Let’s be honest, the Angels are quite far from competing for AL West titles much less World Series titles. Mike Trout hits the big 3-0 next August and the franchise desperately needs to build around him while he’s still superhuman. The free agent market won’t fill all of the holes the Angels have on their roster. A notable trade must be made to alter the direction of the franchise.
Taking into account the Angels current prospects, the current roster, and obvious needs and looking at the top prospects from around the league we’ll propose trades that should move the Angels towards contention over the next few years. Trades will be made with consideration towards reality, the needs and areas of depth of all parties, and perhaps through the somewhat useful trade simulator tool.
I’m up first, so here we go. In full disclosure the seed for my trade came from Turk’s Teeth but I’m going to modify his original proposal.
It is so great to dream on Adell, who is rated the #4 prospect in all of baseball by Fangraphs and given a 65 grade for future value. But he’s a natural for center field where his speed can be used to maximum effect and he accustomed to the spin off the bat. The Angels have a center fielder for the next decade, the Tigers do not. And the Angels have Brandon Marsh in the wings to take over an outfield spot soon. He might not have the ceiling of Adell, but his floor is that of a solid MLB player.
Luis Rengifo gives Detroit an MLB ready infielder who is only 23 years old. The Tigers will have multiple infield spots open next year and Luis will be no worse than a cost controlled utility player for them for the next five seasons.
Matt Manning is rated as the second best pitching prospect in a Detroit system that is overflowing with near MLB ready pitching prospects. He lacks the name brand sizzle of Casey Mize but he also lacks his injury history. With a consistent 92-95 MPH fastball he can ramp up to 97 and an absolute hammer of a curve ball, Manning has front of the rotation stuff. Last year he showed improved command in AA while refining his changeup. I know the sexy name here is Mize and this feel like playing it safe, and it is, but I want more of a sure thing of trading Adell and like the upward trajectory of Manning.
To compensate for the lack of marquee value in Mize, the Tigers also give up their #9 prospect. Wentz is a near MLB ready middle to back of the rotation piece. He’s a pitcher, not a thrower. Known for command and a killer change up, he’s effective but not over powering. His profile is pretty similar to Reid Detmers, the Angels first round pick in 2020.
Overall this trade leaves the Angels with a 2021 outfield of Goodwin, Trout, Marsh (maybe Ohtani) and the beginnings of a quality, cost controlled pitching staff. Manning, Detmers , and Wentz have yet to make their MLB debuts and could be kept together for 6 years. Add in Bundy (27) and Canning (24) and suddenly the Angels have a young, inexpensive staff that can be enhanced by the occasional free agent (Garrett Richards, please).
The Tigers get their center fielder of the future, immediate help at the MLB level and still keep their top 2 overall prospects. The futures of both clubs improve.