If I were Perry Minasian: Part II

Welcome to my installment of the If I were Perry Minasian series, where CtPG writers detail the transactions they would make for their desired Angels offseason.

Part I: Brent Maguire

In order to rosterbate responsibly, guidelines for this exercise are as follows.

  • Angels end-of-year payroll for luxury tax purposes shall not exceed $195 million, giving the GM $26 million to spend during the offseason (the club’s current projected CBT payroll is $169mm). See here for more on the Angels’ payroll situation.
  • Factored into that projected payroll are arbitration projections from Cot’s. This shouldn’t deviate too much from MLBTR’s estimates, but we’ll use Cot’s figures simply for ease of use.
  • When possible, use contract projections based on FanGraphs or MLB Trade Rumor estimates, as experts from these outlets have a better pulse on the free-agent landscape than most.
  • Trades must be as realistic as possible. One popular tactic among baseball fans on the internet is offering a bunch of players you don’t like in exchange for some you do. In reality, that’s not how trades actually work, so that’s off-limits. The Baseball Trade Values site can be a good resource for a sanity check oftentimes, but each team values players differently and their wants/needs/tendencies should be taken into account, too.

The needs of the organization are pretty clear

  1. Pitching on all levels
  2. A quality middle infielder
  3. Catching on all levels
  4. MLB ready corner outfielder
  5. Giving the farm time to develop

The Angels have gone about team building more like an NBA team than an MLB team the last decade. The problem is, unlike basketball, 2 or 3 stars can’t carry a team to the promised land. Baseball is all about depth, building a strong foundation on which those stars can shine. The Angels have their Jordan and Pippen in Trout and Rendon but they need to build a team around them.

So, while there’s never such a thing as having too much star power, as GM I need to realize two things this off-season: 1. I already have quite a bit of it and 2. there’s none really to be had this off-season, especially with the limited budget and trade resources available. However, there are opportunities to add youth and upside to the roster while building a solid foundation.

That’s exactly what I tried to do, add some relatively safe picks while adding just enough upside to dream on a little.


Non-tender Hansel Robles, Matt Andriese, Justin Anderson

In a normal year I’d take a chance on Robles bouncing back, but with the reliever market absolutely flooded there will be bargains to be had with his $4 million. Plus, I believe in Michael Mayers new pitch. Andriese is the victim of that flooded market. His production can be easily replaced. Same goes for Anderson.

This saves me $7.4 million, bringing my play money to $33.4 million.

Sign Masahiro Tanaka

3 years, $39 million [+$13 million]

The sexy name here is Trevor Bauer but he only gives the Angels a shot to win once each time through the rotation and the Angels need more than that. Beyond starting pitching, the club also needs quality relievers and depth. The price difference between Tanaka at $13 million per year and Trevor at over twice that gives me the opportunity to provide depth.

 Tanaka is consistent. He’s a solid #2 starter on a winning team and is durable. I can expect him to give the team a shot to win 30 times next year, which is huge. His biggest problem has been the home run ball but moving out of the bandboxes of the AL East should help that a bit.

Three Team Trade: Angels receive Triston McKenzie (SP) and Ronaldo Hernandez (C), Rays receive Brandon Marsh (OF), Indians receive Austin Meadows (OF) and Jhon Diaz (OF)

[Add $500k]

I have two trade chips, Adell and Marsh. While I love the higher floor of Marsh I have to dream a bit on the upside of Adell to envision a championship club sooner rather than later. And I definitely need pitching and catching.

Triston McKenzie made his MLB debut last year after spending the previous year on the lower half of most top 100 prospects list. He’s a bit of an anti-Eppler pitch as he features 4 good pitches, no outstanding pitch, but grades well above average in command. With a little more development he profiles as a solid middle of the rotation arm and is under control for six years. He’s not Plesac, looks to be the type of pitcher Callaway excels working with.

Ronaldo Hernandez is a near MLB ready catcher with a cannon for an arm and a tendency to pull the ball too often. But when he does pull it, he does so with great power. There’s still some work to be done here but he could conceivably take an MLB role this year. A timeshare between him and Stassi would stop the revolving door at catcher for a couple of years.

As for my trade partners, Cleveland gets a much-needed bat and outfielder while holding onto their top-line pitching. The Rays get better, younger, and push the arbitration window between Meadows and Marsh back a few years without giving up their top prospects. In all, it works for everyone.

