To get significant results, significant action must be taken. The Angels are about to miss the playoffs for the 8th straight season yet there’s no wave of talent in Salt Lake or Mobile that can be reasonably expected to carry the team into a new competitive window. And a look at next year’s free agents isn’t all that enticing.
Trout is untradeable and we all know Arte will try to hold onto Ohtani as long as possible. So, looking at the obvious holes on the team for 2023, the payroll restraints Perry will face in trying to add 37 players around the Trout/Rendon/Ohtani contracts, and the need to get the two greatest players in the game to the playoffs, if I’m Perry I set off the biggest sale this team has ever done.
Need #1: a legit MLB shortstop.
This is going to be massively expensive on the free agent market. Too expensive to consider. However, a solid trade to a needy neighbor can fix that.
C.J. Abrams is a 21 year old stud who has been a top 10 overall prospect in every publication for the last several years and the Padres are desperate for payroll and luxury tax wiggle room so they can add pieces for a contention window. Plus they have good MLB players at second and short already.
Here the Padres upgrade at first base while freeing up $18 million in AAV for luxury tax purposes. The Angels take a hit at first, but Hosmer is posting a 109 OPS+ and is on pace for right at 2 WAR so it isn’t a huge hit. Arte operates on actual payroll, not AAV, and Hosmer’s actual cost is $13 million per year. Crismatt is a nice bullpen piece, 27 years old, and cost controlled.
Need #2: Pitching, as always.
The old adage on Wall Street is to buy low and sell high. I do this here with one of my favorite players.
Dustin May is working his way back from TJS so there’s risk here he doesn’t pan out just like there’s risk Taylor Ward goes back to being the guy we’ve known in recent years. However, the Dodgers have gotten sub par offense from Bellinger in center and Chris Taylor has been parked in left rather than used in the super utility role that so benefits the team. Ward would be a clear upgrade over Taylor as a starting outfielder. So to add some pop to their lineup for 4 cost controlled years and free up Taylor, the Dodgers send over a near MLB ready pitching prospect along with a guy who will be limited next year.
Need #3: Catcher
Max Stassi has disappeared at the plate and Kurt Suzuki is well past his expiration date. While there’s a chance for a Stassi rebound over the course of his 3 year extension, there’s absolutely no help on the farm.
Joey Bart is a former first round pick but not the current SF regime’s first round pick. After some early struggles he was demoted and has now been passed on most prospect lists by Patrick Bailey. And the Giants have yet another stud catching prospect in Adrian Sugastay, both of whom are the new regime’s picks. I’ll take either Bart or Sugastey here while the Giants add Thor for a playoff push in 2022 and Suarez to round out their rotation for a few years.
Here’s what these trades accomplish, instead of paying Correa $35 million and Walsh $700K to hopefully produce 4 and 2 WAR respectively while completely ignoring the rest of the lineup, I’m paying Abrams and Hosmer $13.7 million combined to likely produce the same totals. And I have Abrams for five cost controlled years.
Crismatt instantly upgrades the bullpen and allows the Archie Bradley contract to expire, saving me another $3 million.
Bobby Miller should be a significant upgrade over Jose Suarez and May will have the best stuff in the rotation when he comes back.
Bart is a gamble, but even if he never hits his ceiling should be at least a solid backstop for a few years. Considering I’ve already upgraded on Suarez, that’s a solid return for 3 months of Thor.
I’d still want more pitching, but between Thor’s $25 million and Lorenzen’s $6 million, I should have some room. Although I would definitely try to extend Lorenzen before the year is over.
The outfield would need another bat, but that’s the one area of next year’s free agent crop that is pretty deep. Deep enough to grab a good one without breaking the bank, anyway.
New depth charts look a lot more balanced:
1B: Hosmer, Mini Thor
2B: Fletcher, Rengifo
SS: Abrams, Fletcher, Rengifo
3B: Rendon, Fletcher, Rengifo
C: Stassi, Bart
OF: Trout, Marsh, Adell, FA signing (Benintendi, Joc, Calhoun, Gamel)
SP: Ohtani, May, Sandoval, Miller, Detmers, Barria, Canning, Junk, Rosenberg
RP: Iglesias, Crismatt, Tepera, Loup, Wantz, Quijada
Rough math, I added the salary for Hosmer at $13 million but will shed Thor’s $25 million, Bradley’s $3.75 million, and Lorenzen’s $6 million (unless I can extend him) for a total savings of $21 million while making the team deeper.
