If the Angels are really going to compete, they should consider trading: EVERYONE!

Continuing a trade deadline series in which CtPG editors imagine the unimaginable, and cast the deckchairs of this Titanic into the roiling sea!


Fan attachment is a ruthless force. It binds us to names and personalities, inuring us to their flaws and vulnerabilities, while occasionally blinding us to fleeting opportunities to improve. It only takes small precious in-game moments of winning to make a player a golden calf on a sentimental shelf, with fans at the ready to guard him against theft. Meanwhile, scouting evaluations and ranked lists bubble up to the media surface, and young unfinished talent from the minor leagues become legendary keys to fan wish fulfillment and self-realization. Favorite players are like nightlights in the troubling dark, and we hover around them even as menace crackles outside the bedroom door. No one wants things to change much, and the world burns around us.

In light of this, contrarian impulses may not always be appreciated. Imagination can be a useful counterfactual, but when fans contemplate alternatives to the status quo and float trade concepts, they are often met with charges of wanting to “blow up the team”, or worse – disloyalty or abandonment. Of team management…or team destiny!

But y’know, kiddos, the Halos team destiny does feel a bit small-bore of late. Our present approach is, without question, not working. Five sequential losing seasons represents the worst stretch in franchise history. As I write this, our .312 win percentage after 32 games is the worst mark in franchise history. The Angels currently battle Pittsburgh and Boston for the worst record in baseball – and we’ve officially hit Rock(er) Bottom at least twice in recent days.

It barely needs to be said, but most of this comes down to insufficient, inconsistent and generally inferior starting pitching. A chronic problem for a half-decade. The team is still investing less than 10% of its (sizable) payroll in the rotation, and the outcomes fit the investment.

But the farm is not coming to rescue. Fangraphs currently ranks the Angels minor league system at #20. With 66 more ABs, Jo Adell loses his prospect status, and the farm will fall to #25, per current value assessments. This is not a deep, varied, or a balanced system – and it’s certainly not an inevitable one. Fully 64% of the value of the farm is tied up in the top three guys, all outfielders. Yet solid corner outfielders – as guys like Brian Goodwin, Kole Calhoun and Michael Brantley have shown – are one of the most straightforward types of players to acquire in a cost-efficient way in free agency, if an organization is smart about it.

Dealing from this area of strength does not mean the vessel can’t be replenished. Trades can rebalance a farm to better distribute talent across pitching and offense, and better ladder up reinforcements across minor league levels. The Angels status quo is not the only way to roll.

So let’s shake up the face cards in our playing deck. Instead, let’s contemplate what it might mean to trade our best replaceable assets away. By this, I don’t mean four-week rentals like La Stella (c-ya Tommy!), Simmons and Castro. If Eppler can get some reliever candidates or deep-cut A-ball pitching for any of those guys, great! Do it! I also don’t mean trading away lifetime contracts like those of Rendon and Trout, or even a player like Fletcher, who fills the shortstop-sized hole Simmons leaves when he hits free agency.

I’m looking instead at the top four assets the Angels have at the moment that are either not contributing significant value on-field in the present, or have limited contract windows that constrain their future value. For me that’s Jo Adell, Shohei Ohtani, Brandon Marsh and Dylan Bundy.

Now no MLB team would trade all four guys like this away, not least the ever-retentive Los Angeles Angels. I don’t pretend this could happen – but let’s try to imagine what the team might look like if it did. Can we build a playoff-caliber rotation with cost-controlled pitching for multiple seasons, while maintaining a farm system of equivalent value, but instead deep in pitching instead of outfield position players?

Let’s try.


Trade OF Jo Adell to the Detroit Tigers for RHSP Casey Mize OR RHSP Matt Manning

Here we begin with a simplified version of Jeff Joiner’s trade earlier this week. Detroit needs controllable impact outfielders (and infield help as well), and they have one of the deepest prospect pitching pipelines in baseball. Here I give them the choice of trading either of their top prospect arms in Manning or Mize for the Angels’ top prospect in Jo Adell. Losing one of them wouldn’t hurt so much, as they have a lot of young pitching in reserve, and Adell’s development schedule fits their timeline for contention, even better than Mize or Manning do. In 2022, at age 23, Adell will likely be an everyday, middle-of-the-order bat, right as Spencer Torkelson arrives to thump alongside him.

