Slash and Burn!

Generally rebuilds take a few years. MLB is not the NBA. Teams generally need 30 to 40 good players in order to have 26 good players for a full 162 games with a lot of those players being pitchers. And it takes time build that type of depth.

What would it look like if the Angels took a path completely unexpected and went into a full tank mode? Let’s see.

Considering a 2 to 3 year rebuild is on the aggressive side of things, let’s get rid of any talent with 3 or fewer years of control. I’m going to admit I’m not the best prospect guru around so take my suggestions as more guidelines than specific targets. Also, as the next few years will be lost years, we might as well shed payroll when possible.

Who has trade value? Well, according to the baseballtradevalues.com simulator, quite a few players.

Detmers has the most value largely due to that 4th year of control. Keeping him doesn’t make a ton of sense unless we are convinced he’s going to be a front of the line pitcher who is worth extending. You know who does need pitching in the short term? The Dodgers.

Dalton Rushing is a lefty masher who raked in High A last year, Andy Pages is a solid all around outfielder, and Maddux Bruns has three 60 grade pitches at the age of 21. With some better control he’s as good as a good Detmers, without it he’s at least a late inning reliever.

Next on the list is Patrick Sandoval. You know who traded for Sandoval once? Jerry Dipoto. And as the GM of a team that narrowly missed the playoffs he just might do so again. This would bump one of his young, optionable arms to AAA and give the Mariners great depth as the try to get those last few critical wins needed to make it to October.

Cole Young was the Mariners first round pick last season and hit well in Modesto. Tyler Locklear is a bat that needs a defensive home. Locklear looked good with the glove in college but there’s debate about whether he’ll stick at the hot corner at the MLB level.

This next one will hurt a bit as he’s a Fresno State Bulldog and signed a ball for my son who now gets excited for every one of his at bats. But Taylor Ward would not be a part of this team’s next window and the Blue Jays need outfield help desperately.

Orevlis Martinez has already tasted MLB life but at age 21 still has plenty of options and upside remaining. The bat will play, but is he a 3B or SS? Brandon Barriera has added several MPH to his fastball as he’s transitioned from high school to pro ball and at age 19 is still quite a project. Really, this trade is for Martinez and to save Ward’s arbitration year salaries.

Griffin Canning had a great rebound last year. His value has never been higher. But he won’t be here for the complete rebuild. The Reds have a deep system, young MLB team, and want to compete next year. They don’t have a ton of cash for the MLB team, though.

Arroyo is blocked by super stud Elly De La Cruz and these two simply add to the depth up the middle. If he hits at all, he’s a stud MLB level player. At only 19 years old he has plenty of development time. Rodriguez is a contact hitter with tons of speed who has played on the grass and dirt.

Looking at the next contention window in approximately three years, every player acquired in these trades would be 22 to 25 years old, most coming with a full six years of club control. Other lottery tickets could be acquired by unloading Luis Rengifo and Brandon Drury. Those would also come with salary relief.

These are all moderately sized trades, nothing too Earth shattering on its own but in combination clearly shows a rebuild in progress. To truly slash and burn would require some pain beyond knowing the results will be bad for a few years.

$248 million. That is what is owed to face of the franchise and Angels legend Mike Trout, who will be in his mid 30s at best by the time this rebuild takes place. In this scenario it is best to let all move on and send Mike home so he can spend the years competing for October glory.

The Angels pay down roughly half of Trout’s contract and acquire a solid pitching prospect. This hurts but Abel has already reached AAA and at 6 foot 5 with an easy mid 90s fastball and should be a solid piece to the next winning club.

So where would this leave the Angels? With a plethora of 19 to 22 year old talent, particularly up the middle of the field and on the mound. Between shedding the arbitration year salaries of several players and saving $128 million on Trout, this would provide the next competitive team with abundant resources to add what it needs.

For the next few years, the Angels could continue building an MLB roster using non-tender candidates from other teams while incorporating most of my Let the Kids Play piece.

If the playoffs are a longshot anyway, why not stock up on youth?

