Welcome to the IV installment of the If I were Perry Minasian series, where CtPG writers detail the transactions they would make for their desired Angels offseason.
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 often times, but each team values players differently and their wants/needs/tendencies should be taken into account, too.
The reality of the situation
My goals this offseason as a new GM need to reflect my reality. Arte Moreno is my owner who hired me. Based off of what the previous GMs were allowed to do I have a few realizations.
First, big money spending is out of my hands. If I do not choose someone that Arte Moreno likes, someone that can be on a billboard, he will not allow me to spend money on the player.
Second, because of the previous point, all the money I am allowed to spend has to be used efficiently. Unfortunately, the team is not one player away from the playoffs. All eggs in one basket is not going to work. Not that there is a player this year that I could convince Arte Moreno to overspend on anyway.
Thirdly, banking on luck will not work. At all. Bounce backs and hoping players recover from injury has proven to not work for 5 straight years. Hoping for discounts in that area will just be the definition of insanity at this point.
Lastly, there are very few trade pieces that I can use to get anything good. Realistically, if I don’t want to blow everything up, there is Adell and Marsh. That is it for big trade chips. Anything beyond that would be just gutting the farm for someone.
So with the understanding that I can’t spend my way out of this and I do not have a farm of say the Dodgers, Padres, or Mariners, what do I look to accomplish?
Get starting pitching
Well this is obvious, right now the Angels have Bundy, Canning, Heaney, and well, that is it. Some hope for Detmers to pan out right away and Ohtani to come to form but no. Banking on that is not good enough. Angels need multiple starters, and ones with years of control at that since beyond next season, Bundy and Heaney are Free Agents.
It is obvious that the Angels bullpen was terrible in 2020. How much of that was a funky 2020, no one knows, but there needs to be fresh arms in there somewhere. Cam is gone now, even though many will celebrate his departure, he was much better than we give him credit for. Especially last season. An arm or 3 won’t hurt.
Stopgap at short or second
This isn’t really as big of a need as the first two, but with Simba gone, the team needs a SS or 2B until next offseason where the big names may get Arte willing to throw money at a great one. Thanks to David Fletcher, my job is easier as he can play SS or 2B so I have options.
A catcher is fine too
So Stassi is injured, and while both him and Bemboom did a good job, that injury makes me too nervous going into next season with just those two. Getting a catcher, really any catcher, would be good but it is low on priority.
An outfielder I guess
Adell is the biggest trade chip which means he is very likely not going to make the team if there is to be improvement. Which means there is an opening in right field. Even if he is still on the team, he should get some time at AAA to start the season. Someone made an argument for him being MVP due to helping the Angels get a better draft pick. Yeesh!
So with what I need laid out,, 26 million in my pocket, and no save states, I start the transformation of the Angels roster.
Angels trade Jo Adell to the Cubs as part of a 3 way deal for SP Tarik Skubal, SP Tyler Alexander, C Dillon Dingler, and SS Javier Báez.
Yeah, 3 way baby! So there is an issue, the Angels need multiple starters and prying multiple ones from a team for a top prospect won’t really wok. However, it can be done if there is a third team involved. With the odd timing of the Cubs willing to trade players, I jump on it to get what the team needs.
The deal is Jo Adell to the Cubs, Catcher Wilson Contreras to the Tigers, and the Angels get SP Tarik Skubal, SP Tyler Alexander, C Dillon Dingler, and SS Javier Báez.
Now, why would this happen? Well, using my own insider information of MLB.com, it seems like the Tigers need catching help and a power bat. While Dingler is a second round catching prospect, he is not ready to be the middle of the order bat that the Tigers want. Meanwhile, Contreras is rumored to be one of the most likely Cubs to be traded, a power hitting catcher.
Skubal is the lowest ranked of the Tigers big 3 SP prospects. He had a rough, but not Adell level bad start in the majors. Meanwhile, Alexander had a good year in 2020 but is not seen as one of their better starters. The Angels are buying high on him. Báez is also one of the top Cubs likely to be traded as he is in his final year of Arbitration.
Angels get two starters, a catching prospect, and a gold glove winning shortstop. All for just one low price of Jo Adell. While this trade is a tiny bit unbalanced, you can blame the Trade Calculator for that. According to that system, the Angels are the ones that lost value. Angels subtract 13 million from the 26M budget(11.9 is just Báez based on arbitration projections).
Sign Brad Hand
With half the money gone, the biggest hole is the bullpen, so welcome Brad Hand! Don’t know why the Angels didn’t claim him. MLBTraderumors projects a 2 year 14 million dollar deal, so that is what I went with. Angels subtract 7 million from the budget, leaving 6 million left.
Sign Darren O’Day
[+ 3 million]
Darren O’Day has been one of the Angels I have missed that most people forgot about. He is a free agent after the Braves cut him in October. They did not want to keep him for 3.25 million. So a 1 year 3 million dollar deal will be fine right? 3 million left in the budget.
Trade Matt Andriese and Hansel Robles to Rockies for Bladimir Restituyo
Sheds 6.4 million
This is mostly a salary dump, but since the Rockies always need bullpen help, giving them two options helps. Even if that means them taking the risk of Robles. The prospect coming back is a young 19 year old 2B OF so it is an athletic guy that is a lottery ticket. The more likely thing would be DFA, but, well, I don’t like doing that if I can trade instead. Budget increases to 9.4 million.
