Los Angeles Angels Trade Deadline Approachby Nicolette Rojo August 30, 2020 0 comments
The trade deadline may be a great (or poor) moment to look for on a Monday, but some teams have hit the phones early on. The Los Angeles Angels are one of them, trading 31-year old All-Star infielder Tommy La Stella to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for utility infielder Franklin Barreto.
Now that La Stella is out and Barreto is in until 2025, what other moves could happen in Los Angeles despite having two of baseball’s best players on their roster?
Los Angeles Angels: 12-22, Fifth in AL West
Buyers or Sellers Status: Sellers
With the Angels’ consistent struggles this year, (they barely reached their 10th win at the season’s halfway point) it gave a sign that they would be sellers in 2020. Trading away La Stella guaranteed it. The Angels are in an interesting situation. Los Angeles is in the bottom half in all pitching categories, which means that they need to find some arms in the rotation and bullpen. Pitching does win games and while the Angels have pieces to receive some arms, they will unlikely be at a Mike Clevinger level, so expect them to trade away some key players who are entering free agency as well.
Players Involved in Potential Moves
For this section, I will focus on trades that will not likely happen but could be on the radar before or on Monday.
Ok, maybe this one will likely be somewhat realistic as the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins all expressed interest. Trading Bundy could raise some eyebrows since the Angels would be trading away their best starter this season, weakening an area they struggle the most in. Bundy currently holds a 3-2 record with a 2.58 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 38.1 innings pitched. Los Angeles needs more starting pitching, but this would be the time to sell him to get some talent back. The issue is that trading Bundy alone will not get them much in return, unless they add another player or two, especially for a guy like Clevinger or Zach Plesac (realistically will not happen).
The Angels have Goodwin locked in for two more seasons, and his success in Los Angeles is an eye-catcher to teams. In 165 games with the Angels, he has hit .260 with 21 home runs, 64 RBIs and an .801 OPS (.826 OPS this season). It is unlikely that the Angels will trade Goodwin, but since he is cheap and under control for multiple seasons, they could get more for him, especially with a crowded outfield of Mike Trout, Jo Adell, and Justin Upton, with Brandon Marsh on the way soon.
Trades That Could Happen
This section focuses on trades that could realistically happen before the deadline. The Angels have a few players to trade for, but the difficult part is predicting who they may receive in return. If they want better returns or top prospects, they would have to trade away players with more control or pair multiple players in one deal. As of now, it is more likely they trade their rental players since they do not want to risk the chance of a player walking away in free agency without anything in return.
This one will hurt. Simmons is a fan favorite, but he is the player who will most likely be dealt. The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly raised interest with infielder Bo Bichette out. Simmons is having an injury-plagued year after returning from a sprained ankle. The three-time Gold Glove winner is arguably the best defensive shortstop in the game, but because of his free-agent status in 2021, the Angels will not receive much in return. Many teams already have shortstops, but you also can’t miss out on an incredible defender either.
Jason Castro signed a one-year deal with the Angels to fill their catching needs. Castro may not show a lot of power or success on paper. However, he has a .736 OPS, which is above the league’s average at .694 behind the plate. He is also a solid pitch-framer so the Angels could get a bottom-ranked prospect in return. The Colorado Rockies, Blue Jays, and Indians all rank towards the bottom in production behind the plate, so I could see one of those teams fulfilling that role.
Overall, the Angels clearly need to focus on pitching in the off-season, but with the ambiguity of players they’d receive in return, it is unclear on who they would get by trading the players above. It is necessary to trade those who will enter free agency next season to receive something in return. However, the Angels are known to make surprising and interesting trades in the past, so the trade deadline will be interesting in An.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images