As you can see above, Baseball Trade Values finds this a roughly value-equivalent trade regardless of which path is chosen. I have a wee preference for Matt Manning in this scenario, given FB velocity and upside, but Mize has already arrived, so he would be rotation-ready in 2021, which has its merits. Detroit, it’s in your court – you decide!

Trade DH/SP Shohei Ohtani and LHSP Patrick Sandoval to the Seattle Mariners for RHSP Marco Gonzales and LHSP Justus Sheffield

Alternate trade target: Logan Gilbert

The first part of this trade is straightforward. The Angels exchange a somewhat high-variance DH and extremely high-variance pitcher in Shohei Ohtani for Seattle’s most durable and cost-controlled rotation asset, Marco Gonzales. Ohtani has the higher ceiling in most every respect to Gonzales, but his range of outcomes is also the most volatile, and potentially frustrating over the length of his contract. The Mariners have a much improved development corps, however, and have been experimenting with two-way players themselves, so I think Shohei could really thrive in this system.

As a landing place for Ohtani, Seattle really is one of the only places that make sense. Direct flights to Japan, a storied history with Japanese players, and a rebuild timeline to contend in 2022 – just enough time for Ohtani to rebuild value as both hitter and pitcher, and help Seattle to the postseason in the final two years of his contract (Shohei is a free agent in 2024).

Meanwhile, Marco Gonzales is just the type of pitcher Anaheim needs. Former St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year – a nice pedigree given St. Louis has arguably the best development crew when it comes to minor league arms – Gonzales has delivered three straight seasons of above-average pitching out of Seattle’s rotation, and has four years left on his contract. He delivered 200+ innings of 108 ERA+ ball last season, and is currently holding a superior 116 ERA+ across six starts this season.

Baseball Trade Values continues to really like Shohei Ohtani, though, and feels Gonzales isn’t enough of a return to merit this very special player profile. So in this scenario, we bring back another arm with mid-rotation upside, and upgrade (intriguing but replaceable) Patrick Sandoval for Justus Sheffield, another left-handed starter who steps in as Heaney prepares to step out after next season. Former first round pick from Cleveland (who know their arms), Sheffield pairs a plus slider with a sinking fastball to achieve impressive groundball rates. He’s yet to surrender a homerun this year.

If Seattle feels Sheffield is too key to their long-term rebuild, their #3 prospect Logan Gilbert is a fine substitute. BTV feels the Gonzalez/Sheffield package is an Angels overpay, but likes Gilbert as an alternative. In any case, Ohtani demands a solid return, and two high-probability arms is what we should expect.

Trade OF Brandon Marsh to the Cleveland Indians for RHSP Mike Clevinger

I do love me some Brandon Marsh. Going back a couple seasons, I’ve thought him the ideal fit for the Angels outfield, perhaps more-so than Adell himself. Marsh has a strong, unimpeachable glove at all three OF positions, and his footspeed and high-OBP lefty bat situates quite nicely behind Fletcher in the #2 spot in the Angels lineup. I would hate to lose him from the system, but this expansive trade thought-bubble isn’t about my nurturing personal fuzzies, it’s about building the best rotation the team can within the short window of Trout’s and Rendon’s prime.

Therefore the most maligned trade-away of the Dipoto-era comes back home to Anaheim in this scenario, to settle in as the ace of the Angels rebuilt rotation for two years. We all know the COVID-party backstory of why Clevinger has fallen out of favor in Cleveland. And for that reason, he might not be the type of player Arte ‘Mr. Clean’ Moreno might want to pull into harbor. But let’s imagine that winning-with-reservations might be a bit more rewarding to Arturo for once than losing through self-denial – and in our evolving narrative, we ride Clevinger with his mid-90s fastball and 10 K/9 rate straight into the postseason for the first time since 2014.

Now, there’s word that Cleveland’s asking price for Clevinger is currently “ridiculous”. That may be! Perhaps it comes down to an exchange in the offseason (a mere few weeks away from the trade deadline). But here, Baseball Trade Values feels six years of Marsh is value-equivalent to two years of Mike, so we’ll accept the enigmatic and oracular shine of our greenshade betters, and let the BTV calculator have its way.

Trade RHSP Dylan Bundy to the Toronto Blue Jays for RHSP Alek Manoah and LHSP Anthony Kay

Now, I’m not even sure this is necessary. I would certainly be pleased if the Angels sat the amazing and reinvigorated Mr. Bundy down and talked him into a three-year extension with the team. Going into next season with a lead rotation trio of Clevinger, Gonzales and Bundy seems like a solid reinvention of the Angels starter corps to me. But there’s no doubt that Bundy’s value is in ascendance right now, and there might be some merit in capturing it at its peak.

