IIWPM- Bye Bye Shohei Edition

Welcome to my first ever IIWPM.  Before I begin I would like to say after playing with the trade simulator, I think the values are pretty crappy, so I’m not sure the trade packages will actually work in this regard, but I tried my best.

The biggest elephant in this tiny room of the internet is obviously Shohei Ohtani and the decision he is going to make.  In this version of IIWP I took my approach based on two assumptions:

  1. Ohtani will sign with another team
  2. Angels will still try to contend and not rebuild

Not saying that is the correct decision, but for the sake of this plan, that’s what I’m going with.  My plan focuses on both pitching and offense, as I think as fans and media, we focus so much on our poor pitching, that we forget our offense wasn’t very good either.  Based on the projected $68 million available under the rules, here is my plan:

Trades:

Take these trades with a grain of salt, as I don’t trust these trade values at all

  1. Trade award Taylor Ward for Justin…. I mean Shane Bieber and RP Sam Hentges (projected salary increase of $10.25 mil)

This is where I get a bit weirded out by the trade values.  Ward has 3 years left vs. Bieber’s 1, both were injured last year, so maybe that’s the catch.  Cleveland has always struggled to find offense from their outfield, so this gives them a nice piece with some control left, while the Halos bring back a former Cy Young arm with some question marks.  (Also FWIW, my buddy was his pitching coach in college summer league and said he is a cool dude).

Guardians ace Shane Bieber transferred to the 60-day IL, won't pitch again  until mid-September - NBC Sports
  1. Trade Griffin Canning, Luis Rengifo, Jack Kochanowicz, and Victor Medieros for Corbin Burnes (projected Salary increase roughly $8 mil)

Again, I’m not sure about the value here, but this is a good opportunity.  Good pitcher, grew up an Angels fan, already had beef with Milwaukee.  The tricky part here is what do the Brewers want.  I’m under the impression in a weak division that they will want to compete, so giving them two MLB players with control at affordable rates plus a couple lottery ticket arms seemed somewhat fair for 1 year of Burnes.

Milwaukee Brewers' Corbin Burnes sees huge gains from a little tweak - ESPN

Free Agency: 

After the projected trades, we have about $50 mil to work with.  The goal here is to create some flexibility and get some depth.

Sign–  3b/1b/DH  Justin Turner    Contract:  2 years/$18 mil (2nd year is a vesting option based on plate appearances).  I played around with Jorge Soler for the DH spot, also considered Rhys Hoskins as well, but went with Ole Red.  CSUF roots, great looking facial hair, and a veteran that can impart some wisdom and bring playoff winning attitude to the club.  Plan is for him to DH some, play some first and some 3rd

MLB Justin Turner to Design Kaenon Sunglass Collection as New Partner – WWD

Sign–  OF/DH Joc Pederson  Contract  1 year/$10 mil

Championship pedigree, experience, and mashes righties.  Will primarily DH, but can spell Adell/Moniak in the outfield when needed.  Bonus that his brother Champ loves Pujols, so maybe Albert will be around more to help.

Joc Pederson was at World Series parade in SF after Dodgers drafted him –  Bay Area Sports Hub

Sign-  IF  Tim Anderson  Contract 1 year/$10 mil

This one is a bit controversial for some, but when Anderson is healthy, he rakes.  This is under the assumption that Anderson would play some 2b, and maybe even some 3b.  Washington being manager could help with this one, not only the infield pedigree, but let’s be honest with ourselves, having a black manager might be appealing to someone like Anderson.  He would take the Urshela role, and be insurance for Neto if/when he gets hurt.

Tim Anderson releases statement on brawl with Guardians | Yardbarker

Sign- LHP Matt Moore  Contract:  1 year/$6 mil (would look into an option if needed)

Moore was great for us last year.  No explanation needed

Angels report cards: Grading Matt Moore's reliable 2023 season

Sign- RHP Robert Stephenson  Contract: 2 years/$17 mil

He’s a bit all over the place through his career, but he was really good last year and could have found his groove with the Rays.

Cubs BCB After Dark: A Ray of hope in the bullpen? - Bleed Cubbie Blue

Projected $ remaining after trades and Free agency:  $6.5 mil

What else could we do?

The more I thought about this team and sustained success, the more I realized that good teams that continue to be good make not only good contract decisions, but good contract extension decisions.  I would look into extending Neto, O’Hoppe, and maybe even Detmers (I’m a big Detmers fan).  Lock them up at “cheap” rates for the long haul, giving us flexibility moving forward (a la Acuna/Albies)

Open to feedback, discussion, etc on this one.  I have a few other plans in mind too based on the Shohei decision and the way the Angels go.

Photo credit: Rex Fregosi

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RexFregosi
Super Member
2 months ago

whats the plan when Shohei re-signs here – you said you had an alternate-

say you have $18m after his contract – what pitching can you get?