Add in the $28 million falling off the books with Upton and that leaves some serious spending power. I’d make a hard, hard push to sign Benintendi to deepen the lineup while hopefully keeping Lorenzen in the middle of my rotation.
What I really have are options. Outside of one outfield bat, I’m not in desperate need of anything. If I can extend Ohtani and/or Lorenzen, great. If I can’t, I have resources to chase a Joe Musgrove or take a chance on Mike Clevinger. And if I add one of those guys, maybe I trade a prospect for that outfielder.
Bottom line is, trades like these aren’t the Angels normal MO but it has been established we aren’t competing with the team we have. We know we can’t buy our way out of this mess and we don’t have a solid prospect pipeline. Trading away 2 key players and a rental could create the platform for a good run, though.
Nice to see this baseball related (angels) dedicated post get 12+ members to comment.
If Taylor Ward could net you Dustin May and Bobby Miller, that would be grand larceny that doesn’t typically happen to the Dodgers. I’d do that in 1 second. Local media is talking about them as centerpieces for an Ohtani trade.
This is also what I mean by selling high on Walsh. Abrams would bring something new. I’d love to see Adell, Marsh, Abrams, Detmers, Bush, Miller and May develop as young guys in the team.
Crismatt would support a need. Honestly all these moves fill out the roster and then I’m taking that money and buying all power relievers.
Wonderful scenarios here, but a lot of wishful thinking
In my opinion, the whole “Arte will hang on to Ohtani as long as possible” thing is the most important tidbit of anything in the entire discussion. That is the absolute worst move we can possibly make, and could be one of the biggest mistakes in the entire history of the Angels (including letting Nolan walk).
Perry MUST either get Ohtani signed to an extension immediately (or ASAP), or trade him. If he signs him, then fine, we know we have him as a super valuable player (for numerous reasons) for years to come.
If we trade him, then we get a mega-haul of talent that helps the team.
Sitting and letting him play one more season and then walking out the door for a compensational pick between rounds 1&2 would be the giant mistake.
If we do extend Ohtani (And he may, hopefully, demand it as a precondition), we’d better be willing to build a genuine winner around him in a fairly short term, not a risky “hope and pray X, Y, and Z pan out” on a budget that we’d been trotting out last several years. But this will require a lot of investment in the kind of things (scouting, player development, etc) that has been awfully neglected for a long time.
I totally agree. If we do go down the path of extending Ohtani, we are by no means out of the woods. Then we have even more of a problem than we do now… tons of money committed to a few guys while Arte tries to fill the rest of the roster as cheap as possible.
In that case, I see only the solution of Arte cranking up the budget, or we’re going to see more .500 seasons for years.
I agree, it’s time to look forward to next year, but I’ve never been so disappointed with the organization.
Perry – go get your manager now.
its not Nevin
also, you know this, but i would put Scioscia in charge the last half of season.
of course i would.
Jeff – I liked two of your proposals very much but i’m not getting rid of Ward – ship off Adell/Marsh if we must but don’t send away the best of the three.
I’m not too sure if Ward is “real.” If we could get potential upside for him, I’m in favor of dealing him. One thing that makes me a bit wary is that our potential trade pieces have taken some hits: e.g. Walsh, and may not net as much as we’d like by means of prospects.
One thing that did surprise me was that JJ sees Lorenzen as an extension candidate. I was figuring him to be among the trade baits. Granted, I’m not too sure about who might become available at what cost in the offseason.
If I were Perry, I’d fire myself.
Seriously, good with trading all those guys. The type of shake up that is needed. Fan of Walsh but as a platoon guy, diminishes value in a strong offensive position.
Giants are my second team like you Jeff, but no to Bart. He is exhibit A why catchers don’t seem to excel in MLB (I pray we dont draft a catcher this year).
For me, the infield is still too shallow and non-production. Abrams looks pretty raw to me, we need someone to step in and perform day 1.
If we could pick up Miller and May, that would be a steal for only Ward.
Perry needs to loosen up and trade the prospects. Look at Bachman, a pitcher with back spasms. Never good and never completely over them. Good with moving him.
I totally get the sentiment. Perry’s moves have looked horrible. Like all of them. He probably should go. But I think what a lot of Angels fans are missing is that Arte does not provide the necessary amount of scouts, coaches and peripheral front office people to really help the GM do his job properly. The Angels didn’t even know that Adell’s defense was so bad that even though he was actually hitting ok, that they’d be forced to send him down because on defense he was costing us so many runs. I’m sure that his defense did not get worse from the 3 years or however long he had been playing in the minors for them.
