Noah “Thor” Syndergaard was the marquee signing of the Angels off season and has largely played up to expectations. He’s put up almost exactly 1 WAR over 70.1 innings with a 3.84 ERA and some nice peripherals. He’s not the Thor of old, but he’s not exactly an old Thor, either. And with only 70 innings on his arm this year, teams can expect to get about that many more if they trade for him.
The Angels going absolutely nowhere with Thor and as an impending free agent, he’s an obvious trade candidate who should have no shortage of suitors. The question becomes, what would he net the Angels? Let’s look.
About $10 million of his $21 million yearly salary is due and as this is sunk cost I’m going to assume Perry has the freedom to kick in up to $5 million to sweeten the haul. This midpoint opens up a lot of possibilities but is still realistic. At a certain point, prospect capital just isn’t worth it for three months; even if he’s free.
Remember the days of Tyler Wade in center field, Jose Rojas in left? Yeah, we could probably solve that problem by sending Thor and some cash to Philly.
Rojas has 70 grade speed and an offensive profile that favors contact over power. If that sounds like a perfect fourth outfielder to you, then we’re not alone. He will definitely stick at center and would be a lethal pinch running option off the bench. And we desperately need one of those.
I’ve already one a hypothetical trade of Thor to the Giants in a separate piece. Here’s one that is slightly different.
As with my other piece, the Angels land a catcher here. Adrian Sugastey is a 19 year old with a sweet swing who is a ways off but should develop as an MLB regular. Manuel Mercedes is a recent signing for Venezuela who is also 19 and has electric stuff. He needs command to stick as a starter but could be fast tracked as a bullpen arm thanks to his explosive 70 grade fastball.
I’d actually prefer to trade for another SF first round pick in Patrick Bailey, who seems to have recovered from a back injury and absolutely raked in High A this year. I’m not sure if SF would give him up, though.
A couple of division leaders are in real need of rotation reinforcements and a couple are small market teams who would love to have the Angels pick up part of the tab.
Simeon Woods Richardson is a guy I’ve like for quite a while and was the headliner in the trade that sent Jose Berrios from the Twins to the Blue Jays. He’s shown improved command in AA ball through 12 games/58 innings this year but is on the 7 day IL at the moment. Noah Miller was the 36th overall pick in the 2021 draft out of high school and profiles as a middle infielder with contact skills.
Bonus: Resident prospect guru Turk’s Teeth has a trade I can’t pull off on the simulator. Thor, Bachman, and $5 million for Woods Richardson, Spencer Steer, and the Twins competitive balance pick.
Ethan Small was a stud in the SEC in college who has nice life on his fastball and a really nice change piece but hasn’t yet mastered a good breaking ball. He’d be cost controlled pitching depth and possibly a mid rotation arm if he can get either his curve or slider up to MLB average. Felix Valerio is another David Fletcher type who has tons of contact and really quick feet but not much power. He’s in AA, likely ends the year in AAA, and at 21 years old would be our utility player of the future; but one who can actually hit.
Side note, I’d love to get local product Brice Turang from Milwaukee. Thor, Stassi and some cash could do it. Maybe Thor plus a reliever like Wantz or Quijada. Either way, Turang could step in next year anywhere on the infield and have a league average bat with good range and a good arm.
The Angels need infield help and Sosa is a year removed from a .271/.346/.389 batting line good for a 104 wRC+. That was also the only year he played consistently. As a role player, his numbers are much worse but his minor league numbers are always solid. He does have a SS quality glove and positional flexibility. He’d be an upgrade over Squid, Wade, Mayfield, and Rengifo. This raises the floor.
Really, I’d like more but the Cardinals system is very boom or bust. Some really high rated prospects then a bunch of kids 4 years away from MLB level.
Otto Lopez is in AAA and the definition of a super utility player. He’s that guy who is just faster than everyone else on the field, has good reflexes, and is probably pretty good at any sport he tries. His offensive profile is much more contact over power, but his speed means he can turn that contact into hits and extra bases. Besides, the Angels strike out way too often. His presence would create instant depth around the infield and on the grass.
As you can see, none of the Thor trades would be franchise altering. What they should allow Perry to do is replace a subpar player with an MLB caliber player. One with cost control and the types of tools that would give the manager options both with the lineup and in in game strategy. Or a prospect or two at a position of organizational need.
For years we’ve talked about raising the floor and adding to the farm. Here’s a chance to do just that.
Jeff Joiner for Angels GM……
We need a breath of fresh air and a new higher level of creative thinking and analytics…
I just read the entirety of Perry’s interview from the other day. Have to say I was not impressed. I wasn’t expecting the full truth, but even some of his vague monologues have me concerned. Specifically the following:
“It’s on me. It’s 100 percent on me. I’m in charge of the roster. Coaches can only work with what I give them. I’m very cognizant of that. … Our depth is not good enough. It has not been good enough.
