What A Realistic Taylor Ward Trade Might Net

Taylor Ward is one of my favorite Angels. He has Central Valley connections, he’s a really good player, and he was great when meeting my son. He’s also a really good baseball player who is under contract for two seasons after this one so he has a pretty nice trade value.

The Angels don’t appear to have any path to winning baseball over the next two plus seasons. And by the time the Angels might realistically be good again, Ward will be at least 32 years old and entering his decline. So as much as it would hurt to see him go, trading him now is the best option for the Angels franchise.

But what would the return be? Pretty decent, it turns out. Yes, Ward is on the older side for an arbitration eligible player and his base salary will be about ten times league minimum next year, but that is still vastly less expensive than a comparable free agent and opens up the trade possibilities to pretty much everyone.

Here are a few trade pieces I’ve seen on the simulator that reflect an approximate fair value return for Ward. Keep in mind I’m targeting return pieces that are at a minimum of High A as I don’t trust the Angels to actually develop lottery tickets with higher ceilings.

Juan Brito is a 22 year old prospect currently in AAA. While he’s technically capable of manning any infield position there are questions about his glove at short and arm at third. Most likely he’s a second baseman moving forward, but a switch hitting one with a good command of the strike zone and solid contact skills. Angel Martinez is getting his first tase of big league action at the age of 22 and primarily plays third base while occasionally DH’ing. Prior to his callup, he slashed a very solid .284/.398/.494 for Columbus in AAA. It is important to note the numbers International League are not inflated like in the Pacific Coast League.

These two would immediately become the #2 and #3 prospects in the Angels system and both are close to MLB ready.

Braxton Ashcraft has a 60 grade fastball and is already in AAA. His career has been slowed by injuries but he seems to be on the right path now. Losing 2020 to the pandemic then having TJ early in the 2021 season put him behind the developmental curve but Pittsburgh has taken a good path with him and he’s current 69 innings and 73 strikeouts into his first AAA foray. There’s some risk in this one but also potentially a huge reward.

That risk is offset quite a bit with the addition of Thomas Harrington, a guy who throws 4 pitches pretty well and is adding a 5th and has the floor of an MLB starter. He’s a pitcher, not a radar gun guy, but a solid athlete with a very repeatable delivery. Mitch Jebb has a typical utility infielder profile with versatility and a good glove but not enough bat to really stick.

Mick Abel has front of the rotation stuff. It just doesn’t always land in the strike zone. 11.1 K/9 is incredible. But this years 5.2 BB/9 needs improvement. Still, Abel would be our top prospect without any doubt and definitely has the potential to be the ace of the next contending Angels team. He’s only 22 years old and could join a college heavy draft class in AA and hopefully be ready to rock in two years.

Rafael Marchan is a good hitting catcher who is already getting MLB playing time. Philly would probably prefer to swap him out with another prospect but they do have both JR Realmuto and Garrett Stubbs under contract for a few more years so if we can snag him to replace Thaiss, that would be a nice upgrade offensively. If not, perhaps a lower ceiling, pretty developed prospect like Bryan Rincon or Gabriel Rincones Jr. would be the added piece.

So, in short, any trade of Ward should net us a couple of near MLB ready pieces with upside at positions of need. These returns plus whoever we draft at #8 will assuredly become our top overall prospects. Of course, the simulator is just a tool so a similar return is possible from a number of teams.

Of these three (none of which I created) I think I’d take the Pirates package. I like the upside play with the safer bet thrown in and figure the Angels will go big on college bats in the draft. Ashcraft, Caden Dana, and Harrington in the Trash Pandas rotation would certainly make me feel like the team had a path towards contention again.

Subscribe
Notify of
26 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
10 days ago

Great post Jeff. Awesome. Well done. We need affordable near-ready prospects. Ward just makes sense to get some value. Anderson has to be more valuable than would be shown in the simulator to a team that must pick up a starter. Maybe you wait on Rengifo until after the draft and see if Wetherholt slides to us at 8. Great thoughts.

FungoAle
Legend
11 days ago

All for a Ward deal. He’s peaked with the Angels would like to see how well he progresses somewhere else. He’s a good dude.

BannedInLA
Super Member
12 days ago

I don’t know anything about any of these prospects but, I agree in principle on the decision to trade Ward (As well as Anderson, Rengifo, etc).

