According to various reports, former Mets lefthander Hisanori Takahashi has signed a two-year deal with the Orange County Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in California (or whatever they’re calling themselves this year).
This shouldn’t come as a shock to Mets fans; by not signing Takahashi by November 5th they had to release him and could not re-sign him until next May. There was no chance that a lefty reliever with 10 wins, 8 saves, and a 3.61 ERA was going to last through the winter and spring without signing elsewhere.
I want to go on a limb and say that Takahashi won’t replicate the success he had in Flushing over in the bastardized league that uses the designated pinch hitter, partially because the lineups tend to be stronger and deeper in the other league and partially because the Angels don’t play their home games in Citi Field. However, I had eerily similar feelings about Darren Oliver and he proved me wrong. Also, I think that Takahashi could be very effective for at least the first few months just because he will be “new” and something of an unknown to most AL hitters. Additionally, he will now be part of a very efficient and intelligent relief system managed by Mike Scioscia — one of the few in MLB who have a clue when it comes to managing bullpens over the course of a 162-game season.
In any case, I wish him good luck on the Left Coast. He was a good soldier and team-first player who did everything that was asked of him — a true ballplayer.