We don’t have pitching coaches in the minors that can tell our pitchers they are tipping their pitches in such an obvious fashion that Mike Trout can stand in CF and see what should have been fixed long before he reached the majors.
The Angels don’t even know their own players, how can we trust the current group to make good trades when that involves knowing other teams players?
Arte needs to really invest in his team instead of only investing in top end players that he thinks brings in the money. Winning will truly bring in the money and if he hired a ton more great baseball minds to complement whoever he has as GM and coach up his players then I think that would be the easiest way for the Angels to eventually turn back into a winning program.
But yea, with the way all of Perry’s decisions have turned out, FO support or not, I won’t be shedding any tears if he’s let go. His bullpen decisions have been crap, and his bullpen is still better than the MI he put together.
Honestly I’d prefer Sugastey over Bart but I don’t think SF bites on that.
Another possibility is sending Thor to Toronto for a catcher. And there are numerous places to send him for a bullpen arm.
I’m really looking to flip Thor for an MLB regular, eliminating one more free agent signing.
If I were Perry, I would get seriously devoted to day drinking.
When Eppler was fired, he left three envelopes for his replacement with the instructions that “when things get tough, open these one at a time.”
About two months goes by and things start to get rough. The PTP opens his desk drawer where he keeps the three envelopes and opens #1. It reads: “Blame your predecessor.” So he does and it works like a charm.
Another month passes and things are growing difficult again so PTP figures to try envelope #2. It reads, “fire the manager.” He does and again his predecessor’s advice works.
Finally, about six months into the new job, things are getting really sticky. PTP figures it worked before, why not try again. So he opens the envelope drawer one last time and opens envelope #3. It reads…”prepare three envelopes.”
So my advice is for Perry to prepare three envelopes.
No joke. When it comes to trading MLB talent for solid prospects I am scared. I mean, look at Bart and May… two can’t miss guys with various issues… then Abrams…. I like all those prospects…. the problem is I looked at the 2015 and 16 draft classes today…. now I don’t like any prospects.
I mean, real life, who is gonna be happy with this? All the bitching about systems and lunch meat on top of the fact that even if we get a stack of 10 prospects in trade 7 of them will fail and hardly anyone has the stomach for that….
Do you have a plan that just involves us suddenly being good? I think that’s all that’ll work.
Or…. we could go the reality rout where no one in the FO gives even part of a shit what anyone on here thinks… that’s the other option, but it doesn’t post well.
Ha ha. I realize I’m screaming into the void here.
Abrams looks light at the plate, no doubt. Could we conceivably carry one light bat with a good glove while he develops? Yes. And the consensus among evaluators is that he will develop. He hit well every stop in the minors and hasn’t yet gotten consistent playing time in SD. He could be handed a couple of months here to get his feet wet.
Miller has the makings of a good 2 and the floor of a solid 4. That’s a lot better than the guys we usually spend $10 million a year on who proceed to suck for us.
Okay here’s my real one.
If I were Perry Minasian, I would…..call Atlanta and see if I could get my old job back. Presuming a ‘yes’, I’d go to Arte and demand a $230 m budget. If he says no – I’d walk.
If I were Perry Minasian I would…,be ashamed 😕
Kidding to some extent because of all of the things I have said before.
So our big plans for The Plumber are just going to go down the drain?
Worst case scenario is we have a legit MLB caliber bat to give Fletcher and Rendon days off until Rendon gets hurt again.
JJ, can the angels hire you as a consultant?!
Not sure the AAA duo of Thaiss and Wallach isn’t better than our MLB duo of Stassi and old man Suzuki. So, I’d quibble a little bit with “no help on the farm.” Just probably a GM who isn’t willing to pull the trigger.
Bringing back Suzuki was the typical Angels’ MO for the last what seems like 8 offseasons. Just a low, low ceiling.
Given neither Wallach or Thaiss are the catcher of the future, thus going for a Bart makes sense. I’d totally be down for it
Thaiss’ defense at catcher has not been good in SLC. Unlikely he can catch in the big leagues.
I’d promote Wallach and dump Suzuki for sure. None offer the upside of Bart, though.
Love these pieces Jeff. They’re logical and the trades make sense for both sides. Keep up the good work
Thanks. Work is slow enough that I should have more time to contribute around here.
Was looking forward to these to start to role out, thanks for the write up, Jeff. I like it.
you’re welcome. Not sure who all will do one. I’m a little slow at work and have been playing around on the sim.
Love these! Give me what was that again… oh yeah… hope!!