The Angels are in an awkward position. They’ve been in this position since 2015, when a rebuild was clearly necessary and yet they could not commit to one because they just so happen to have the best player on the planet on the team. But finally, we are in a position where there’s money to spend, pieces to trade, and a new front office who we HOPE is not afraid to get it done.
I’ll start with my targets for the offseason:
-Starters: I want to acquire a frontline arm and a 2/3 who can help us eat innings to preserve a shaky bullpen.
-Bullpen: After 14 blown saves and an all-around dreadful showing from the bullpen last season (except you Mike Mayers, you beautiful man), we need to add at least a few guys who can shore it up.
-Catcher and 2B: I won’t spend big here, but a guy who can handle the bat at the keystone and a defensive catcher will be ideal.
- ~$27mil to spend
- ARB cuts allowed
- Using Baseballtradevalues.com for trades.
- Using Spotrac for Salaries and Approximate ARB deals
Non-Tender Hansel Robles and Matt Andriese (save 6.4 mil). These two seem obvious, as it saves me a good chunk of money on two guys who were not very good last year. Adios Caballo Blanco and good day Matt.
*33.4 mil to spend.
Trade Brandon Marsh, Keynan Middleton ($1.1mil) and Sadrac Franco for Sonny Gray ($10mil) and Tucker Barnhart ($4.1 mil). While giving up Brandon Marsh is hard, acquiring a starter like Sonny Gray at his current price tag (10 mil 2021, 10 mil 2022, 12 mil club option 2023) is definitely worth it. We are also acquiring Tucker Barnhart, a good defensive catcher who swings from the left side, creating an ideal platoon with Stassi. Sending Keynan Middleton to the Reds, who are looking for controllable relief arms with upside, should help move the deal along. Sadrac Franco is a minor league pitcher for the Angels with some promise, but hasn’t quite cracked the Angels’ Top 30 on MLB Pipeline.
20.3 mil left to spend*.
Sign Tomoyuki Sugano to a 3/27 deal. One of the best pitchers in Japan, Sugano will be posted for the first time for MLB teams to sign. He does not have electric stuff or a flashy K rate, but he doesn’t give up walks, doesn’t give up home runs, and stays healthy. I think he could slot in as a nice 3/4 in our rotation, sort of in the mold of Tanaka. He’s 31 so there’s some risk there, but I believe he can deliver quality innings for a team desperate for them.
11.3 mil to spend*.
Sign Aaron Loup to 1/1.5 deal. Loup had a bounce back season in the Rays bullpen after missing 2019, and I believe he’s the sort of left handed relief the Angels could use. Not a ton of strikeouts, but very few walks.
Sign Shane Greene to 1/5.3 deal. Shane Greene spent the past year and a half with the Braves, where he put up quality numbers out of the pen. While his strikeout rate went down and his peripherals (xFIP, FIP, and SIERA) rose, he can still be a solid arm in the mid-setup role.
4.5 mil to spend*.
Sign Brad Miller to 1/2.2 deal. Not huge sample sizes, but in 2019 and 2020 Brad Miller put up some impressive numbers with the Phillies and Cardinals. A left-handed power bat who I would stick at second but can play short, first, and the corner outfield spots would be a nice addition to an already powerful lineup.
Adell to AAA, Ward/Schebler platoon in RF. Perry’s early addition of Schebler made some people react poorly, but I quite like it. Schebler at his best is a less-patient Joc Pederson, who can hit for power against righties and play average defense in right. Ward will take the left handers on in the platoon while Adell refines his craft in AAA.
So there we have it, with about 2.2 mil to spend. I’m not impressed with other relievers on the market so I’m gonna pocket the change and hold onto it until the deadline.
rotation: Gray, Bundy, Sugano, Heaney, Canning, Ohtani (if and when he’s ready to go on Sundays again).
bullpen: Sandoval, Gerardo Reyes, Loup, Peña, Noe Ramirez, Greene, Buttrey, Mayers (Closer).
Lineup: Miller 4, Trout 8, Rendon 5, Ohtani DH, Upton 7, Walsh 3, Barnhart 2, Schebler 9, Fletcher 6.
Bench: Pujols DH/1B, Ward OF, Stassi (or Bemboom if Stassi isn’t healthy) C, Barreto UTIL