I led the “go for it” gamble last season so long as the Angels weren’t trading Ohtani. Anway….. these are the obvious players to trade that give us a better return. The time is nigh.

That said, it will crush to see Rengifo leave.
It’s been cool to see him develop and improve steadily since 2022.

My man is the current MLB leader at .317.

donottakeGrba
Newbie
12 days ago

The system needs some outfielders.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Holy crap. I love this because both that Indians and Pirates trades are all prospects I wanted back when we were looking at IIWPM. I actually love the idea of a future Britto/Neto middle infield. Both those Pirates pitchers are great ideas and I think Jebb could be a Rengifo/Zobrist type guy. I’d make either one of those trades.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Raccoons ASEMBLE!

grichmanpoorman
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

What’s with the HO for Tibbs? Mediocre athlete (“they” say) and never ranked in a pre-draft Top 10 that I’ve seen. We can do better.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
11 days ago

The Call Me Mister Tibbs idea is that we could pay him less so we could nab some guy later with the extra lettuce, a guy who might be considering returning to school

grichmanpoorman
Trusted Member
12 days ago

Abel has a 6.87 ERA this year in AAA… that’s surprisingly bad. Still, would definitely be tempted to trade Ward for him.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
12 days ago

Abel….yes

2002heaven
Super Member
12 days ago

If you’re name isn’t Logan O’Hoppe, Zach Neto or Jose Soriano, then you should have your gear packed. Trade everyone

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  2002heaven

Pretty much. At least be willing to trade everyone.

Cowboy26
Legend
12 days ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Including you?

halofansince1978
Super Member
YOUknowulovetheIE
Trusted Member
12 days ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Schanuel is the future at 1st, he will keep improving.

2002heaven
Super Member
12 days ago

I don’t agree with you on that. So far he’s a big David Fletcher. 1B is a big power position, the Moneyball movie is wrong here saying that walks and bloop singles are equal to 400 ft bombs.

Roy Hobbs
Super Member
12 days ago
Reply to  2002heaven

The problem is, he’s not even doing that. He doesn’t get on base either, his slugging avg is worse than David Fletcher’s, and he isn’t a middle infielder. I agree with Jeff though. The guys he mentions are all cheap and have no trade value so you keep them until you acquire and or develop a replacement.

grichmanpoorman
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  Roy Hobbs

He is less than one year removed from D1 college baseball. The fact that any of us are sitting here trying to pass final judgment on him as a prospect is laughable.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

I actually agree. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to be doing the pee pee dance over “1B is a power position” shit. Why? I mean, why can’t a team be good without a power hitting 1B?

Sure, if he just plain never learns to hit, that’s another matter. But I don’t think he’s washed in that sense at all, not even close. Hell, I’m not even sure he has “no power”. He may end up being a 15-20 HR, 30-40 2B type guy. If he hit’s .290 and has an OPS over .750 to go with that, fine with me. Or do we want Carlos Santana 2.0 instead?

We bitch on this site about wanting contact hitters who extend at bats…. well guys? We’re also likely to get above average power output from three positions (SS/C/and some other spot if lucky) over the next few years. It’s not hard to make up the missing 10-15 HR within the line up.

The guys super young and it shows, but so does his natural hitting ability. I’m not sure why we are supposed to write him off at this point. Especially in a season like this one.

But hey, that’s CtPG Guy. These same microdick assholes were probably also bitching about GMs who are always playing the copy cat and never thinking outside the box…. until weird stuff got tried…. now they’ve tucked those big loud balls and want “Real Baseball 1B Man”.

Biggiswrth
Trusted Member
11 days ago

Nolan reminds me of a James Looney type of player (or Casey Kotchman)
He will hit and as his natural ability in the box will only get better with time as he adjusts to seeing more MLB pitches. I believe in the guy and he’s super cheap for many years.
The glaring hole is 2B on this team and some additional OF if we trade Ward
I would have loved to trade Sandoval, but that’s off the table now (TrAdition)
Trade: Ward, Anderson, Rengifo, Drury, Estevez and re-tool

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Biggiswrth

Yeah. James Loney. Good comp. Though I think he may hit and walk a little more when he’s been around for more than a year.

FungoAle
Legend
11 days ago

Ceiling is low, he might be close to it now. Limited athletic ability keeps him at first. I recognize that this is the 1st baseman the Angels decided to make their bed with. So got to accept it.

26
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x