Sign Ha-Seong Kim 5 years $40 million

[Add $8 million]

Back to adding more youth and upside. Kim is a 25-year-old shortstop who has lit the KBO on fire. The KBO is generally considered to be somewhere between AA and AAA so what I’m basically doing is adding a 25 year old who destroyed that level to the tune of a .306/.397/.523 slash line last year while playing a solid shortstop. Fangraphs projects him to be a 3.5-4 WAR player each of the next five years

Last year, Angels shortstops were about 10% below league average with the bat. If Kim lives up to projections, he will be about 10% better than league average, which is a nice boost. Plus this keeps David Fletcher at second base, where he is among the best in the game. Kim can also give Anthony Rendon a day off from time to time.

Further, this puts me in the driver’s seat next year. As several contenders face either losing their star shortstops or competing in the bidding wars that will ensue, I have two incredibly valuable trade chips. Or I can let my competitors pour resources into shortstop while I scoop up talent in other areas.

Sign Darren O’Day (RP) 2 years $7 million

[Add $3.5 million]

The one who got away. Darren O’Day has been nothing but solidly spectacular his entire career and he pitched great for me in Atlanta last year. A minuscule walk rate combined with striking out a batter per frame leads to a 3.8 k/bb from a guy who consistently takes the ball 60 plus games a year.

O’Day’s WHIP and opposing OPS are actually lower than bigger money guys like Trevor May and he’ll come at half the price. Considering the lack of arms in the system pushing for a bullpen spot, giving O’Day a second year secures his services.

Sign Justin Wilson (RP) 2 years $8 million

[Add $4 million]

Another coming back home signing. Justin Wilson was born in Anaheim and brings a much needed lefty arm to the bullpen. In the days of the idiotic three batter rule, it is important for a lefty to also get out righties and Wilson does. In fact, he has a microscopic reverse split.

Opponents also have a lower career OPS against Wilson than they do against May. There might not be a ton of upside to dream on here, but take a look at his game logs and you’ll see his team rarely loses a lead he’s entrusted to keep. And that’s what I want, dependability.

Sign Robbie Grossman (OF) 1 year $4 million

[Add $4 million]

Not going to lie I completely stole this idea from Brent Maguire’s excellent entrant. I had saved some money and was looking at non-tender candidates as a possible solution here but Grossman is perfect. He’s a switch hitter who can capably play right field and give Adell some development time. He’s available on a short term deal and would bring the Angels sub-par corner outfield production from last year to league average.

Trade Leonardo Rivas (2B) to Toronto for Reese McGuire (C)

Toronto has an embarrassment of riches at the catching position and McGuire might soon find his way out of a job. Coming off a disastrous 2020 this would be buying low on Reese but he gives the team a little insurance while Stassi recovers from surgery and ensures Hernandez gets the minor league seasoning he needs.

Speaking of minor league seasoning….

Start Jo Adell in the minors in 2021

Look, we need to tap the upside of Adell in order to really have a juggernaut team and sometimes the best way to take a step forward is to take a step back. Jo needs some more time in right field. You could see the spin and angles affecting him out there and his confidence taking a hit. He was thinking, not playing. Get the kid right while Grossman holds down the fort and bring him up when he’s ready to play.

Total money spent: $33 million in 2021


Offseason in Review

My offseason provides a nice mix of raising the floor and bringing in some reasonable upside. The rotation features two known quantities in Tanaka and Bundy alongside two talented youngsters in Canning and McKenzie. Heaney rounds out the crew while Jaime Barria and Reid Detmers provide depth in AAA. This is without mentioning Ohtani, who probably has the best stuff on the staff. Any innings Ohtani gives are now considered bonus, icing, gravy.

The bullpen adds two stabilizing forces in O’Day and Wilson. I’m gambling on one of Buttrey or Middleton to have a bounceback year but they are young enough and inexpensive enough to justify that gamble. Plus, there are far more relievers than jobs available so I will sign some minor league deals.

The lineup is without an obvious hole. Kim has a keen eye, Grossman has a solid OBP and Reese has typically been solid offensively. Keeping the lineup churning for Trout and Rendon is the goal here and I think I’ve nailed it.

Plus I’ve done all of this without tying up significant money in future years. I’ll have two rotation spots to fill next year, after all.

Below, you will find the projected 26-man roster and depth chart.

