This fan post is written by one of our site members. Let them know what you think and feel in the comments below!
So, at the request of Rahul, I am going to go ahead and write a fan post. Please forgive me if this turns out poorly 🙂
So, it’s clear this team is not very good. What would I do, moving forward? It’s clear, to me, that we just need to start a mini-rebuild, even if Arte (and others) don’t want it. So:
- At the trade deadline, trade Simba and La Stella for anyone you can. Both are on expiring contracts and won’t be retained. Might get a relief prospect at best, but our bullpen is so bad that I would totally welcome that at this point.
- Consider trading Heaney, Bundy, and Goodwin at the trade deadline if there are good deals to be had. If not, consider it in the offseason. The goal will be to acquire young pitching prospects and, perhaps, a catching prospect.
- Continue to lose as many games as possible, such that we end up with either the #1 or #2 pick and draft either Rocker or Leiter.
- In the offseason, let Eppler go (his contract is up anyway) and hire someone from either the Dodgers or Rays. This, IMO, is the most important part – we need someone who will deeply invest in player development. We need a leader who will find the Max Muncys, Chris Taylors, Mike Yaztremskis, etc – under the radar guys who suddenly start performing really, really well. And someone who will deeply invest in the farm system.
- Don’t sign anyone in the offseason beyond a one year contract.
- The goal is to have a very good team by 2022.
The blocks are in place for a competitive team, but I think we need to take a step back, trade some of our current players for prospects, and then reload for a 2022 and beyond run.
Imagine a 2022 offense/pitching staff of:
SS Fletcher, RF Marsh, CF Trout, 3B Rendon, DH Ohtani, LF Adell, 1B Thaiss?, C ??, 2B Rengifo or Jones
Rotation: “Ace,” Detmers, Rodriguez, Canning, Sandoval/Suarez/Barria, with Kumar or Leiter in development
The lineup, to me, is pretty good. It shouldn’t be hard to find a decent first baseman, so catcher is probably our only hole. We don’t need too much in the way of position players. But our rotation is what needs a lot of help, and it’s why I’d trade guys we have now (Heaney, Bundy) who won’t be here beyond 2021, as well as continuing to draft and develop whoever we can (with our new GM, who can hopefully utilize their strategy to find better pitching prospects than Eppler has). Hopefully some of those spots above can be filled by prospects we acquire in trades. We also should also have some money to spend on *one* top-flight SP in free agency, so perhaps in the 2021 offseason, we can use that money to sign someone to fill a hole at the top of the rotation.
I think we can be competitive next year but we have to overhaul our pitching staff and the only way to do that is through trade. Out of our “free agent to be’s” (Castro, LaStella, Simba, Tehran) only Simba is a possible QO recipient. I’d hold on to him but trade the rest. I posted a trade on Baseball Trade Values that buys low on a future backstop but I wouldn’t think the $$ added would be necessary. In short, trade from the OF surplus for MLB ready starters (plural) and focus farming the hell out of that crop. An OF of Trout and any of Ohtani/Adell/Goodwin/Marsh is competent. An INF of Rendon/Fletch/Rengifo is competent. Supplement with pitching pitching and more pitching.
I personally think there’s no chance we offer Simmons the QO, as he’d 100% accept it, and then we’d have no money to spend at all in free agency.
Probably not but I doubt we get anything significant for him right now either. It’s
A) Trade him now for anything you can scrounge up.
B) Keep him for the final 30 games, hope he stays healthy and produces at a level that makes the decision easier. At seasons end decide on the QO, an extension, or let him walk.
Is the risk of losing A worth trying B?
I just think there’s no chance we’d offer him a QO at all. He’d accept it for sure, and then all of our free agency money would be tied up.
It’s opportunity cost. If you tell me I have 15-20 mil to spend, and I can either spend it on Simmons this offseason or a pitcher – I’d gamble and go after the pitcher, because we oh so desperately need one.
You are right in that we’d likely get virtually nothing for Simmons at the trade deadline, but even if we can get, say, a relief prospect – that’s helpful, potentially.
