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2015 Angels Trade Deadline Targets: Pirates-Angels


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By Robert Cunningham, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer - 

The Pirates currently have an excellent outfield alignment of McCutchen, Polanco, and Marte giving them one of the best groups in all of baseball.

Rewind a few years back and there is one name missing from that trio: Jose Tabata.

At the tender age of 21, the Pirates committed to a long term contract (6 guaranteed years plus 3 option years) with Tabata for a very team-friendly $15MM (Option years total an additional $22.5MM).

Through 2013 the contract appeared to be fair for both sides, although Jose didn’t exactly light the world on fire as the Pirates had hoped.

Then in 2014 Jose struggled in April through mid-June and was sent down for the remainder of the summer. When he was recalled again he had a very pedestrian line the rest of the way, splitting time with the other outfielders.

However in 2015, Tabata, across 28 games to start the season in AAA, held a .352/.422/.396 slash line, receiving a call-up to the Majors just over two weeks ago where he started out well but has fallen off fast with a .278/.316/.278 line in limited action.

This is the type of player where extensive scouting and evaluation would truly matter for the Angels if they were to consider a trade. Of course all players are scouted and evaluated but Jose’s bat lacks punch and his contact ability is what would make a real difference to the Angels.

Out of all of the options Tabata carries the most risk performance-wise but he still has a touch of upside. As a leadoff hitter who can crack singles and doubles around the field, potentially high on-base skills, a touch of speed, and adequate defense in left field he is a high-risk, buy-low candidate.

Another selling point is his contract. The Pirates are on the hook for his $4MM salary in 2015 and his $4.5MM salary in 2016 because they took him off the 40-man roster.

After 2016, Tabata carries 3 option years for $6.5MM, $7.5MM, and $8.5MM respectively. All three option years have a mere $250K buy out attached.

This means that the financial investment is very small in return for the potential production that he might give. Although he certainly isn’t the sexiest option on the table, he is in his age 26 season where a lot of players “break-out” and start living up to their potential.

If the Angels were willing to take on some or all of Jose’s 2015 and 2016 salaries it probably wouldn’t cost the team a lot in prospects. Perhaps 1-2 prospects, probably pitchers, such as Adam Wilk, or perhaps an infield prospect like Alex Yarbrough.
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At this point the Angels still need some power for the middle of the order and OBP for the lower third. Thanks to "Douchilton" it will be hsrd to find a bopper, but getting an OBP guy for the top or bottom of the order would give Trout and Albert more opportunities to drive in runs. Tabata wouldn't be a bad choice.

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Agreed. We don't need power guys. Trout, Freese, and Purple is supplying that. We need guys who won't make an out 70%+ of the time.

At this point the Angels still need some power for the middle of the order and OBP for the lower third. Thanks to "Douchilton" it will be hsrd to find a bopper, but getting an OBP guy for the top or bottom of the order would give Trout and Albert more opportunities to drive in runs. Tabata wouldn't be a bad choice.

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Out of all the options I looked at for LF's this one carries a lot of risk. If the front office really feels he can maintain a high OBP he'd be a fit but this is a wire walk and probably one that the Angels should stay away from in all probability.

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I sort of feel like if the Angels grabbed a leadoff hitting OF that could steal bases, Scioscia would just force him into being stationary.  An example, Kole Calhoun can run a little bit.  There's no real reason why he can't steal 15-20 bases a season.  But the fact is, he's batting in front of Trout.  You have to let Trout swing the bat, and thus Calhoun has grown into a stationary player, and the Angels in general have grown into a stationary team. 

 

So if they went about acquiring a player like Tabata or even Revere, I feel like their speed would be almost completely wasted on this ball club. 

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I sort of feel like if the Angels grabbed a leadoff hitting OF that could steal bases, Scioscia would just force him into being stationary.  An example, Kole Calhoun can run a little bit.  There's no real reason why he can't steal 15-20 bases a season.  But the fact is, he's batting in front of Trout.  You have to let Trout swing the bat, and thus Calhoun has grown into a stationary player, and the Angels in general have grown into a stationary team. 

 

So if they went about acquiring a player like Tabata or even Revere, I feel like their speed would be almost completely wasted on this ball club. 

Is that true though?    With Pujols lighting it up, teams aren't going to necessarily walk Trout intentionally if the base runner steals 2B.

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speed isn't just about stealing bases.  Its taking the extra base and scoring from first on a double.

 

I think if Sosh had a real lead off guy you might regularly see an order of 2. Calhoun 3. Trout 4. Pujols.

 

#Pollock  I'd prefer that.  I know there's speed in going 1st to 3rd, but part of that is just aggressiveness on the basepaths and you'd be hardpressed to find a team more aggressive than the Angels are, even to the point of TOOTBLAN.

 

The team as a whole isn't slow though.  Giavotella, Aybar, Freese, Calhoun, Trout, Iannetta/Perez, Kubitza are all above average runners for their position.  But of that group, the only guys that are capable of stealing 20 bags a year are Giavotella, Aybar, Calhoun and Trout, and NONE of those guys have shown any sort of willingness to steal on a regular basis.  

 

Personally, I think that's a small part of the offensive woes.  The Angels are an aggressive team, but not aggressive in the way they need to be.  Why not put Aybar and Giavotella in motion?  Regardless of Pujols' hot streak, the homers don't last forever, singles are easier to come by.  Trout should be in motion more often. 

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