43 Comments
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GrandpaBaseball
Legend
6 months ago

Left-handed pitching is very tough to replace, I would not trade our pitching for anything less than top notch 60+ rated players and that is not going to go down any time soon.

We need defense badly.

JakeTaylor
Trusted Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Well that sucks

FungoAle
Super Member
6 months ago

As most of you know my feelings on Trout. No thrust in his game, aka satisfied, plays in 3rd gear. I believe the quickest way to get back to relevancy is trading Trout. There are better deals to be had than just one arm, especially Abel.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
6 months ago

my fave is Trout to where he’d want to go

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago

Ditto.

Have we reached the “Free Mike Trout” phase of the drama?

I truly hope he has another year or two greatness in him. I pains me to watch him fade this way.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
6 months ago
Reply to  BannedInLA

So many of the numbers suggest a rerun of Mickey Mantle.

Cowboy26
Legend
6 months ago

Except for not having those 7 World Series Rings.

I wonder How Mike’s Liver is doing?

Last edited 6 months ago by Cowboy26
BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago

Well thought piece, Jeff. Thanks.

I wonder if the moves made by Perry last July (i.e., trading away numerous prospects that would ostensibly by needed for a full on rebuild) will impact the direction the team decides to make this offseason?

Arte doesn’t strike me as the type to embrace a full rebuild, but I’ve been wrong plenty of times before so why not now?

Anyway, this is probably the door I’d choose to walk thru at this point, which is interesting since I was probably the biggest proponent of “go for it now” just a few months ago.

The ship has sailed with this core. Time for a new ship.

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Side note: The “Japanese Option” is waaaay more fun.

HaloLew
Trusted Member
6 months ago

As a Ducks fan, the last few years have sucked as the organization is in rebuild mode. They’ve taken their lumps but allowing the kids to play has resulted in a bright future. They’re starting to turn the corner this season and it’s so gratifying as a fan. I would absolutely love to see this happen with the Angels.

Powerhalo (Will Stevens)
Editor
Member
Reply to  HaloLew

Very true, the last few years as a Ducks fan have not been great as far as winning, but seeing the kids play so well this year has been fun to watch, even if they don’t end up making the playoffs. With a few good moves here and there this will be another contention window like 2006 to 2017.
The problem with baseball is it takes a lot longer to develop all but the brightest phenoms, unlike in hockey where 18 year olds regularly have success. But you never know.

2GA2Join
Super Member
6 months ago

I really liked this analysis.
Gives some ideas of paths we could pursue.

Fansince1971
Legend
6 months ago

I would trade Quero who has very high trade value- oh shit that was already done and the team has NOTHING to show for it.

Until Arte is gone, my interest level is at an all time low. There was a tremendous opportunity to trade Ohtani (twice) and build up the Farm. That was the opportunity. We would still have Quero and Bush and a nice haul of other prospects. That was the opportunity. It is gone.

As a result, I would mercifully trade Trout to the Phillies, agree to pay some portion of his salary and hope to receive a decent prospect.

Last edited 6 months ago by Fansince1971
Cowboy26
Legend
6 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

if you’re so disinterested Then why post here 5 times a day?

angelslogic
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Uninterested

Fansince1971
Legend
6 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Because I enjoy annoying you. You may be a cowboy but you ain’t no sheriff.

Last edited 6 months ago by Fansince1971
Cowboy26
Legend
6 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Good cuz I dont want to get shot.

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Gotta’ ask, is 71’ your birth year or literally the year you became an Angels fan when you were a kid?

Fansince1971
Legend
6 months ago
Reply to  BannedInLA

Nope ‘71 was the year I went to my first Angel game with my dad and became a lifelong fan. We used to try to go to every Ryan home game.

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

LMFAO

Angelstan
Trusted Member
6 months ago

I know these are fun — but I usually see them in a different light than what you did Jeff. I see these as trade Drury and Rengifo. Maybe send Ward somewhere and reap hauls of prospects.

