Angels Make Best of Lost Season at Trade Deadline 

Angels Make Best of Lost Season at Trade Deadline 

by September 1, 2020 0 comments

The Los Angeles Angels enter the final month of the 2020 season with a record of twelve wins and twenty-four losses. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates have a worse record in Major League Baseball with two more losses and fewer wins than the Angels. With the playoff hopes seemingly out of reach, the Angels approached the August 31st trade deadline as sellers with a hope to compete for the playoffs again next season. Billy Eppler shopped for controllable talent without sacrificing talent that can help the club compete in the immediate future. 

The Angels made three significant trades during the final four days leading up to the Monday trade deadline. This week, we examine the players the club received in return and just how they may be impacting the Angels franchise in the months and years to come. 

Franklin Barreto 

24-year old middle infielder Franklin Barreto was acquired Friday evening from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for the veteran second baseman and pending free agent Tommy La Stella. Barreto is out of options and was getting only limited playing time for an Oakland club with Marcus Semien at shortstop and Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder getting bulk of opportunities at second before the trade. 

Barreto was one of the game’s top shortstop prospects over the past five years. MLB Pipeline, which ranks the best overall MLB prospects had Barreto ranked 18th in 2015, 43rd in 2016, and 33rd in 2017 leading up to his big-league debut in 2017. In contrast, the Angels have only had three players, Jo Adell, Shohei Ohtani, and Kevin Maitan listed in MLB Pipeline’s top fifty prospects list since 2015. Adell being the only one to appear on the list multiple years. 

Barreto features decent power potential having hit ten or more home runs each of the past five minor league seasons. Last season, Barreto hit .295 with 29 doubles, 19 home runs, and 65 runs batted in during his 98 games at Triple-A Las Vegas when he wasn’t on the Oakland roster. Barreto has speed and stole 15 bases in 16 attempts at Las Vegas last year and has stolen as many as 30 bases in a season during his minor league career. 

In the field, Barreto has a plus-arm at the shortstop position and could be an interesting potential replacement for Andrelton Simmons, who will be a free agent following this season. Expect Barreto to get an opportunity to audition at both shortstop and second base for the Angels down the stretch when Simmons and David Fletcher are given occasional days off. Barreto is under team control of the Angels through the 2025 season but is out of options so he will have to stay on the club’s active roster or pass through waivers with any possible future reassignment.   

Gerardo Reyes 

Sunday afternoon, the Angels dealt catcher Jason Castro to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Gerardo Reyes. The 27-year old right-handed, power reliever has been on the Padres alternative training site roster this season but did see a considerable amount of action for the club during his 2019 rookie season. Reyes features a fastball approaching triple digits but like many hard-throwing prospects, has struggled with command at the MLB level. 

Reyes will now team with Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway as the club hopes to harness the power in Reyes’s right arm to improve a bullpen in desperate need of an upgrade. If successful, Reyes could follow in the steps of former Angels acquisitions from San Diego like Ernesto Frieri and Huston Street closing games for the Halos shortly. For now, Reyes has reported to the Angels alternative training site at Long Beach State’s Blair Field until a promotion presents itself to the reliever. 

Last season, across 27 games for the Padres, Reyes struck out 38 hitters in 26 innings pitched while walking 11 batters. Reyes four-seam fastball and sinker both averaged speeds of 97 miles per hour making the pitches particularly deceptive to opposing hitters. Reyes also features an 88 miles per hour slider he uses as his secondary pitch to his fastball.    

Packy Naughton 

Patrick Joseph “Packy” Naughton is a 24-year old Boston native who was drafted in the ninth round of the 2017 draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of Virginia Tech. Monday afternoon, the Reds traded left-handed pitcher Packy Naughton to the Angels in exchange for outfielder Brian Goodwin. Naughton, who spent the majority of last season at Double-A Chattanooga, was assigned to the Reds alternative training site and will be developing in the same capacity for the Angels.  

The Angels have lacked starting pitching prospects for many years and in Naughton, the Angels acquire the Cincinnati organizations 14th ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline rankings. Naughton was immediately inserted as the 13th best prospect in the Angels organization and is now the fifth-ranked pitching prospect in their system. Only Reid Detmers, Chris Rodriguez, Jack Kochanowicz, and Hector Yan rank higher and Naughton is the only one of those prospects to pitch above the Single-A level. 

Naughton features a fastball reaching 94 miles per hour, a hard slider, and an above-average change-up. Naughton posted an 11-12 record last season between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Chattanooga with an earned run average of 3.32 across 28 starts. The durable Naughton displayed good control, walking only 35 hitters while striking out 131 in 157 innings pitched. Naughton will likely get a season at Triple-A Salt Lake in 2021 to continue his development and potentially find himself competing with the likes of Jaime Barria, Patrick Sandoval, and Reid Detmers for a spot in the Angels rotation in the coming years. 

Overall, Eppler did very well trading two players who will be free agents following the season for two controllable players in Barreto and Reyes. Brian Goodwin himself was controllable through 2022, but the Angels just promoted outfielder Jo Adell and have additional depth at the position in top prospect Brandon Marsh awaiting his first MLB promotion. Acquiring Naughton provides the franchise with a pitching prospect providing depth in their farm system in a year in which they were limited to four draft picks. 

Angels This Week 

The Angels split the weekend four-game series with the Mariners winning two and losing two. Following their Tuesday day off, they will host a pair of games against the red-hot San Diego Padres before hosting equally tough Houston Astros for four games across the three-day weekend. The Angels will play a doubleheader Saturday as a make-up game for rescheduled games in Houston postponed due to the hurricane last week. 

Despite rumors swirling around Dylan Bundy at the trade deadline, the Angels kept the right-handed hurler who is a free agent following the 2021 season. Both Bundy and starter Andrew Heaney are free agents following next season and the team’s willingness to keep them both is a sign the club is committed to contending in 2021.  

Julio Teheran is scheduled to start the first game against the Padres and the remainder of the rotation should expect to include Bundy, Heaney, Griffin Canning, and Jaime Barria. The club will require a sixth starter with the doubleheader Saturday. Patrick Sandoval would most likely be the leading candidate to assume that role. Sandoval seemed to have the upper hand in the rotation spot battle. However, Barria has pitched very well in his recent starts keeping Sandoval at bay 

Albert Pujols has been stuck at 659 career home runs since his August 4th home run in Seattle. Pujols remains one home run shy of tying Willie Mays for fifth-most home runs all-time. Pujols has one more year remaining in his contract with the Angels. He has continued to reach some milestones this past week hitting his 666th career double passing George Brett for sixth-most all-time. Pujols will climb to fifth on the list when he ties Craig Biggio with his 668th double. Pujols also recorded his 2,087th run batted in last week passing Alex Rodriguez as the second most all-time according to Elias Sports Bureau’s official statistical records. 

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

 

Lifelong baseball fan, writer, IBWAA member, and source for all things Los Angeles Angels. Future, current, and past Halos news. Follow on Twitter @_HaloLife.

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