I made a promise to myself a couple months ago that if the Angels were two under .500 at the All-Star Break, I would take a stab at writing an “If I Were Perry” mid-season article. I know we’re not there (yet) but wanted to get this out before any real moves might negate it. I’ve never contributed any content to this site other than some non-value-add comments so I hope you have some patience for a first-timer.
I liked Jeff’s previous write-up, and thought it had some great and original ideas. I went in another direction primarily for variety’s sake, however. I approached this as a full reset, or as “full” as could be possible even if highly improbable. Arte’s habits and predilections are well documented at this point and I’m not foolish enough to believe this has a remote chance of happening in real life. However, I do think it is realistic enough to be a fun thought experiment, which I guess these all are any way.
I also did all these trades in Out of the Park Baseball 23 (OOTP) and auto-played the rest of the season as well as a few years later just to see how things shook out.
Let’s get this out of the way, I don’t think Shohei will stay, and this would be prime time to trade him. As much as I love him, the last decade or so has taught me that having 1-2 superstars on a team with a bunch of scrubs is not a recipe for winning. I blew my allowance on a legit Ohtani Angels jersey last year and I will wear it proudly forever.
Brewers are in win-now mode, and their starting pitching has been hit hard with injuries. With Peralta and Houser out, they are going to need someone to seal the deal in the post season. When you’ve got a legitimate chance like this, these are the moves you make.
P Ashby: 24 years old, previous team #1 prospect. 4th round draft pick. I see him becoming a solid #3 in a starting rotation. 5.5 years of control left with good upside. Highly regarded slider (MOAH SLIDER). In my OOTP simulation, he was an all-star in 2023.
OF Chourio: #38 on the 100 top prospects. Developing well and fast even at a super young age (18). Supposedly has good plate discipline, whatever that is. #jaded
OF Frelick: #49 on the top 100 prospects list. Brewer’s 2021 first round draft pick. Multisport toolsy athletic outfielders? Shoot me now. Great speed, projected to potentially be a solid leadoff hitter.
OF Hendry Mendez: Super young (18), apparently with lots of raw talent. Already getting some hardware at the lowest levels, but still, eyeballs are eyeballs. Scouts say “he remains a far-away lottery ticket, but one that seems much closer to hitting based on his elite contact rates.”
SS/2B Turang: Brewers #5 team prospect, forecasted to be a solid regular and above average defensive shortstop. Serviceable trade-bait or backup. Local product from Corona. Simulation has him being an everyday starter.
We all know Rengifo is supposed to be a Dodger, so let’s put the world right again here. Would Arte nix this one too? Who knows, let’s say he doesn’t. Dodgers are in desperate need of a corner outfielder, and I strongly support Jeff’s sell high mentality in regard to Ward. The simulation has Ward going on to win two All-Star selections for the record though.
1B Busch: #43 on the top 100 prospects list. Scouts say “one of the best all-around offensive prospects in his Draft class as the 31st overall selection.” High potential with above average offense, what you need in a first baseman.
P Graterol: Graterol has become a key piece of the Dodgers’ bullpen this season and has shown to be decently reliable. Years of control left as well. They might be more inclined to the trade if they get good news regarding Tommy Kahnle and Blake Treinen.
RF Pages: #48 on the top 100 prospects list. A plus defensive left fielder that can hit for .250+? Compared to what we’ve had out there, we’ll take it. Won High-A Central MVP honors.
P Pepiot: #76 top 100. Scouts say “Pepiot owns the best changeup in the Minors, earning top-of-the-scale 80 grades from some evaluators for a low-80s weapon that fades before dropping at the plate.” In my OOTP simulation, he pitched a shutout game 3 vs Cardinals in 2024 WS.
This is one that I don’t really agree with Baseball Trade Values on as in my opinion it suffers from recency bias. I see Raisel as undervalued. Fantasy Baseball trade calculators have Iglesias as the 9th best reliever in the game now, even with this year on the record. Besides, we all know that as soon as you take off the Angels uniform your elbow ligaments strengthen, spin rate increases, and your grit goes up 2.3 times. I also hear that some guys on the Blue Jays like sunflower seeds too. In OOTP, I was able to get a decent amount more but in a nod to the website, I came out with this.
P Castillo: Scouts say “Castillo, who has been working out of the bullpen with the Jays, has a 1.92 ERA in 11 appearances in the minors this year, nine of them starts.” Got rocked in his first appearance vs Yankees, but still very young and has decent upside.
3B Martinez: #37 prospect in top 100. Real young (20) but developing fast. High ceiling and Jays have high hopes. Brings some big power. Simulation has him becoming multi-time all-star worth 3-5 WAR a year.
This one was tricky. I am by no means a baseball stats expert nor anywhere near a reliable scout. I stopped playing the game around age 13. My batting average might have got me an #9 spot on the Angels, but that’s about it. To determine the trade value of Syndergaard I relied on Baseball Trade Rumors and OOTP. Nobody would take Syndergaard for anything reasonable in my mind in OOTP. The best I could do was get some super low level, low potential prospects. I know there is a bias against “overpaid veterans”, but I honestly think this deal is fair, especially if we throw in some cash.
P Pallente: A local kid, from Mission Viejo and pitched at UCI. A young reliever with years of team control showing promise. We all know relievers are volatile, but if you get to the Majors you have at least proven something. Strength in numbers at this point. Scouts say his ceiling is a #4 starter.
What we’ve been doing is not working. We trade some of our most valuable (it’s all relative, right?) pieces and target a run in 2024-26. We go from ZERO prospects in the top 100 to six, only behind the Guardians in count (7). We keep Rendon (no one is going to take that contract and I think he bounces back) and of course Trout, and try to use the payroll flexibility that some actual farm developed young players would provide. In OOTP, we end 2022 in 4th place in the AL West (though not far from 5th), sneak in a wildcard spot in 2023 but are bounced in that round. In 2024 we make it all the way to Game 7 of the World Series against the Cardinals but lose 6-4. Honestly, that’d be a win in my book. Sadly, we revert to mediocrity by 2026 but hey, it’s just a simulation! What goes unsaid is that I would love some actual money invested in play development and scouting too but that’s a piece for another day.
Photo credit: Rex Fregosi