2021 MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Los Angeles Angelsby B.J. Martin July 8, 2021 1 comment
Second-year manager Joe Maddon expects Trout back after the All-Star break. That alone will provide a boost to a line-up with the third-highest OPS in the American League. The sensational Shohei Ohtani leads MLB in home runs and Pujols’ replacement at first, Jared Walsh, is an All-Star. Consistent starting pitching has been the Achilles heel of the Angels teams in recent seasons. It continues to be the case again in the first half of 2021.
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Rank: (Fourth in AL West, 9 games back, 4.5 games behind Wild Card)
The Angels have made adjustments to the current rotation by demoting half the opening day rotation to bullpen or minors. Veterans Dylan Bundy and Jose Quintana are now pitching in relief while Griffin Canning was demoted to Triple-A. Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez have exceeded expectations filling the void but will likely need help for a serious playoff push. Expect first-year GM Perry Minasian to improve a pitching staff that’s within six games of a playoff berth. They will be targeting multiple pitchers to add to a roster with the talent of Trout, Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon.
Jose Berrios, Starting Pitcher, Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are 14 games below .500 and Berrios is eligible for free agency in 2023. Now seems like the ideal time to deal the 27-year-old right-hander for younger prospects. Berrios has a 7-3 record, 3.36 ERA, and 106 strikeouts in 101 innings this season. He would immediately give Ohtani another ace in the Angels rotation. The cost would be high for the controllable hurler; likely require moving two or more top ten organizational prospects. Assuming the Twins are shopping Berrios, expect at least six other serious contenders for his services. They must include top five prospects in the deal to outbid others including division rivals in Houston, Oakland, and Seattle.
Kyle Gibson, Starting Pitcher, Texas Rangers
The former Twins prospect has experienced a breakout first-half in Texas this season. The Rangers’ All-Star is unbeaten at 6-0 with a sub-two ERA of 1.98 this year. The 33-year-old Gibson has a career 4.47 ERA and likely attainable without surrendering more than one top ten prospect. Gibson’s track record is not as appealing as other candidates but the Angels would benefit from riding the wave of his career year. Assuming Colorado’s German Marquez and Washington’s Max Scherzer are unavailable, Gibson is a cheaper alternative. Expect two to four low-level, high-reward prospects to be offered for Gibson. The organization has a slew of outfield and middle infield prospects at mid-lower minor league levels the Rangers will find attractive.
Pablo Lopez, Starting Pitcher, Miami Marlins
Pablo Lopez and teammate Sergio Alcantara are both having solid years for the last-place Miami Marlins. Both are heading into their first arbitration years in 2022 and controllable through 2024. The 25-year-old Lopez has 2.94 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 95 innings this season. He ranks among the top twenty in the National League in both categories and will be costly. His mid-90’s fastball mixed with solid change-up and breaking ball would be a great addition to the Angels’ rotation. The Marlins will require a couple of the talented starters at Double-A Rocket City and another top-hitting prospect. A higher price to pay for a young, experienced starter under team control for four more seasons. Something the Angels desire as Ohtani, Sandoval, and Suarez only starting pitchers under control beyond 2021.
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