The Angels have finally benched Gary Matthews Jr. and his .236 batting average, in favor of Juan Rivera and his who knows how much below .200 batting average.
Nobody disputes Matthews' gold glove defense (although who needs it with Torii Hunter in center field) but what the hell was Bill Stoneman doing giving him $50 million over 5 years just because he broke .300? Andruw Jones thinks this is a bad contract.
Predictably, Matthews has basically been a No. 7 hitter since he came over from Texas, but now he's a defensive replacement. And Angels fans are pretty much stuck with him. Not only did Stoneman give him an unjustified amount of money (he is owed $10 million, $11 million, and $12 million in 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively) but he has a FULL no-trade clause through next season. Not that anyone would agree to trade for him anyway, but if he waives the no-trade clause he gets a $500,000 bonus.
The Colorodo Rockies are just about the only team to which that a trade would make sense. The ginormous dimensions at Coors Field require Matthews-like speed and defense in center field, and the thin air could probably turn him into a 30-homer threat. The Angels are rumored to have interest in MVP candidate Matt Holliday, so they may be lucky enough to pawn Matthews (or Rivera, or both) off to the Rockies if they fork over some top pitching prospects.