RexFregosi
Super Member
2 months ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Your two Trade pitchers will add $18m

Id be happy with this team.

2002heaven
Trusted Member
2 months ago
Reply to  cookmeister

Moniak and Adell
Both just mistake pitch hitters, heck I’d take 25yr old Billy Beane over either one of these guys.
NO THANK YOU…………

AngelsFanInHell
Trusted Member
2 months ago

Everything here makes sense and no bloated signings. Bravo. Arte just needs to put down the crack pipe.

AngelsFanInHell
Trusted Member
2 months ago

The only player I would miss in your trade scenarios would be Ward. Again, still better than anything Perry would do.

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Cowboy26
Legend
2 months ago

I have no qualms with any of these moves. Well done.

We could try and sign original Angela Will Smith ( The Relief Pitcher) in lieu of Matt Moore for about the same AAV which I think would give us more closing options but either lefty should work out.

And since we traded away Ward and both Joc & Mickey are LHB’s (which we desperately need with Ohtani’s departure) Maybe sign Randall Grichuk to semi platoon and backup in the outfield.

2002heaven
Trusted Member
2 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Trade for a BP guy at the trade deadline IF WE’RE ACTUALLY GOOD ENOUGH OR DESERVING OF HAVING A RELIEVER.
You haven’t seemed to figure out that bullpens suck after post pandemic MLB.
Is there ever gonna be another Mariano Rivera? Probably not.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
2 months ago

Good story cookmeister.

I often thought about penning a long-time fan story, but you guys really pout in work with the trade simulators and such.

Fansince1971
Legend
2 months ago

Nice work and great effort. I like signing Moore and Anderson. Trades are very interesting – as you say not sure they would be accepted but really good job.

angelslogic
Super Member
2 months ago

At 739 runs, the Angels offense placed 16th (right near the middle). We do need an upgrade, but not a massive one.

Angels pitchers ranked near the bottom (25) in runs allowed.

So, in simplified terms, hitting needs an upgrade; pitching needs a major overhaul both starters and relievers.

Roy Hobbs
Trusted Member
2 months ago
Reply to  angelslogic

Yes, creative moves to fortify the pitching and I like the addition of Turner, Anderson and Peterson. The Angels offense was middle of the road with 300/400/600 Ohtani. The additions of turner and Anderson would be nice if they were in addition to Ohtani. Without him the offense, even with the additions would be less than middle of the road. They may need an outfielder if they trade Ward. This is a nice job with clever thoughts, the problem though is that It’s pretty much impossible to field a competitive team with our roster without going over the cap.

My personal opinion is that with Ohtani last year, they were a middle of the order bat, at least one #1 or 2 starter, and a couple of bullpen arms short if everyone but Rendon stayed healthy. It’s a big challenge and every IIWPM contender starts from an un-executable position. Your take is certainly as good as the rest, nice job. It’s just a tough challenge to make this team a contender this year even if you had no limits on your spending. They would need to trade for Soto, Re-Sign Ohtani, and make some combination of the pitching improvements proposed by the IIWPMs. I commend you for the effort considering the constraints and thank all of the IIWPMs for their efforts to make it work. Hopefully I am too pessimistic and the real Perry has a plan.

Last edited 2 months ago by Roy Hobbs
JakeTaylor
Trusted Member
2 months ago

Love all these moves. Best IIWPM so far! Good job, man!

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
2 months ago

I really like this one. That is great rotation. Defense will be a challenge, but we should hit plenty of bombs.

Cowboy26
Legend
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

One other thing, The Johnny Washington/ Tim Laker connection with old Doyers Like Joc, JT and even Bellinger make it a no brainer to bring these guys in. Our new hitting brain trust already knows their swings inside and out. In fact JWash was credited with turning around Belli for the Cubs just last year.

Angelstan
Trusted Member
2 months ago

This would be terrific. You are the new GM if you can pull it off. Sadly, I think real world and fun article-land are different places. But thanks for the enjoyment of reading and briefly hoping.

Angelstan
Trusted Member
2 months ago
Reply to  cookmeister

Sure. Now you have to go back and fit Luis García and $4.25 million in. Odd signing by the team. He’s the definition of “just a guy.”

JackFrost
Super Member
2 months ago

Ha ha ha.

Joc Pederson and Justin Turner are two of the five players I hate the most in MLB. Clearly I would not want either one of them on this team.

Cowboy26
Legend
2 months ago
Reply to  JackFrost

Well you may have to get used to it Frosty. if Ohtani goes to the hated ones, Arte will be scooping up Doyer castoffs like the poop cleanup crews on the Streets of San Francisco.

Charles Sutton
Editor
Super Member
2 months ago

One nice thing about slow Winter Meetings is that your article was not made moot before it got published. The last couple of years Perry was doing things right away.

2GA2Join
Super Member
2 months ago
Reply to  Charles Sutton

Exactly! Farewell to $20MM to Thor!