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Trout and then what?


Torridd

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The only outside the org major FA they should make every effort to sign over the next several years, assuming repeating his 2018 season, has to be Gerrit Cole.

Cole, Ohtani, Barria, Skaggs, Heaney, Canning, and Suarez would be a great 1 through 7 to have in 2020. 

Remember that the luxury tax threshold needle is only moved about $12 million up with Trout's 2021-2030 contract, compared to his 2015-2020 contract.   And the actual payroll is only moved up $2 million/season from Trout's 2019 and 2020 contract seasons.

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I feel like this team is headed in a better direction than any time in recent memory. This year will be somewhat tanky, but after this we start bringing up young kids to fill in gaps. Our farm has been improving, and is getting to the point where it can finally again start supplementing areas of the major league team so we don't have to spend big money on every position. I agree with AO's take on starting pitching - I almost posted something along those lines in the Keuchel thread. So, a solid rotation, plus Trout, Ohtani, Upton, Simmons, and Adell on the field/in the lineup. If we fill a few more holes with internal guys, this team is starting to look very solid. When Pujols comes off the books in a few years, we can also use that money to fill in more holes.

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8 minutes ago, Torridd said:

I'm happy Trout was extended, but I'm really concerned about the direction of the team. I wonder if we'll see any other big moves for the next several years.

I feel the complete opposite and am more happy about the direction of the team since the Stoneman era, maybe ever.

Eppler has a plan. It involves cultivating a power-house farm system.

Does that preclude "big moves for the next several years?" Not for the right move. Gerrit Cole, for instance. But Eppler won't sacrifice sustainable excellent in the 2020s for big splashes that have a high risk of belly flopping. That era is done.

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It will be interesting to see if they make a turn more towards 'rebuilding' or 'competing' now that Trout's contract is secured. They could very easily just stay the course too. 

But, without any real pressure to win right now, they could explore moving guys like Skaggs, who is near free agency and maybe not quite worth banking on given his inconsistencies, or Simmons, who would still be a very attractive piece with Machado now tied down. The Angels can live relying on Fletcher, Cozart, or Rengifo at SS for the near-future and bank on a SImmons trade to return some much-needed pitching prospect depth. The PR buzz around Trout's extension also makes it a lot easier for the Angels to turn around and do a 'soft' rebuild - they're only a year or two away from the next wave landing, so it's not like punting 2019 and selling off Simmons or Skaggs at the deadline would hurt them that much, especially if they got back near MLB-ready talent.

Trout's contract didn't come cheaply, but it also didn't come with any real crazy extra cost - he's not making $40m+ AAV - so they may have a lot more budget clarity to pursue guys more aggressively.

But they also don't need to. Trout signed here in part because he was happy with the direction the Angels have been headed - building a strong farm, spending as much as they could without harming their flexibility, and just happened to get stung by injury.

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20 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

The only outside the org major FA they should make every effort to sign over the next several years, assuming repeating his 2018 season, has to be Gerrit Cole.

Cole, Ohtani, Barria, Skaggs, Heaney, Canning, and Suarez would be a great 1 through 7 to have in 2020. 

Remember that the luxury tax threshold needle is only moved about $12 million up with Trout's 2021-2030 contract, compared to his 2015-2020 contract.   And the actual payroll is only moved up $2 million/season from Trout's 2019 and 2020 contract seasons.

This.  I think we'll have around 25-30mil or so to spend next offseason, give or take a little.  

I think the one guy we should target is indeed Cole.  Having Cole + Ohtani atop the rotation would be amazing - twin aces.  The added benefit, of course, is that we'd be taking him away from our biggest divisional rival, too ;)

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2 minutes ago, Blarg said:

This is the only sensible option. The minor leagues are finally producing recognizeable talent, they just need to tap into it. 

This organization is truly heading in a fantastic direction.  I am all for the youth movement we have, and I suspect we'll see a good chunk of our young guys make their debuts this year.  I agree with the comment that 2019 might be a "tanky" type year, but I fully expect this team to be a full-fledged contender in 2020 and beyond.  

One of the best parts of having Trout signed, too, is that we no longer have to here "WE NEED TO SIGN PLAYER XYZ OR WE'LL LOSE TROUT!!" type comments.  Thank God.

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15 minutes ago, krAbs said:

I feel like this team is headed in a better direction than any time in recent memory. This year will be somewhat tanky, but after this we start bringing up young kids to fill in gaps. Our farm has been improving, and is getting to the point where it can finally again start supplementing areas of the major league team so we don't have to spend big money on every position. I agree with AO's take on starting pitching - I almost posted something along those lines in the Keuchel thread. So, a solid rotation, plus Trout, Ohtani, Upton, Simmons, and Adell on the field/in the lineup. If we fill a few more holes with internal guys, this team is starting to look very solid. When Pujols comes off the books in a few years, we can also use that money to fill in more holes.

And to/or ensure Ohtani and Simba also staying here upon FA.

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Just now, Angel Oracle said:

And to/or ensure Ohtani and Simba also staying here upon FA.

Ohtani for sure.  Simba will be an interesting decision.  He'll be 30 when his next contract is due and ready to enter his age 31 season.  As much as I like him, given Trout's deal and the fact that Ohtani will likely require a mega contract too, do we have the financial space to accommodate the kind of contract Simba wants?  How will his defense hold up over time?  I'm sure part of it will depend on whether we have any viable alternatives in the pipeline at SS, too.

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Just now, Angel Oracle said:

I have heard that Jerimiah Jackson may project as a 3B down the road.   He's some 3-4 years from the bigs anyway, though.