The only reason to trade Dylan Bundy at this point is if the Angels receive quantity and controllable years in return. So in this trade, we go Canadian and offer 1+ seasons of our newest ace (though he’s probably a #2 on many clubs in this specific form) for one of Toronto’s #4 types (here Anthony Kay… or Thomas Hatch should the Jays prefer) – each already having made their MLB debuts in the past season – plus their third-best pitching prospect (and current #6 overall) in Alek Manoah. Manoah is a hulking righty with a mid-90s heater, slider, change combo who has a mid-rotation profile at ceiling, and a high-leverage relief profile at floor.

This doesn’t ask for the moon, and gives Toronto two postseason opportunities with Bundy’s current contract. BTV thinks it’s fair – so do I.


In this newly constructed rotation, the Angels are six deep with arms that include a couple frontline weapons, and four others that each have mid-rotation upside. Instead of “gutting” the farm, two outfield athletes are replaced by two promising starters with top 100 value, including a potential ace. Five of the pitchers acquired have no fewer than four to six years of organizational control. Clevinger is the only piece that is a use-before-expiration arm, and he’s a true #1.

Rotation:

Clevinger, Gonzalez, Sheffield, Canning, Kay, Heaney

AAA/AA Farm pitching pipeline:

Manning, Detmers, Manoah, Rodriguez, Soriano

When you look at the free agent list for 2021, there are a number of potential outfield bargains there, should the team want to upgrade from Trout-Goodwin-Upton, but one could also imagine a world where David Fletcher sees more time in LF. In any event, upgrading the outfield is bound to be less costly than upgrading the rotation, so “trade ‘em all” may not be as looney as it looks at first blush.

79 Comments
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AnAngelsFan
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Marsh for Clevinger? Please,no. Clevinger will be 30 before next season starts and arbitration eligible. The Angels would pay him more than the Indians ever did for worse performance and a potential injury. Plus, you traded Adell, Marsh and Ohtani. You are going to end up with a hole in RF and DH to supplement the hole already present at 1B and LF.

Your idea is the perfect set-up for one of the Angels’ traditions. Which one? The one where they lose close games with good pitchers because of no run support and getting outscored in slug fests when the back of the rotation is on the mound.

Brent Maguire
Editor
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

This might be the trade I’d fight back the most on and, honestly, it has more to do with Clevinger’s recent behavior than anything. I’m not claiming that he’s irredeemable but going out partying during a pandemic and then flat-out lying to your team about it raises serious questions about his character. I do think, however, he makes tons of sense from a sheer on-field perspective. The Angels need to start considering maximizing the final prime years of Trout/Rendon and a Clevinger/Bundy 1-2 punch would be the best they’ve had in years.

AnAngelsFan
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

You didn’t just propose Marsh for Clevinger. You proposed Marsh for Clevinger after trading Adell for pitching and Ohtani for pitching.

Yes, I would rather see the Angels get pitchers that are entering their primes and will be here until 2024 than 2 years of Clevinger, especially since Clevinger has a recent history of injuries – his back in 2019, and his leg this year.

2002heaven
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  AnAngelsFan

Arte refuses to pay for good pitching

UnrealisticOptimist
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Never trust a proven dickwad!

2002heaven
Trusted Member
1 year ago

itemid=1400898comment image
I hated that nobody had a opinion about the Tommy LaStella trade 😆 .

Last edited 1 year ago by 2002heaven
Jeff Joiner
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago

This would be a complete overhaul of the franchise. To think of a Manning in the minors with Detmers is crazy.

It’s a series of dreams. And while I’d bet the farm against them all being made, taken individually it shows what a creative GM with some cajones might pull off.

Brent Maguire
Editor
Trusted Member
1 year ago

I loved this piece, Turks. The proposals are all completely legitimate, even though we’d all feel hesitant to move names this big. If you’d proposed these trades prior to COVID and the current on-field product, I’d say no way on some of these trades butttt I think the circumstances are so different now.