Sign Joc Pederson
[+ 9 million]
Maybe it is a flex, but doing something my predecessor wasn’t able to do (due to Arte Moreno) just feels so good. MLBTraderumors has him at 2/18 so I will go with that. His bat vs righties speaks for itself, and will allow time for Brandon Marsh to develop.
I managed to stay in budget, made big headlines, and raised the floor for the team. Multiple new, very young players that will be here for a long time. Sure, that trade is a bit out there and I could have done stuff better, but I am really happy with how this turned out.
Two new starters with 5 plus years of control each; a highly touted catching prospect; a gold glove shortstop; two relievers; and a power bat that can mash righties. While many are on one or two year deals, I have gotten 17 years+ of control in just one trade. Prospects do not always pan out, which is why there are 3.
If I had more money I would have signed more starters as you can’t have enough starters. However, if this was what happened, I would be very excited as an Angels fan. Sure I am biased since I just wrote this but come on.
- David Fletcher 2B
- Mike Trout CF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Shohei Ohtani DH
- Javier Báez SS
- Joc Pederson RF
- Justin Upton LF
- Anthony Bemboom C
- Jared Walsh 1B
- Albert Pujols 1B/DH
- Max Stassi C
- Taylor Ward OF
- Luis Rengifo INF
- Dylan Bundy (R)
- Andrew Heaney (L)
- Griffin Canning (R)
- Tarik Skubal (L)
- Tyler Alexander (R)
- Shohei Ohtani (Optimistically) (R)
- Brad Hand (L)
- Darrin O’Day (R)
- Ty Buttrey (R)
- Felix Peña (R)
- Jamie Barria (R)
- Mike Mayers (R)
- Noé Ramirez (R)
- Patrick Sandoval (L)
I like this. The trade kinda reminds me of Dipoto such that he’s trading a positional player for young, cost controlled pitchers because Arte doesn’t spend big cash on ace pitchers (see Greinke). Dunno if the trade works out in real life, but at least the possibility exists!
The offense is there as we finished 4th overall in the AL in runs scored and 1st overall in the AL West. So getting two starters and adding to the bullpen is huge! Can they help bring a positive run differential? Who knows, but that’s probably why you added Pederson as a helpful insurance!
If only we knew for certain that Ohtani would return fully healthy as a pitcher, then that climb back to above .500 gets closer.
It is a very nice bid – and I really hope the Cubs bite.
Everything hangs on that trade, but if that could be pulled off this is quite intriguing. I like Baez a lot, and that solves all the IF problems (making Baretto expendable, or Rengifo a trade candidate too, right?).
I know people like Joc, but 9M out of that tight budget for a stop-gap OF seems high to me. I would rather have another SP (especially as your rotation is so young/banking on the upside of the Tigers prospects). Sure, Detmers, Naughton, Sandoval, Barria could make strides, and Ohtani could be a great bonus, but one more innings-eating vet would be great to have. (Lester/Minor at 5-6M, or Taijuan Walker at 2/14) would leave money for a Maybin/Dyson/Goodwin to hold down the OF (or compete with Ward) until Marsh is ready.
Yeah one of the reasons why I chose Joc instead of another pitcher was actually wanting to show the results of that trade in the rotation. Also, going into the OF with 2 question marks concerned me and while I had Maybin in there for a while, I saw how little Joc cost and nabbed him instead.
What makes you think Jo Adell has that kind of trade power? I think you’d have to give up Adell, Marsh and maybe one other prospect to get the Cubs interested.
Angels get 4 players including two SP for an unproven piece from a terrible farm system. I doubt it.
Have to say I think you are bring optimistic that the Cubs would give up both Baez and Contreras and get Adell only. I hope we are definitely talking to the Hand…Joc is a fallback to my way if thinking. He probably ends up with a non-contender. These changes would definitely be an improvement, and we get to keep Marsh.
They are shedding money and hey, the calculator says so.
I think you would have even more room when you include a list of non-tenders which would include Barreto along with a couple of relief pitchers
I like a lot of this. I am wondering if the trade value is still strong enough on Adell. I guess we will see. It does seem he’s very likely to get moved if we are to make a push now. I think I’d also be more inclined to go more WAR neutral in RF and repurpose that money towards a more top line guy (which would involve moving some more salary). With that said, we sure could use #5 to hang them up early. Still looks like another year so this would be a good foundation for sure. Of course, what’s a luxury tax when you want to win now Arte?
Well I had a chance for Maybin and a pitcher but Joc was right there so I decided to do that.
This is all well and good but do you think there ought to be a long-term plan to develop players in something called a farm system? Also, don’t you think the bullpen improved the last 20 games or so? Perhaps the collapse the first half of the season was due more to not having a spring training (which hurt Ohtani the most) causing the manager to manage by the seat of his statistical pants rather than having a good feel for pitcher’s strengths.
Yeah there should be changes to how the player development is done for this team. As for the pitching, even just counting the last parts of the season it was pretty rough. Having two string bullpen arms will help as will having multiple members being long relivers/backup starters in case anyone gets injured.
I like it. Of course I pined for Joc all of last year and he’s a solid stopgap while Marsh develops.
Rotation is pretty set for a while, especially with an extension of Bundy which would be possible with your budget.
Thanks. Joc at that price was too good to pass up. And the rotation is YOUNG. That was my goal with the trade. It may not be enough for 2021 but with Canning, Detmers, and two more from Detroit all under control for that long is a solid foundation.