Lineup

  • David Fletcher, 2B
  • Mike Trout, CF
  • Anthony Rendon, 3B
  • Shohei Ohtani, DH
  • Ha-Seong Kim, SS
  • Jared Walsh 1B
  • Justin Upton, LF
  • Robbie Grossman RF
  • Reese McGuire/Max Stassi, C

Bench

  • Max Stassi, C
  • Albert Pujols, 1B/DH
  • Taylor Ward, IF/OF
  • Luis Rengifo, IF

Rotation

  • Dylan Bundy, RHP
  • Masahiro Tanaka, RHP
  • Triston McKenzie, RHP
  • Griffin Canning, RHP
  • Andrew Heaney, RHP

Bullpen

  • Mike Mayers, RHP
  • Darren O’Day, RHP
  • Justin Wilson, RHP
  • Félix Peña, RHP
  • Ty Buttrey, RHP
  • Keynan Middleton, RHP
  • Patrick Sandoval, LHP
  • Noe Ramirez, RHP
53 Comments
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Senator_John_Blutarsky
Super Member

No Tanaka. His partially torn UCL will become fully torn before spring training. This is the Angels. It’s inevitable.

cookmeister
Trusted Member
2 years ago

not bad, I appreciate the work and effort you put in. Two thoughts:

Why not just cut out the Rays and deal with the Indians directly. Indians have been linked to Marsh before, no need to complicate things. I don’t hate the deal, but I’d rather try and get a Plesac or Civale.

I don’t think Kim will cost that much. I think 4/28 would do it, but you never know with the international markets.

GrandpaBaseball
Super Member
2 years ago

Some great ideas here, but was is everyone so connected to keeping Middleton? Like having LHP Sandoval on the staff. Nice job.

Brent Maguire
Editor
Trusted Member
2 years ago

I think it’s a byproduct of Middleton still being affordable than Robles, Andriese, etc. Same goes for Anderson. If the club spends a lot this winter, they may need to keep guys like Middleton/Anderson and hope they break out in 2021.

eyespy
Super Member
2 years ago

The Angels are not built like an NBA team, but built like a Broadway show on tour with some young talent with chops, and some older names to help pad the billboard and create interest.

Just enough to get some patrons to spend the night away from the Wonderful World. Enjoy the night with a “cheap” brewski and a malt cup.

Sometimes, mostly, out of town talent will make a guest appearance, and draw in some excited crowds to fill the seats for a pretty penny.

This team is some names for entertainment purposes only. It takes too much money to build a winning team, and the chance of returns on that investment are slim to none.

Mr. Moreno will stick to what he knows best. Business, and that what this team is to him.

Brent Maguire
Editor
Trusted Member
2 years ago

Good stuff, Jeff! I like this for obvious reasons (same rationale behind Tanaka, Grossman, etc). I love the creativity with the three-team deal. If the Angels could make that work, you’d be hard-pressed to not make a move to get a young cost-controlled starter and potential impact catcher.

I’m also digging the aggressive move to sign Kim. I’m fascinated to see how his market shakes up. Getting a 25-year-old shortstop with the chance for plus defense and raw power is awfully enticing.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Brent Maguire

I’ve been reading more about Kim. So hard to gauge. He’s KBO, so he’ll regress some. But he’s young…. so is he done getting better? I feel like maybe he may settle into being Didi Gregorious offensively with good defense. That wouldn’t be half bad and I think it’s totally within his reach. It’s a gamble though, like if a top AA/AAA shortstop suddenly became an FA for some reason.

eyespy
Super Member
2 years ago

Like Ji-Man, the threat of mandatory military service, might make him a better player to get that waved.

Brent Maguire
Editor
Trusted Member
2 years ago

Kim’s numbers from the KBO and the Fangraphs projections Jeff referenced are awfully encouraging. The fact that he’s a 25-year-old with the potential to be a strong everyday SS is enticing. There’s obvious risk with translating his game to the states but there’s a lot to like there.

hockey_duckie
Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

I saw the Fangraphs projections and FG put on a McDonald’s uni to say, “I’m loving it.” @$8 mil a year for a young player a SS (moves Fletch to 2B and gives us flexibility at SS if need be) is a very good move. The lowest contractual projections I’ve seen was $20 mil/5 years; the highest was $40/5 years. If we’re going to be the competition for him, might as well not low ball the guy.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Welllll…. I can’t fault the trade or Tanaka too much. Not bad ideas. I hope, given that the market is plump, that Wilson and O’Day (both of whom I like) will be cheaper than that. Honestly, I see PlataPerry signing a reliever of merit and then bargain binning a couple arms. I am just not up enough on Kim. Can’t tell if he’s ready to go right out the gate so he scares me. i do like your strong push to address catching.