I don’t want to speculate on the status of Billy Eppler’s future with the organization but it’s hard to not see Tony La Russa lurking in the front office and the rumors of Dave Dombrowski as a potential GM candidate. Combine this with the Angels lack of success, the closing prime windows for Trout/Rendon, and Arte Moreno’s track record of splurging and I think you have the recipe for some major moves. It’s unclear what that exact direction looks like right now but I have to imagine we’ll see sweeping changes to the roster going into 2021.

GrandpaBaseball
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

LaRussa while being a HOFer and an excellent manager for sure was asked by Arte whether Epp’s was doing the right thing prior to every move coming into this season, how’d that work out? He could save the Halos money by leaving. Trading some decent players to receive pitching is a good idea. But not pitching for pitching.

LAAFan
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Interesting, but I’m not sure Ohtani would accept a trade to Seattle.

PatrickNaN
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  LAAFan

I was wondering that really ever since Ohtani chose the Angels. It would obviously be kind of a jerk move to trade him someplace he doesn’t want to go after he chose to come here for no real money, but is there anything that actually prevents it from happening? Does he have anything in his contract?

LAAFan
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

You say that, but couldn’t he theoretically just peace out back to Japan?

Regardless, I don’t think it happens. He’s still got the pitching potential, plus they sold all the Ohtani merch.

Last edited 1 year ago by LAAFan
LAAFan
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

Ohtani’s definitely not the average player though. It’d just be going back home for him, tons of Japanese guys have done that already. (Albiet the older Japanese guys) Agreed on wanting to compete, but I don’t think he just accepts a trade wherever.

Last edited 1 year ago by LAAFan
PatrickNaN
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  LAAFan

You know the sad part from his perspective, I think it’s pretty clear in hindsight that he should have waited the two years (or wherever it was) to come over as a true FA and made the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars he could have signed for instead of this bad contract. Aside from his initial bursting on the sign, it’s not been a very value building 2 years.

PatrickNaN
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

Interesting and kind of surprising.

Commander_Nate
Member
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Great work as usual, TT. There were very few scenarios in my mind where I’d be ok with trading Bundy and I didn’t really know what they would look like in reality so thanks for finding one. The other team I’ve wondered about and seen us connected with regarding Bundy is the White Sox. I know they’re loaded with prospects; did you explore any possibilities with them when writing this?

The only absolute no for me out of your article is the Ohtani trade. Yes, that’s partially because I still haven’t replaced all my underwear from when we signed him, but it also just doesn’t seem necessary to me at this point. He’s got some Fletcher-esque versatility, especially if he starts playing OF/1B next year. In that case he’s also proven, cost-controlled insurance for trading one of our upper OF prospects for pitching. Good research on it though and I’m not opposed to being blown away should the team’s situation change at some point.

Last edited 1 year ago by Commander_Nate
ihearhowie3.0
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Sure sounds like there’s enough teams with real farm systems interested in Bundy to possibly drive the price up to something worthwhile. Question is if you trust Billy to win this deal on his way out the door.

PatrickNaN
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Fantastic article as always!

dylonbindistan
Member
1 year ago

Very interesting idea, but many of those are unrealistic trades. Adell for 2 of the top pitching prospects in baseball just wouldn’t happen. Clev for Marsh straight not possible. Sending Ohtani to Seattle would be like rubbing yourself in sardine oil and jumping into a tiger cage. I wouldn’t mind parting ways with these guys, but the returns seem very lofty and dreamy

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  dylonbindistan

If you reread, you’ll see that it says Adell for Mize OR Manning. 🙂👍

John Henry Weitzel
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago

I still think if you are to trade Ohtani, the Dodgers make a better fit.

Deep proven farm, they can be patient in fixing him due to their depth, and don’t have to face him in the division. I really doubt JeDi will try to be fair in a trade with the Angels anyway.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

I think there’s a decent chance the DH stays in place even after this season. We’ll see, though.

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Warfarin

Why would it? The CBA expires after the 2021 season, not before it. The NL got a DH this year because pitchers didn’t have as much time to prepare, so hitting may increase their likelihood of injury.

Commander_Nate
Member
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

I think JHW might be right. Next season is likely to be significantly modified as well, and does anyone actually miss pitchers hitting?

Last edited 1 year ago by Commander_Nate
Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Commander_Nate

Right, but pitchers will have adequate time to prepare. In any case, I’m fine with a leaguewide DH, just disagree that it’ll stay in the NL.

John Henry Weitzel
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

Things may not be fixed for 2021 in America, and even if the DH is not in the NL next year, there is a good chance that the CBA agreement will be making it permanent.

