Hello fellow CTPGers! As you know, I believe it is time for a change – preferably in the Organization starting at the top. But since that is apparently not going to happen, I am changing the look of the team substantially by trading away the “other” MVP allowing him to return to the land of cheesesteak and flyEaglesfly. I am not trying to win the World Series as I think that is nearly impossible particularly in a Division where there are three teams that are significantly better than the Halos. What I am doing is attempting to create a roster where there is leadership, a decent product on the field and an environment where the young players can learn and grow.
So here we go. In order to rosterbate responsibly, I used the salaries in either the MLBTR prediction piece or the FanGraphs prediction piece. With players where the bidding is expected to be highly competitive (such as Snell) I used the top estimate for both length of contract and AAV. That is why I chose not to include Snell as a target. It is also why I think Yamamoto makes little sense (I expect him to go way higher than the FanGraphs prediction and more in line with the 9/$225 prediction of the MLBTR piece). I also used the baseballtradevalues.com site to assist with the trade that I made.
$212.2 million minus $144.2 million equals $68 million to spend. So with that….away we go!
TROUT GOES HOME
Bye Mike. It was very nice knowing you – particularly from 2011 to 2020. But your MVPs and playing with a fellow MVP in Ohtani meant very little – except maybe to Arte’s bottom line. It is time to free you from your personal hell that is Anaheim and allow you to go back home with your nice family and your beloved Eagles.
According to the almighty trade calculator, Trout has almost no value unless the Angels eat a significant portion of his salary. The decision is made to do this in order to receive back some young talent in return.
Trout has 7 years left on his contract at $37,116,667 per year. The Angels agree to eat $17,116,667 per year or a total of $119,816,669 over the remaining 7 years of the deal. This “saves” the Angels $140 million (i.e. $20 million per year).
Trout and Adell plus $119,816,669 over 7 years to Philadelphia for (1)Mick Abel, RHP (#45 of Top 100 prospects), (2) Justin Crawford, OF (#77 of Top 100 prospects) and Aidan Miller, 3B (#90 of Top 100 prospects). These are the #2-4 prospects in the Phillies system. Abel is expected in 2024, Crawford in 2026 and Miller in 2027.
Adell is flailing in the Angels system. I am no longer a believer and I think anyone who is is smoking hopium. He is given a chance to succeed in a better Organization who has already taken one of the Angels prospects (his buddy Marsh) and immediately turned him into a budding superstar. Marsh and Adell are reunited, Trout goes home and the Angels farm system is improved.
NOTE: For those of you ready to cast stones, I realize that Philadelphia does not need two outfielders at the MLB level but Adell would be sent to the minors to “work things out”. And Trout would fit into the outfield or at DH (probably both intermittently).
Oh, and it also gives me another $20 million to spend this offseason bringing my total budget to $88 million.
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
I want to start this section with an overall philosophy that I want the kids to play in 2024. So, I have Neto, O’Hoppe, Moniak and Schanuel in my starting and (pretty much) every day lineup. So, I am looking to build depth and build up the pitching staff with some solid veterans who serve as role models for the young bucks.
Sign SP Jordan Montgomery 5 years/$140 million AAV of $28 million
Montgomery throws strikes and has excellent control. He stays healthy barely missing a start over the last 4 years approaching 200 innings (i.e. durability which is something the Angels sorely need). He does not walk many and ZIPS projects him to match Snell’s production going forward. He is 31 years old so I do not worry about giving him 5 years. I chose him over Snell because I think Snell is going to require 7 years and 200 million-plus. I like Montgomery and I think he becomes the #1 of this staff.
Sign Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., OF 3 years/$40 million AAV of $13.5 million
Gurriel plays decent defense and has a plus throwing arm. He is also relatively durable averaging 140 games per year over the last 3 seasons. He will be turning 30 in 2024 so he is young. He has good power and would fit in nicely into the Angels outfield. He is a .750-.800 OPS type player who is durable and would lead by example.
Sign Jorge Soler, OF, 3 years/$45 million AAV of $15 million
Soler completes the rebuild of the outfield. He hit 36 HRs this year and takes plenty of walks. He cut his strikeout percentage to 25%. He hits the ball hard and in the air – a run producer who fits into the middle of this re-vamped lineup. His downside is relatively average to below average defense – but I think he would fit in nicely in RF.
Sign Gio Urshela, IF, 2 years/$20million AAV of $10 million
Gio becomes a depth piece who can play 3B, SS, 1B and 2B and was productive until he was injured. He generate almost 1 WAR in 62 games. He plays hard and leads by example. I like him a lot and think he fits into the team as a role model and as someone who can play all over the infield.
Sign Tim Anderson, IF, 1 year/$8 million AAV of $8 million
I have always admired Tim Anderson as a player. And he brings fire to the dugout. He had an off year in 2023. He just turned 30 and has plenty to prove for his next contract. He would be a great depth piece and lead the youngsters both by example and by his energy.
Sign Jordan Hicks, Relief Pitcher, 3 years/$45 million AAV of $15 million
Hicks is probably the best right hand reliever in baseball and throws HEAT. He and Ben Joyce would be really fun to watch in the 8th and 9th innings. He appeared in 65 games in ’23 with a 3.29 ERA, 3.22 FIP and 3.36 xFIP striking out over 28% of the batters he faced. And he allowed only 9 barrels on the 168 batted balls he allowed (5.4%) with an average exit velocity of only 86.7 mph (remarkable given the speed of his pitches). That means he misses bats and even when his pitches are hit, they are not hit square. His downside is too many walks but that was better in ’23. He is a weapon and the Angels would have two fireballers out of the ‘pen in he and Joyce.
Conclusion on Acquisitions
Both the Outfield and Infield gained depth and have very solid players who can both produce and lead the young kids. The starting rotation gained a solid starter in Montgomery and the ‘Pen was improved with Hicks. Total spent was $89 million which was $1 million over budget but that can be dealt with.
STARTING LINEUP AND DEPTH FOR ’23
Outfielders: Ward, Gurriel, Soler, Moniak
Infielders: Rendon (DH mostly), Neto, Drury, Schanuel, Urshela, Fletcher, Anderson
Catchers: O’Hoppe, Stassi
Starting pitching: Montgomery, Detmers, Sandoval, Canning, Anderson, Silseth
Relief pitching: Wantz, Estevez, Herget, Soriano, Bachman, Webb, Suarez, Barria, Joyce, Hicks
2024 becomes a transition year to move on from the Trout and Ohtani eras that yielded nothing. It is a year for the young kids to gain experience among some talented veterans. The team becomes younger and tougher. And I think there are more role models on this squad than in the last 5 years. Will this team win a wildcard – unlikely. But it could achieve .500 and be fun to watch. And those 8th and 9th innings with a lead would be a trip with Joyce and Hicks touching 100+ over two innings.
In my opinion it is time for major change. This accomplishes it, begins to rebuild the Farm and gives us all some exciting players to watch and cheer for.
Photo credit: Rex Fregosi