The biggest problem you face is doing this now. I bet you could find some cheaper options and wind up signing a pitcher like Chase Anderson in addition to Tanaka/Tristan if you were doing this post non-tender deadline. There are cheap gambles to take like Orlando Arcia, Johan Comargo as an IF, maybe Eddie Rosario, Hunter Renfroe or Tommy Pham for the OF. Buy low pitchers like Trevor Williams, Jose Urena, Yonny Chirinos and Steven Matz may flop onto the market not to mention a huge pile of relievers that may go begging soon. If you knew those guys could be had you could maybe shave 8M off what you spent on other spots and sign another starter or SS or something.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

“BP arms are total coin flips” is something we both know. Of the top 5 BP signings this offseason 2 will probably be someone like Chris Devinski or Tommy Hunter. Still, I think it will be a good early measure of PerryPus how he handles the vast menu of relief pitchers that are available to him.

Part of me would kind of be impressed if, while angling for starters, he moves early and snags the guys he wants so he can move forward with a strong pen built to hold leads no matter who he gets to start at a discount. I only have my own experience mostly, but I actually HAVE talked to three ex-MLB pitchers about this. Starters HATE knowing they are on a team with a crap pen and it is at least a small factor in their preferences for where they pitch. No one wants to have eight wins and a sub-3.00 ERA. Maybe a good pen plus our strong offense will help land a fence sitter.

rez2405
Trusted Member
2 years ago

Don’t forget that maybe Detmers might get a cup of coffee at some point

Warfarin
Trusted Member
2 years ago

FYI, looks like Middleton has possibly been non-tendered:

https://twitter.com/nmbaseball/status/1329540753610010624?s=20

admkir
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Warfarin

Well that just increased the budget

Warfarin
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  admkir

Haha. I am guessing the bigger issue with Middleton wasn’t his cost, but rather, the comments he made about his own fan base. Not really a good look, trashing your own fans.

steelgolf
Super Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Warfarin

Is Perry starting to work and clean house?

Warfarin
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  steelgolf

He just signed a ton of minor leaguers the other day. It looks like he is indeed starting to make a flurry of moves.

rez2405
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Warfarin

Is it really Minasian tho? Or is it through the collective FO?

Well I guess Minasian at this point had to have seen it as seen it and said “ok guys sure.”

Warfarin
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  rez2405

Minasian is in charge, so I’m guessing he is the one making the decisions. When it comes to bring guys in, I am sure he has a strong idea of the kinds of players he wants.

When it comes to current Angels, I am sure he is receiving input from others in the FO, as he gets more familiar with the organization.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Warfarin

I’m also guessing that last week wasn’t the first hours in which he took a look at the Angels farm, 40 man, etc. He probably started working before he was hired and hit the ground running so he had at least some idea of who is out there that he wants and who is an Angel that he can do without.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
2 years ago

Right, exactly. I’m sure he had to study the Angels’ system in-depth in preparation for his interviews. And obviously, the further he advanced, the more time he likely spent on it.

admkir
Trusted Member
2 years ago

So where is the Barreto money in all of these hypotheticals, I believe he is out of options so you either trade him or non-tender him. That should add another say 6-7 hundred thousand especially since everyone has Rengifo backing up the infield

Last edited 2 years ago by admkir
Jessica DeLine
Admin
Super Member
2 years ago
Reply to  admkir

He is pre-arb so gets league minimum which is factored into the 40 man roster / 0-3 years bucket.

admkir
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Jessica DeLine

But does he have options?

Brent Maguire
Editor
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  admkir

Barreto kind of slipped my mind and I forgot he was out of options. I have no idea how he plays into this. It’s not a great look if you non-tender or waive him so quickly but I’m not sure there’s an obvious role for him on the roster.

H.T. Ennis
Admin
Super Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

Although I like him, I do think that different admin might look at him and say, “hey, it wasn’t me that brought him in, and he’s cheap, so might as well jettison”

eyespy
Super Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Brent Maguire

TO THE METS!

Biggiswrth
Trusted Member
2 years ago

I don’t love this, but don’t hate it as well. I still feel like our rotation and bullpen won’t be enough for 2021 in this model. I agree with others here in keeping Fletcher at 2B would be better in the long term. I don’t like locking in an unknown SS though for 5 years. Not when SS has three all-stars poised to be FA in 22′.