John Henry Weitzel
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

I mean he is getting flyballs and grounders NOW so, yes I can see that.

BoyWithApple
Member
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Turks, you forgot to put Rocker/Leiter in the farm pipeline alongside Manning, Detmers, Manoah, Rodriguez, Soriano.

BoyWithApple
Member
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

Thanks for dashing my hopes! Perhaps the absence of La Stella’s bat will get the Angels a little closer to one of the top two picks, though.

Greatjake
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

I get wanting a top pick but is it worth sacrificing integrity? The whole problem with the draft order being based on reverse standings is that teams are absolutely fine with not trying. I think it’s refreshing for a team to be honest and actually try to compete despite having little chance at a playoff spot. This team is not one of the two worst in the league and the remaining 28 games will show that to be true.

H.T. Ennis
Admin
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Greatjake

I’ll casually root for the team to lose but be somewhat less happy when they win and very happy that the players themselves are trying to win.

BoyWithApple
Member
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Greatjake

Someone told me once that one of the other sports puts the teams with the worst records in the pool for the top draft picks, but the team in that pool who won the most games in the last month of the season gets to pick first as a means to discourage tanking.

Last edited 1 year ago by BoyWithApple
Cowboy26
Super Member
1 year ago

Turks I’m totally on board with this plan. Unfortunately, I don’t trust our lame duck GM or anyone else in this team’s current hierarchy to complete a viable transaction that would improve this ball club. Last nights trade of Tommy Boy is a prime example of wasted energy. What is the point of gifting one of your better players to a league rival for a busted prospect with no definable skill sets or remaining options? Arte saved what $400,000 with this trade? how does this make us a better ball club?

Relative to Uber prospect Jo Adell, despite the previous hype I question his real trade value now. After 60 AB’s his numbers so closely resemble Brandon Wood ( except Wood at least had hit 2 HR’s) without any semblance of replacement level defense . Our announcers are trying so hard to find some positives with his game that they espouse accolades whenever he takes a good swing or hits his cutoff man. Unless he has correctible problem like bad vision, this will not end well for the Angels. I would love to acquire viable pitching for him. But do the Angels have the infrastructure in place to develop it?

Most importantly though is the timing right to maximize the return on the non rentals players now or when Dombrowski takes over the reins after October 1st? What a mess.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

My preferred hire of choice – Alex Slater, the current Director of Player Development with the Dodgers. Has been in that position for years and has worked alongside Friedman since they hired him in 2014.

The Dodgers pump out talent constantly. Hire one of the main guys responsible and tell him he can hire whoever he needs to help him attain the same results with us.

Greatjake
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Warfarin

JJ Piccolo for me. I love what the Royals are doing with their drafts and the organization seems to respect players and the game. Loyalty means something but it’s not loyalty to a fault. Dayton Moore is a baseball man I respect and his right hand man would be a welcome addition. If we could mirror KC but augment with LA revenue I think we’d be a strong system

Cowboy26
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Greatjake

I wouldn’t mind seeing Slater. The Dodgers have done a great job with their minor league system as well as finding diamonds in other team’s rough.

I just don’t know if Arte will go that route with this team. After the unsuccessful tenures with Jedi, Eppler & Reagins. I see him hiring an old school established GM ( president of baseball operations type). Maddon’s hire was indicative of his desire to put a season vet in the dugout and I think he will do the same in the front office.

John Henry Weitzel
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Greatjake

Piccolo?! I want him just for the name! Mr. Piccolo as a GM would be so fun.

DMAGZ13
Trusted Member
1 year ago

I really love this. You are so right, it’s time to blow it up for young, on the verge, cost-controlled pitching. Honestly I’ve been pushing for a rebuild since 2016.

The only concern is that we still have a strong track record of poor training that leads to serious arm injuries so no doubt a few of these young arms would go under the knife and set them back a couple of years.

The full scope of our rotation realistically won’t be until Trout – Rendon are 33. And that’s an issue because by sending our Marsh/Adell/Shohei we have no other potential bats . Adams and knowles, etc dont project as serious hit tools.

If you’re going to transfer all of your young assets into the pitching side, you have to completely restructure the whole system that develops are protects these arms. This means you’re building around them and hope Trout gets a ring as he goes into the sunset.

Plus any rotation that has Heaney in it sucks. I’m so tired of him.