He’s pretty much admitting the Maddon firing was short-sided. At the time, I was for it myself, but now I have had hard time seeing how we could possibly be worse off then now. Funny how hindsight works…
“I think things will definitely heat up after the Draft. As far as a Trade Deadline buyer or seller, I don’t believe in terms like that. I think we’re going to look for opportunities to make the club better. Whether it’s short-term or long-term, if something makes sense we’ll try to accomplish that.”
Sounds like the same old shit that came out of Eppler’s mouth. “We aren’t a buyer or a seller” then proceeds to trade for a Quad A utility player and then trade a few bullpen guys. For once, whether we are doing well or struggling, it would nice for us to have a GM with a vision for the team when he’s hired, not making up shit as he goes along for the ride.”
I can’t say I have any confidence in upper management whatsover. I keep seeing posters say “Trade Trout and Ohtani”…do you trust this owner and GM with starting a rebuild and identifying which prospects to target for these trades? You don’t, we all don’t. Best thing anyone in the General Manager’s office can do is nothing so that way, they don’t mess anything else up.
Preference would be to keep that chunk of $21M allocated to pitching to future pitching so I’d like to see young arms in return.
The catcher looks nice though too.
It’d be good to move him now but maybe it’d be nice to sign him for $12M for 2023 now too.
No on Lopez. We already have a metric crapton of “super utility” guys.
The difference is Lopez is actually decent.
Top notch baseball content on the site today!!!
Like I said in nishio’s… most these names I’ve never heard of. It’s really difficult to follow minor leagues or others teams fringe players. The time it takes to do so, I don’t have. But posting this type of stuff is cool on a lot of different levels, one of which is an introduction to the players. I actual will come back (maybe some of the names are the same but we don’t trade for them) to see what the results are/were.
Benintendi is getting traded to someone. Other than that this is all good to read news for me!
You see a name on the simulator and go to MiLB.com where they have all these guys stats compiled in a manner very similar to Baseball Reference.com
All of the links lead to prospect tabs.
As far as grades, 80 is the highest any tool gets. So a guy with 70 speed is crazy fast. A 60 fastball is MLB ready, etc.
Excellent used of links! Thanks!
Thanks for the info. I’m not a big statistic guy and I wouldn’t normally go searching for it. Even the few minor league games I’ve been to it’s about the experience. It sounds really neat to keep score of a game, track a minor league team/players progress, etc, I just have never had that exposure to it. You explaining that is definitely helping though!!
Its also kind of a curse of living very close to the stadium, it’s way more effort to go to ST and minor league (quakes are the closest?) than to Anaheim. Later this year, maybe even tonight, as I’m sitting at the Big A for hour #3 of snooze fest, I will come back to these articles and starting punching in these names to google.
Maybe my reading comprehension ain’t what it was: I thought you were up in Ventura County
I think there’s a lot (to hopefully be missed) in the last few days. Grew up there. I won’t confuse with any more details… which could be interpreted as a joke or legit, right!
No one got there with any conversation… but I’m sure it’s extremely difficult for the site to get new members and/or secure solid interviews with angels personnel (in the office, on the field, trainers).
For the first part, I’ve invited friends, family, coworkers here. I’ll leave it there. You all are just as welcome to do what you want on here as I do blah blah blah.
For the latter… friends, family, players, I’m sure a bunch of others come to sites like this and Reddit/angels baseball etc. I don’t have Twitter but people follow weaver right? Some players play with a chip (or a whole boulder) on their shoulders. They’re aware of what’s going on (what fans say) and what’s gone on (Donnie Moore).
Everyone is disappointed, if how you want to express that is a snarkarcasm type “joke”. 😎
Cool. I believe we tread very closely, man – past and present – bet we crossed paths a few times … I’m ok letting the last few days be exactly that – past. 😇🙌😇
I don’t really know what I did in the last few days other than be funny/silly. The angels have been terrible, I go about posting different than some…. Which generally is their version of being silly/funny or venting. Getting members to post different stuff than what I said was the goal. I don’t have ill will towards anyone here and believe a get together at a game is more than due.
Thanks for all the research Jeff. It’s kind of a meh from my vantage but still an interesting analysis.
The problem with Thor is that he is not the same pitcher as before and his numbers show that. Plus he is on an expiring deal. Sadly, not likely to bring too much help and your proposes trades seem to align with that.
Exactly. These aren’t bad pieces. In fact, these are pieces we need.
But they are of the “raise the floor” type not “change the franchise” type.
When you see what you can get for him, it makes me wonder why Minasian spent so much for him, as well as giving up a draft choice when we desperately need to replenish our farm.
You know us and one year gambles! The house loves us.
I’d say most of these returns are about equal to the second round pick we relinquished. Sone are more.
As long as Thor produced well and stayed healthy, Perry would be fine. He’d either be part of a winning team or part of a trade.
That’s the logic.