Livan Soto has defensive promise, but his hit tool is a definite question mark.   

Does Rengifo possibly project as a good SS?  Perhaps there's a future with Rengifo at SS, Jones at 2B, Jackson at 3B?

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I think this signals that Trout is on the same page with the whole organization and it’s plan for development. It lets the current crop of guys know that if they stick around and produce, the team will take care of them. It also signals to other players that the Halos will absolutely open the checkbook for the right players, as Arte has always said.

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25 minutes ago, Warfarin said:

Does Rengifo possibly project as a good SS?  Perhaps there's a future with Rengifo at SS, Jones at 2B, Jackson at 3B?

Personally, I see Rengifo more as an Izturis-type, and haven't quite bought into his hype yet. I'm looking at him and hoping he turns into a really good UT IF more than expecting an everyday infielder. 

I like Jones as a 2B, but even if he reaches the bigs in the next two years, think he may need another season or two before he really turns into something. Jackson, Maitain, Soto (who I really like) are too far off to really expect much for now.

Andrelton is maybe my favorite Angel - Ohtani is going to challenge that when he's back fully healthy - but I do think a potential trade could be given some thought, especially if a combination of some of the following occurs in 2019:

  • The pitching struggles or continues to deal with injuries, from the bigs down to rookie ball.
    • Especially if Skaggs, Heaney, Barria, Canning, or Suarez face major injury
  • Simmons' offense continues at its' current pace and doesn't take another step into an .800+ OPS, 125 OPS+ type bat.
  • Fletcher establishes himself as a .275/.335/.375/.710+ type hitter.
  • Any of the Correa, Seager, Story, Lindor guys signs an extension. 
  • Any of Ward, Rengifo, Jones, or Thaiss become either legit top prospects or everyday MLBers

As much as I love Simmons, if you can turn him into some legit pitching prospect depth, free up his money, find playing time for emerging prospects, and get 4-5 WAR from Fletcher annually at SS for league-minimum, it's probably the best move for the organization from a 2020-2030 viewpoint.

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3 minutes ago, totdprods said:

Personally, I see Rengifo more as an Izturis-type, and haven't quite bought into his hype yet. I'm looking at him and hoping he turns into a really good UT IF more than expecting an everyday infielder. 

I like Jones as a 2B, but even if he reaches the bigs in the next two years, think he may need another season or two before he really turns into something. Jackson, Maitain, Soto (who I really like) are too far off to really expect much for now.

Andrelton is maybe my favorite Angel - Ohtani is going to challenge that when he's back fully healthy - but I do think a potential trade could be given some thought, especially if a combination of some of the following occurs in 2019:

  • The pitching struggles or continues to deal with injuries, from the bigs down to rookie ball.
    • Especially if Skaggs, Heaney, Barria, Canning, or Suarez face major injury
  • Simmons' offense continues at its' current pace and doesn't take another step into an .800+ OPS, 125 OPS+ type bat.
  • Fletcher establishes himself as a .275/.335/.375/.710+ type hitter.
  • Any of the Correa, Seager, Story, Lindor guys signs an extension. 
  • Any of Ward, Rengifo, Jones, or Thaiss become either legit top prospects or everyday MLBers

As much as I love Simmons, if you can turn him into some legit pitching prospect depth, free up his money, find playing time for emerging prospects, and get 4-5 WAR from Fletcher annually at SS for league-minimum, it's probably the best move for the organization from a 2020-2030 viewpoint.

Certainly an interesting thought process.  How does Fletcher look defensively at SS?  He looked quite good at 2B, but not sure how he rates on the whole as a SS.

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Any other major free agent acquisitions or trades will undoubtably on the pitching side. Gerritt Cole is a FA next offseason, Trevor Bauer and Jacob DeGrom the year after that. And Bauer remember only supposedly wants one-year contracts, which to me is bizarre, but ok.

 

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Also, Fletcher is not a 4-5 WAR SS. Simmons bat has definitely been an asset, but his defense is so elite, that it gives him a huge bump. Fletcher's 2 WAR in 2018 was misleading, I think, he's probably getting a huge bump defensively for his work at multiple positions.

Fletcher would have to arguably equal Zack Cozarts 2017, because Cozart was likely the best SS defensively in the NL that year (Simmons being the best in the NL)...and had to hit to a .900+ OPS to get to 5 WAR.

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7 minutes ago, Warfarin said:

Certainly an interesting thought process.  How does Fletcher look defensively at SS?  He looked quite good at 2B, but not sure how he rates on the whole as a SS.

He's always been a shortstop first, but he has played there less as he'd advanced through the minors, likely because of Simmons of course. I haven't personally seen him enough at SS to give much insight - he's looked phenomenal at 2B and very good at 3B, so I would hope he'd be at least above-average at SS. No one will ever compare to peak-Simmons at SS - but that also includes age 30+ Andrelton Simmons. 

It comes down to $$$ and offense. If Simmons takes another step offensively, starts dropping 15-20 HR, walks 5%-10% more, which he certainly might, then locking him up becomes a big priority. 
If he sort of just plateaus offensively now, and expects way more than $15m AAV, then you have to at least consider the cost difference in what someone like Fletcher would give you. Especially if Simmons lands you at least one blue chip SP prospect.

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5 minutes ago, Jason said:

Trout is a lifetime Angel now, they still have Ohtani and the farm looks awesome. The future is bright. Should make recruiting FA's much easier now

This is truly a great time to be an Angels fan.  Look forward to buying more tickets and watching some games at the park.

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