this, they discussed a contract with Dallas, then abruptly pulled it and sent him packing.

Are we not entitled to some sort of statement or clarification of what really transpired? Nothing proprietary, just a brief statement. Or are we paying customers on a “need-to-know basis”?

Did I jusr read correctly that Scott Boras was McPherson’s agent? If he were borderline maybe that was the tipping point. I could certainly see that happening.

I did a little Googling and came up with this in today’s San Jose Mercury-News:

“The Giants have spoken to agent Scott Boras about infielder Dallas McPherson, who became a free agent when the Los Angeles Angels did not tender him a contract. McPherson is coming off back surgery but he is a former top prospect with home run potential and could play first or third base.”

The Miami Herald reported this past weekend that the Marlins are also interested in DMac.

I’m sure he’ll find a job, but by his own account, he’s still a ways away. I’m thinking the Angels decided by the time he was ready they would already have filled that need.

Time will tell if that was the right decision or not by the Angels, but I think it was good one for Dallas.

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