With Simba I prefer the trade now and see what he wants in order to re-sign him as a FA
I’m in favor of just starting over 😫 .
The better a team you want, the longer you have to expect a rebuild to take. This team the way it is now is just not that good even with Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon who BTW both turned 30 this year. In 2014 both the A’s and Angels made the playoffs and both teams missed the playoffs for the next 3 straight seasons and this truly shows and exposes the ugly truth about our farm system and Billy Eppler’s ineptitude. In 2018 the A’s were back in the playoffs while we were on our way to 3 straight losing seasons and now were on our way to 5 straight now 😫 . I want a powerful infield with great players at 3B, SS, 2B, at 1B.
The problem is that Arte always opposed a rebuild, saying he would never approve of that under his watch.
I get the sentiment, but just about every team has undergone a rebuild at some point, and the evidence points to it usually being a very wise move. The most recent example of that is the White Sox – they tanked for a few years, traded off any assets, and now they have a very young, exciting, and affordable team.
Arte blew it, for sure.
Did so also by holding on to Abreu as the leader of the youth. But also having build up the minor leagues so smart trades happened.
Or…none of the above and don’t over react to a 30 game sample size in this farce of a season. Making trades at the deadline will net us little especially as we cannot scout any prospects/alternate sites and the value of receiving players is depressed with the season ending in a month.
I don’t understand the vitrol to Eppler as he has turned around the farm and hit on minor trades that have netted us key players for this team-Stassi, Renifo and young pitchers like Sandoval.
Max Stassi turned into Carlton Fisk in one year?
He’s already had 4 yrs with us and all losing seasons and were headed to 5 in a row! One of the writers back in March wrote that our farm system is #25 in MLB. Stassi, Rengifo, Sandoval don’t make me do cartwheels.
Sorry but he sucks 😖 !!
Uh…we just got Stassi this past season. Does anyone fact check on this blog?
Maybe some examples of Eppler improving the farm? The Angels farm is currently bottom 10 and has never been in the top 10 under Eppler’s reign. 5 years is plenty of time to draft, develop and promote pieces to help the team yet here we are at the bottom of the AL. Sandoval is still unproven and a #5 rotation piece probably. Rengifo is probably not a piece that’s going to get us to the playoffs. Stassi? Certainly not a good catcher. Who else has been a standout that Eppler has drafted or traded for? The Simmons trade was good and one of his few smart moves and the Bundy trade is looking to be pretty good as well. But beyond that??
I don’t think I posted vitriol. I think he is decent at his job, but not that great. I think we can do significantly better, and I’d like to pluck someone from a system that has built a juggernaut, a la the Dodgers, Rays, A’s.
As Jessica mentioned, Eppler has had more than enough time to rebuild the farm system. 5 years is enough time to analyze his drafting results, and I’d say the results are mixed at best.
“I don’t understand the vitrol to Eppler as he has turned around the farm”
Is that why they’ll rank among the league worst after Adell’s graduation?
I’m with you in principle, but that’s a lot of holes on the mound.
The lineup should be alright, as long as there are right (and cheap) role players who can fill in the roles. This seems to be what makes the Dodgers and A’s dangerous and is an important goal for any organization.
I’m really skeptical about what to do about pitching, tho. The bottom line is that we have no obvious near future arms in the organization (I expect Canning to miss significant time to injury and I don’t think Detmers will be ready in 2022, at least not for full time starting role, plus I’m increasingly skeptical that Ohtani can realistically continue as both a hitter and a starting pitcher.) Some (at least two, I think, and maybe another insurance policy) good starters need to be signed as FA, as well as a couple of good relievers. It will have to be very expensive and even then, I’m not too confident that things will work out so well–pitching is risky to begin with and we haven’t been very good at evaluating pitching talent/risk for a while. So a significant reorientation in FO (not just Eppler) is essential.