Last edited 1 year ago by DMAGZ13
Senator_John_Blutarsky
Super Member

I’m good with this plan. On a team that has been really bad for the last 5 years and has minimal minor league assets, there is no one who is unavailable in the right deal. No one.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
1 year ago

I love these kinds of posts and have thought about similar possibilities.

A few thoughts:

  1. If we are trading Bundy, we should trade Heaney, too. We likely won’t be competitive in 2021, but that’s okay – trade off both of them, get prime, young pitching, and aim for 2022.
  2. Trade one of Adell and Marsh, but not both. Personally, I’d keep Marsh, since Adell can yield a higher pitching return. I’m on board with either Manning or Mize.
  3. I’d keep Ohtani, simply because his trade value right now is the lowest it can possibly be. I’d have him focus on learning the OF in the offseason and install him as our left fielder moving forward (with Marsh taking over RF).
  4. Not addressed, but I’d try to trade Simba for a relief prospect from the Blue Jays (Merryweather? Hatch?), and try to flip Castro for a similar kind of return (to COL, who needs a catcher), so we can try to address our pen
Last edited 1 year ago by Warfarin
Warfarin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

I’m not necessarily averse to trading Ohtani, but it makes sense to do so if/when he recoups some value. Trading him when his value is at its lowest isn’t ideal.

In truth, flipping Adell, Bundy, and Heaney should yield several significant SP prospects in return, which should be enough to help rebuild the rotation.

Using Jeff’s previous template of Adell, Rengifo, Deveaurux (or some other filler prospect) for Manning + Wentz should yield 2 legit SPs. Flipping both Bundy and Heaney should help land us young, SP prospects as well too.

So in that regard – between the 3-4 SP prospects we get, to go along with Canning, Barria, Sandoval, Suarez, etc (at least 1-2 of those guys can/should be decent) – should, hopefully, yield a good rotation. This is why, IMO, we can hang onto Marsh + Ohtani, especially since Ohtani could still serve as a good SP.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

Manning would definitely be in that core, and I do feel Ohtani could potentially be in it – perhaps he never gets healthy and can’t start, but he did flash ace-type stuff in his first season, so it’s likely too soon to entirely give up on him.

And, of course, if we draft Kumar, then we certainly have SP1/SP2 upside in him, too.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Warfarin

I’m contemplating writing my own fan post about the moves I’d make, but one I drafted out –

Bundy + Heaney to the Braves for LHP Davidson + C Langeliers. Secures a catcher of the future and a #3 type SP.

Continue to stink enough to draft Kumar or Leiter.

2022 SP Rotation Possibilities: Manning, Davidson, Detmers, Wentz, Canning. Ohtani is still possible. Have Barria, Sandoval, Suarez, and even Rodriguez all around as possible options still. One of Kumar/Leiter in development.

We’d have a young, solid rotation, with legit depth. We’d still have Marsh and Ohtani on the roster to go along with what we have now (Trout, Rendon, Fletcher). We’d have a future catcher, too.

ihearhowie3.0
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Bold. Fun to think about. Just on an emotional level I really like Ohtani and I’d be absolutely devastated if he figured it out in a fully healthy season with a division rival.

Easy to say now given his bad debut but I’d trade Adell and feel comfortable about it if I knew we still had Ohtani sitting as a potential wild card OF option to slot into the hole left by Adell. Frankly I think testing Shohei in the OF solves the “high variance” issue and possibly unlock his bat by getting him more physically engaged in the flow of a game.

JackFrost
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  ihearhowie3.0

Totally agree about Ohtani. I feel he is way too valuable to trade. There is no way you’d get equal value back. And, I think Turk and others maybe entertain this idea because they don’t feel he’ll deliver on the promise of being a frontline SP. I however have not given up on this. Remember, the current arm issue is not structural. It is a strain, if I am remembering right.

So, I think Shohei can STILL be a productive two-way player. Besides, he is valuable in so many ways, not least of which is his great speed. He improves overall team speed tremendously.

So, no, I would not trade Ohtani. To me he is one of the “core” group you leave in place. I would not take his current sub-.200 BA to be indicative of things to come, especially not since it comes in THIS season. I like Marco G, but Ohtani is quite a bit more valuable as far as I am concerned.

