Welcome to this year’s series. The Angels face a tough challenge in a pretty stacked AL West. The bad news is the payroll is still very top heavy and the farm is pretty thin. The good news is there are young pieces to build around and if I play my cards right I might have a decent team in 2024 with room to grow into something really special.
So, the smart thing to do is something we should have done in 2010 and rebuild. However, if I was actually Perry, Arte would fire me before the paperwork would be signed. So, what can I do to keep my job and improve?
Well, I take that 68 million dollar budget and figure out what stars can I get for Arte’s billboard and have enough money left over for actual club improvement stuff. Luckily for me, there is a team down south that really needs cash now.
Angels Trade Rengifo and Suarez for Soto and Musgrove
Soto is expected to get 33 million in Arbitration. Musgrove has 4 years left on his deal including 20 million in 2024. Rengifo and Suarez are expected to get 5.3 million combined. Padres just got a 50 million dollar loan so the 47.7 million saved with the trade is huge for them. Soto is an amazing hitter as we all know and Musgrove would fit right in on the top of the rotation. Padres save money, Arte gets his billboard players, and the team improved at the plate and the mound. Win-win-win.
68-47.7=20.3 Million dollars left in the budget.
Angels Trade Hergert and Quijada for McNeil and Megill
Mets are not competing next year, allegedly. And RP are great to trade at deadlines, so the Angels get 2 underperforming Mets from 2023 to look to bounce back in 2024. McNeil was an All Star and Silver Slugger winner in 2022 while Megill has been trying to breakout with the Mets for 3 years now and while obviously has talent, he has yet to reach his potential. So, why the betting on upside? Well McNeil is a utility player that can cover the OF, 2B, and 3B while Megill is pre-arb. Also both had positive BWAR despite their down years which were higher than what Suarez or Rengifo had last year. Meanwhile RP is volatile so it should work out for the Angels. Hergert and Quijada are expected to make 2 million total while Megill is, again, pre arb and McNeil is 10.25 for 2024 so, let’s make that 11 million.
20.3-9 = 11.3 Million dollars left in the budget.
Angels sign Michael Wacha for 3/33M
The Angels need one more SP arm and so, I am choosing Wacha since he is the best with the budget left. For some reason, Fangraphs is really down on him despite his 2nd straight 127 ERA+ season. Sure, he hasn’t pitched a ton of innings in any year, but over his last 2 years it is a 3.22 ERA and a BWAR of 5.7. Not bad, not bad at all.
That is .3 million left in the budget which I am not touching due to maybe an error or two up top.
The rotation looks decent this year.
- Joe Musgrove
- Michael Wacha
- Reid Detmers
- Patrick Sandoval
- Griffin Canning
And there is depth with Tyler Anderson, Chase Silseth, Tylor Megill, and Kenny Rosenberg.
Bullpen wise, it is a bunch of young guys for the most part.
- Carlos Estévez
- José Soriano
- Jaime Baria
- Andrew Wantz
- Sam Bachman
- Jacob Webb
- Ben Joyce
The lineup looks… interesting.
- Mickey Moniak CF
- Mike Trout DH
- Juan Soto LF
- Taylor Ward RF
- Logan O’Hoppe C
- Jeff McNeil 3B
- Zach Neto SS
- Brandon Drury 2B
- Nolan Schanuel 1B
Yes I am assuming Rendon doesn’t play much. Besides him we have Matt Thaiss as C/1B, Jo Adell as 5th OF, Max Stassi as C, and I don’t know, let’s say, David Fletcher. Sure. But there are also options like Michael Stephanic, Jordyn Adams, and Kyren Paris.
With this approach, while the budget is all used this season, there isn’t too much tied up after 2024, allowing to reassess if the team struggles again. Musgrove is the only one with a rather large hit at 20 million for the next 4 years, which is less than what almost all of the top FA are going to get anyway. On top of that, by not losing anyone left in the cobwebs of a farm, the bleeding has stopped there.
Overall, it is yet another “If everything goes right this team is playoff bound” gamble, but with more SP depth and with a team that is more contact and OBP driven than in years past. Will it work? We will never know.
Well, tell me what you think and if I would get fired or not. And if you want to take a crack at it, submit a fanpost. Just be sure to follow the rules and we will post them here at Crashing the Pearly Gates, after we show ours of course.