Or, in other words, a fairly thorough reform of the FO has to happen before anything. I’m not as pessimistic as others since Arte did let good baseball people run the ship professionally once–the Stoneman era–when there was mutual trust and confidence. Of course, assembling a team that can replicate that now may be a big challenge …
i don’t think you can build a good team through strictly just the draft and scouting.
at some some point your going to have to either go into FA or trade ( Boston RS, Houston Astros, Nats last year ).
However you must build the main core group of players through draft and scouting. None of this is happening on this team right now however.
Right – it’s a balance.
Think of it this way – combine good drafting / player development, finding random undervalued players, and signing a few stars along the way, and if you do those things, you should have an elite team.
We already have the stars – Trout, Rendon for sure. Fletcher is a fantastic player. Ohtani should, with better instruction, be very good too. Adell, with proper development, should be good.
But – we need quite a bit more young talent to be correctly developed, and right now, that is just not happening at all.
I like it! The painful bit is that it reminds me of all the other times in the past decade I/we’ve said “once ‘x’ happens next year, we’re gonna take the division!”. It was always someone’s contract, or someone coming back from TJ, etc. Nevertheless, no sense in being pessimistic. I still feel like Ohtani isn’t done pitching, so add one more solid arm in that rotation. A lot can and will change in the next year or two with this team, I have no doubt, but the core we have really isn’t that bad I feel.
Long term, I agree, this team needs some massive and visible investments in org development. I’d rather Arte spend a couple $10M on that instead of blowing it on another Harvey + 1.
Thanks! As I look at front office infrastructures, ours is tremendously lacking. We need to truly invest in the FO and build out our player development department.
The Dodgers have a lot of prime guys we can pluck that I’d bet on to build this team. If we spend an extra 15-20 million on our front office, and that front office develops a ton of good, young talent, then they have completely earned their salary. And, good news Arte – you don’t have to pay luxury tax on that front office talent! 😉
Nice work. I think we definitely need to either take a step back or do something fairly drastic to get back to being competitive. I’m on board with letting Eppler go after this year but he’s done a decent job on the trade market with expiring contracts. He’s brought back Buttrey, Sandoval, Jerez (who was valuable enough to trade for Stratton), and some others. So definitely trade every expiring contract possible.
You present lots of good ideas. However, the main problem resides in the owner’s booth. I doubt any GM worth his salt would want to work with an owner who will hamstring and meddle in your job.
MLB front office staff is a small world, and they know where and who to work for. Arte’s reputation proceeds him.
The best move is for Arte to purge his billboard buddies Carpino and Kuhl out of the front office, hire some solid baseball people to run the organization and get the hell out of the way and let them do their jobs.
Perfect, well said and right on point. The sooner the change takes place in the front office including the GM and VP’s is for the better. Trade Noodles and Simmons (sigh) and Goodwin. After doing the same old thing year after year since buying the club in ’03 Arte has proved futile and repuntant at best in running the team. He has wasted Trout and ruined two GM’s with some level of talent. The last straw was breaking off the trade with the Dodgers..
Yeah – I agree, unfortunately. Arte is the biggest obstacle to this pathway for multiple reasons – he meddles too much, and moreover, he’s likely not cognizant enough to realize that it makes far more sense to invest an extra 15-20mil in building his front office than it does to pay Upton 20+ mil a year to be terrible.
If you hire a FO guy at 5+ mil, and he finds a bargain basement player who plays well and saves you from spending the money on a Justin Upton, that guy has more than earned his salary.
I’m on board. But I still don’t think that rotation will be enough.
I want to see Marsh get ABs this season.
I love your analysis but unfortunately it just made me more depressed realizing the amount of holes in this team. However your point on player development could change the atmosphere and culture of the team and maybe they could start getting the best out of these young guys who are not performing right now.
Thank you! Yeah – I think, by far, the most important part of the plan is to hire someone from the Dodgers or Rays, and use their experience to build a very good player development team.
The key part to this would be to have Arte fully support the plan and to pay the money necessary to build the front office infrastructure to support it.