I think we also aren’t getting enough back for Marsh. I truly feel like we could keep him and patchwork our SP with FA. My theory if you’ve seen it brings in 2SP, 1FA bullpen, and a trade for a legitimate closer.

I love the prospect trade, and would love to take the time and think of how we could explore more depth for our club. I love this series every year and I hope my fanpost makes it on the site! Thank you all again for something to read and think about during these times.

h27kim
Trusted Member
2 years ago

Wrt Kim, where does the posting fee fit in terms of allowed budget?

Last edited 2 years ago by h27kim
hockey_duckie
Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

ha! You made me spit up my drink at the truth logic of Moreno making up the lost posting money. At least we know our owner very well!

matthiasstephan
Super Member
2 years ago

Lots of interesting stuff in here.

I think Tanaka, with our budget, is our best bet for a consistent quality starter. If we get Bauer, it is because Arte opens his wallet and spends the Pujols money now (which is outside of the game here, I know).

I like the idea of signing a SS instead of a 2B. I prefer Fletch at the position, and I think it maintains our positional flexibility. Kim at 8M seems high, but only because of the constraints on our budget. I would like Simba at that price, and have him bridge to our younger prospects (if they pan out) – but Kim does the same thing. 5 years is a lot though, if he isn’t a sure thing.

I worry about the lack of RP. Maybe you hit on Wilson and O’Day (nostalgia 🙂 ), but they are relatively expensive. I might consider not signing someone like Grossman, who one would only hold down a starting position for part of the year, and hope that one of the other FA OF ends up cheaper (in a tight market) – maybe a return of Maybin, or Dyson. That would let us spend on an additional reliever.

Rivas for a C is a decent use of the farm. I wouldn’t have known which 2B prospect was expendable. Picking up 2 C (including a C prospect, is that even allowed?) is a great idea, and we need depth at that position (as well as someone to cover for Stassi’s injury start). I prefer this trade than waiting for a FA Catcher, though one is likely to become available relatively cheaply close to camp.

Essentially, well done (as always).

John Henry Weitzel
Editor
Super Member
2 years ago

Kim is someone I’ll want even if it is just to try. Angels internationally has been lacking.

Fansince1971
Legend
2 years ago

You’re $7 million over budget! You’re fired!

Just kidding. I generally like it and think you’ve filled holes. I still don’t think the pitching you list is anywhere close to championship level. This looks like a competitive club (Arte’s goal) not a championship one.

Any chance the team could renegotiate the last year of Pujol’s contract, doubling the value of his 10 year personal services contact to $2m per year while lowering his salary for 2012 to $20m? This would reclaim another $10M making a Bauer signing possible.

Fansince1971
Legend
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

What about Pujols? Could his deal (theoretically) be reworked as I suggested? Is this allowed under the Union rules?

admkir
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Was Barreto one of your non-tenders?

admkir
Trusted Member
2 years ago
Reply to  admkir

Your non-tender is back and I see Barreto is not on the list

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Fansince1971

comment image

Warfarin
Trusted Member
2 years ago

I think this particular plan is just okay. Hernandez is intriguing, but reports are that his defense isn’t that great, which I think is likely a non-starter, given Minasian’s stated emphasis on catching defense.

I would also avoid Kim. He could be very good, but it’s too much of a wild card for me personally, and I think the far more palatable option is to invest in a 2B on a 1-2 year deal, and if Fletcher doesn’t appear to hold up well at SS, then consider pursuing one of the stud SS options next year, depending on how other things shake out.

McKenzie looked good, but personally speaking, I’d rather use Adell to fetch a better SP.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Damn it to hell but things get SO MUCH BETTER if it turns out Ohtani can actually pitch….

Dylan Bundy Dylan Bundy Charlie Morton Dylan Bundy
Masahiro Tanaka Mike Minor Dylan Bundy JA Happ
Griffin Canning Griffin Canning Griffin Canning Griffin Canning
Andrew Heaney Taijun Walker James Paxton Mike Fiers
Jake Oderizzi Andrew Heaney Andrew Heaney Andrew Heaney
Shohei Ohtani Shohei Ohtani Shohei Ohtani Shohei Ohtani

It’s like if we sign any two guys who can keep a WHIP/FIP under control and Ohtani pitches well things look a whole lot better and all the sudden, with Barria, Detmers, Sandoval, Felix Pena and Packy Naughton all become rotation depth. Gawd I hope he’s throwing right now as we type.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Crap. The tab key means nothing here….