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OC Register: Angels Q&A: What is their plan for this season, and for Mike Trout?


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Readers submitted questions about the Angels via our Angels Facebook page on Thursday. Here is a selection of the questions and answers.

Q: I really don’t understand Eppler’s strategy this offseason with these bargain bin 1 year contracts. Very underwhelming offseason which isn’t gonna inspire any loyalty from trout in 2 years… any insight on why he took this approach? -Rob Aspinall

A: Billy Eppler has said many times that he’s trying to make the Angels successful in the long term, and the way to do that is to have a strong farm system. While they are waiting for the farm system to improve, they are trying to make low-risk improvements to be as good as possible at the major league level in the short-term, while sacrificing none of the long term (ie, trading away prospects or taking on weighty contracts).

They also don’t feel they are close enough to being an elite team for this to the be the time for them to spend big on players that may nudge you only up 2-3 wins. (Next year may be the year for that, with the Astros possibly losing Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole and the Angels potentially having a few more young players in the lineup.)

As for Trout, I’m sure he understands this approach, and if he has any questions, Eppler can explain it any time he wants. Besides, if Trout is going to sign a long-term deal to stay with the Angels, he’s going to be most concerned with how healthy the franchise looks from 2021-2030, not how they did in 2019. He’s here for ’19 and ’20, no matter what.

Q: Is there an “obvious” plan for next off-season? If they aren’t spending money on the players available this time, why would they next year? -Andrew Wilson

A: As I said above, I would expect the Angels to be more aggressive next winter. The Astros will presumably be more vulnerable, and the Angels will be a year closer to being at the end of Albert Pujols’ contract. The farm system will have another year to grow, and it may have produced a couple everyday contributors, freeing up money elsewhere. It’s also possible that by then they will have signed Mike Trout to an extension. I think there are several free agents next year who would fit for the Angels, most notably Gerrit Cole and Nolan Arenado (both Orange County natives).

Q: Seems to me the Angel’s wasted 28.5 million trying to catch lightning in a bottle on 3 pitchers who are either going downhill or have checkered pasts injury wise. Other areas they’ve just rearranged the deck chairs. Good thing they’re one year contracts. Odds are they will repeat last seasons mediocrity. Is there any reason to believe otherwise? Do you have any idea where the stadium negotiations are headed? Angels stadium is a dump. Will Trout take all this in and still stay? -Allan Buck

A: The Angels obviously don’t feel that way. They have tangible reasons to believe that players like Matt Harvey, Cody Allen and Jonathan Lucroy will bounce back. As I said above, they are trying to give themselves a chance to be good in 2019 without taking any risks that could haunt them from 2020+, when they think their farm system will be supplying most of their key players.

As for the stadium, I am not sure what’s going on with negotiations, because we have other writers covering that side of the story. (Follow Alicia Robinson for stories like this.)

As for Trout, no one knows for sure, but I think he’s going to end up signing an extension and will stay. The Angels have treated him well and he likes playing for them, and they’re most likely going to offer him a ton of money. If he believes they’re in position to be competitive in the long run, which is what they’re trying to do, that may be enough.

Q: If Eppler adds anyone else, are you figuring it’ll be on the fringes of the roster (bullpen depth, bench depth, etc.) or does he have one more one-year deal in him? (I’m thinking Gio Gonzalez could be had for cheap at this point and will be an innings-eater at worst) -Job Ang

A: I would be surprised if they signed anyone else significant at this point, considering where they are with the payroll.

Q: I’m sure (Jo) Adell will get a spring training invite . What are the chances of him playing RF if he plays out of his mind . Can’t be any less productive than what we got from right last year . -Robert Cholico

A: I expect Adell to make his major league debut sometime in 2019. It may not be until September, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he’s up sooner. Opening day might be a stretch, but it’s happened before.

Q: How do you feel about a trade regarding Calhoun and prospects for Kluber? Jo Adell would not be part of the trade. -Don Gregory

A: I don’t think there’s any combination of prospects the Angels could send the Indians without Jo Adell and/or Griffin Canning that would make this work for the Indians.

Q: What do the angels expect to do with their 40 mil of cap space? -Robbie Lamb

A: The luxury tax limit has nothing to do with the Angels budget. They spend what they want to spend, regardless of what the luxury tax limit is. Clearly, there is no industry expectation to spend to that limit, because only about three or four teams a year do.

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1 hour ago, Angelsjunky said:

LOL at "Calhoun and prospects for Kluber." Kluber is one of the five best pitchers in MLB. Calhoun is, at best, a major league average outfielder, thus "prospects" would be a ton.

Who wrote they answers to this? Very on the point, in my opinion.

That would be me. You can see the byline on the web site.

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2 hours ago, Angelsjunky said:

LOL at "Calhoun and prospects for Kluber." Kluber is one of the five best pitchers in MLB. Calhoun is, at best, a major league average outfielder, thus "prospects" would be a ton.

Who wrote they answers to this? Very on the point, in my opinion.

click the link!!

that goes for all of you 

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2 hours ago, IEAngelsfan said:

Hey, I'm very reluctant to click a link so I can be taken to a midget porn site.................Whew! Clicked and no midgets!

Yeah, no midgets, but what porn site did you go to?  And is your computer still operating in spite of the viruses?

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