Greatjake
Member
1 year ago

Thanks for the article Turk, I generally agree with your take on baseball related moves and do here to a certain extent. However, I wanted to reply to your opening paragraphs regarding favorite players and fan attachment. If we completely ignore these feelings then what’s the point in watching?

tanana40
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Greatjake

The question is whether we follow players or teams. I want the Angels to win. But I now and in the past, I do get attached to players like Fletcher, KC, Shoe, Aybar, etc. (not to mention Trout). I remember wanting to hang on to Howie Kendrick (one of my favorites). I think that I learned that I can still follow a player that I like and root for them after they leave the Angels. I was so happy for HK last year when he was on a world champion team and his late career resurgence has been a joy to watch. Turk’s Teeth makes a good point. If the Angels start winning, we will have new favorites quickly. I don’t want to hold on to players on a bad team anymore.

Greatjake
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  tanana40

Yeah, there’s gotta be a balance between those two factors. I really like watching Ohtani and would hate to see him go but if we got more value that what he’s worth I’d have to reluctantly accept the fact that it makes the team better. But there’s so much untapped ability there that a trade like the one mentioned above would be selling him short IMO

JackFrost
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  tanana40

Here’s the problem; Turk is operating under the assumption that we are losing because are players aren’t good enough. And as far as the SP is concerned I think that is true. But there are MANY factors that contribute to creating a winning team, and it starts with creating a winning culture. That has very little to do with pure talent.

Many have decried the poor coaching and development at the minor league levels, and the decline in a once great scouting department is well known. These factors are HUGE in establishing a winning organization. We lost a maturing talent in Tyler Skaggs (not to mention a human being who had family and friends he loved and who loved him) in part because of the selfishness and weaknesses of a team employee on the inside of the org.

The point I am making is that we are not necessarily losing because of a lack of talent. Thus, trading EVERYONE is not the answer. Making carefully selected, carefully thought out strategic trades is wise. But fire sales are not, especially when you have as much talent as the Angels do.

I was really glad when we brought Maddon on board because I feel that he can and will play a large role in changing the culture here, and thus turning things around. I like what Callaway has done with some of the starters.

Do we need more arms? Of course we do. But we can start by keeping the good ones we have on hand — translation – “Don’t trade Bundy!”

Likewise, we don’t need to trade Ohtani, who is one of the great talents in the game, bar none.

He has been unlucky with injuries, but his kind of talent in worth developing, worth waiting for. I think 2021 will be the year he puts it all together.

What to do at SS is a key question. I love Simba, but I am not sure resigning him is the best thing. Clearly, Fletcher will be your everyday starter at either 2B (if Simba stays) or at SS (if Simba is not retained). Either one could work, but if we don’t sign Simmons I would expect a current quality pitcher (either starter or high leverage reliever) to absorb that money. Not a prospect. A current, high quality arm. Simmons’ defense is worth that much, if not more.

So, in the end, the elaborate and massive trade scenarios are fun, but they are not the answer. Really what they do is allow baseball nerds to live out their fantasies of becoming an MLB General Manager.

Last edited 1 year ago by JackFrost
JackFrost
Super Member
1 year ago

Don’t like the Bundy trade. Why do you want to trade a proven #2 for an unproven #4??? This is exactly the kind of stupid move Eppler would do to make the team worse. The idea is to get better, not get worse. While a high ceiling prospect can admittedly surprise us in a good way, we already KNOW that Bundy can deliver quality innings at the MLB level because he has shown it. Unless somebody bowls us over we SHOULD NOT TRADE BUNDY !

Saving a little money at this point does not help you. Trout is in his prime and will only slowly decline from here. He is not likely to get better overall. Our goal is to win in 2021. For that reason you do not trade Bundy for a cheaper unproven.

I will say that I DO like your Marsh idea. It fills our first major need without crippling us in another area.

Greatjake
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

Even with his pending arb raises, Cleveland’s pitching depth, and their aversion to pricey players?

JackFrost
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

So, who could we include to sweeten the deal? Would you be opposed to including Adams in that trade to get Clevinger back?

DMAGZ13
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  JackFrost

Since when is Bundy a proven #2 ??

JackFrost
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  DMAGZ13

Since he arrived in Anaheim. The change of scenery (and likely the influence of Callaway) have worked wonders for him.

Jessica DeLine
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago

I’m on board with all of this except for trading BOTH Adell and Marsh. One of them sure, but we still need a decent outfield and Trout isn’t getting any younger. Someone like Marsh may have to take over CF duties in a few years. But yes – let’s trade them all (almost). Nice work here.