Detmers, Sandoval, etc. are guys the team will need if they are supposed to be good someday. Angels have no pitching now. As to the future, losing them and others makes the team a doormat with no idea who will be pitching for them whenever.

For this exercise, I would favor more of an approach whereby the younger guys are kept and older folks are shipped out. The problem is the Angels only have a few older guys now. So what they can do is limited. Canning is likely a chip that could be moved. Again, Drury and Rengifo. Maybe Ward.

You cannot just jettison the entire young staff or lineup. And what can you really get for Rendon or Trout? People want to see Trout which is another matter and Mike likely has a no trade clause.

So I enjoy the effort but don’t really see it generally.

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Angelstan

I concur. I’d prefer to retain the pitchers even though Sandoval is incredibly frustrating.

Trout is my favorite player, but the Angels should IMO eat the majority of his salary to acquire prospects, otherwise his trade value is essentially nil. Who the frack is going to trade for a past his prime, oft-injured player with that contract otherwise? Answer: No one.

Cowboy26
Legend
6 months ago
Reply to  BannedInLA

Whats amazing to me is the sheer number of teams that have announced that they are prioritizing the acquisition of starting pitching this offseason . According MLB Trade Rumors in the last few days we have:

Angels
Doyers
Orioles
Pirates
Mets
Cardinals
Phillies
Giants
Nationals
Red Sox

Thats alot of teams and not alot of quality choices. Good luck getting a bargain from the FA bin so it could get ugly this year if we trade any of our guys away .

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Same as it always was or some such shit.

We’re compelled to hold onto Sandoval, Canning & Detmers at this juncture.

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Trading Ward now is the definition of selling low. He had a down year and got drilled in the face. The would be return is very low at this juncture. Better to hold IMO.

Cowboy26
Legend
6 months ago

While I appreciate the effort, I believe you just made our shortage of pitching talent that much worse.

steelgolf
Super Member
6 months ago

I like the trade ideas. Now if you could figure out a way to offload Rendone by paying down his salary and get a young lottery pick.

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  steelgolf

Rendon is the epitome of sunk cost dude. The best thing to do at this point is to emit positive vibes and hope the God Of Health favor us….

Cowboy26
Legend
6 months ago
Reply to  BannedInLA

Or he starts smoking what was Wash is dealing.

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Far be it for me to begrudge Ron’s side hustle !!!

This guy is already my favorite manager in years for comedic reasons alone.

Angelstan
Trusted Member
6 months ago
Reply to  BannedInLA

With other teams, they have guys like Rendon and Trout that spring back to life, stay healthy and produce. That isn’t impossible here. Eovaldi was a Red Sox guy. That was often hurt. He’s now a World Series champ again. Others around the league exist. Sometimes as frustrating as it gets, you just have to wait it out.

FungoAle
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I don’t think there is a quick fix but would move Trout and Canning.

Just let the players we have play and maybe, just maybe…we see some progression. Adell, Moniak and Ward in the OF, Shauny Singles, Plumber, Drury (deadline trade bait) and Neto in the IF. Of course, O’Hoppe, future captain, at catcher.

Frankly, happy to watch hungrier players play all season with no expectations. Allow some draft classes to build up the farm.

CAoldskoll
Trusted Member
6 months ago

Very detailed insight, for a worse case scenario if we belly up for total rebuild. As a fan, I hope for something in between where we get rated prospects where we can, but keep some core players. Baseball’s a hard game and going full rebuild and dumping starters does not guarantee success years down the road. Don’t want to see Angels end up like Pirates, Royals, Rockies and now A’s who continue to just spin wheels every year building a young team of nothing.

Biggiswrth
Trusted Member
6 months ago

My IIWPM has a slight trend to this, but I still think we can be competitive and not give away the youth pitching core that we have. But great article here!

Angelz4ever
Super Member
6 months ago

Nice article Jeff.

halofansince1978
Super Member
6 months ago

Another home run Jeff.

Do you have a day job?

BannedInLA
Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Some people post nonsense on Twitter and you drop dimes on this forum instead. We all need our “escape” from the daily rigmarole.