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Who Do You Trade?


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Just looking at the SLC roster and there is obviously going to have to be some hard decisions at some point. 

Taylor Ward at age 25 in his 5th season in the minors and putting up his best numbers (.294 .417 1.011 OPS 50 BB 65 K) but he has no position on the MLB team.  3B is effectively covered by La Stella and Fletcher, the OF is stuffed with Upton, Trout, Calhoun, and Goodwin with Adell and Marsh coming from AA, and 1B is covered by Pujols large salary for 2 more seasons.  Add to that he's not really decent defensively at any of these positions and I am not sure where he fits into the Angels plans.  It also doesn't help that he's never performed at the MLB level when given the chance.  I really wish catching was still an option for him as there zero competition there and they could suffer his offensive struggles if he could call a good game, frame well, and control the running game.  Ward, to me, seems like an obvious trade candidate.

Jared Walsh who has that unique ability to play a position and pitch as a lefty reliever.  Like Ward, he is 25 and entering his 5th season in the minors.  Unlike Ward, Walsh has defended well as a 1B, hits lefthanded and was not completely overmatched in his brief amount of MLB at bats (.250 .294 .607 OPS).  Additionally, for what it's worth, he is putting up an even better season than Ward at AAA (.310 .421 1.015 OPS) with some decent relief thrown in (7 games 7 IP 9 H 3 ER 2 BB 5 K 3.86 ERA 1.571 WHIP).  With Bour floundering again (.181 .280 .651 OPS, 0 for his last 13 with 6 K's), I think Walsh replaces him as Pujols' platoon partner while, at the same time, giving them a lefty arm to trot out late or eat an inning or two in a blowout.

Michael Hermosillo who, at age 24 and parts of 7 seasons in the minors, is also a part of that outfield logjam.  Hermosillo has some tools but his overall numbers suggest a 4th OFer (in 3 season at AAA 123 G .268 .351 .824 OPS 23 SB 7 CS ).  I wouldn't mind trading him something, anything, but I'm not sure how much value he would have individually...at best he's an add-in with higher rated prospect if they attempt to snag pitching.

Matt Thaiss, while not tearing up AAA, has made some strides in demonstrating more power and shown position versatility in moving across the diamond to 3B.  Overall, though he's not untouchable and could be a piece of trade to bring back some SP.  That being said, no move HAS to be made on him at the moment and he could be left to continue to develop in AAA if not moved in a deal.

Patrick Sandoval (22), Jaime Barria (22), and Jose Suarez (21) are young, cost-controlled SP that pretty much round out the talent at SLC.  None of them have dominating stuff but Barria looks like he could hang with the MLB hitters (3.74 ERA 1.292 WHIP 114 ERA+), Suarez, while too new to rate overall, held his own in a tough PCL (3.18 ERA 1.271 WHIP in 5 starts), and Sandoval is just getting a taste of AAA.  I think they're not untradeable but would likely only be included in a trade for an impact SP.

Brandon Marsh is young and talented and, along with Adell, really the only thing of interest at Mobile.  With Trout a fixture in CF for the next decade, and Adell the heir apparent in RF, is Marsh our next LF?  While Adell is on the fast, March is making a more steady progression through the minor, mostly due to injury as opposed to talent, and with Pujols' contract up at the end of 2021, you can definitely see a scenario of Marsh moving to LF and Upton taking over at 1B, with occasional starts in LF, for his last season under contract.  While not as "off-limits" as Adell, Marsh is valued and would likely only be included in a trade for a big, impact player.

That's kind of it...the rest of the potential talent is in low minors (Adams, Soto, Maitan, Yan, Soriano, Alvarado, Swanda, Knowles, Jackson, Wilson, Deveaux, Uceta, Rivas) and not close enough to make a blip on the radar.

 

 

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There's a lot of moving parts there.  Some of those guys you listed are going to develop into good major leaguers, and some not so much.  The ones that likely will, would be coveted by other teams in negotiations and those are precisely the ones you don't want to give up. 

Ward - No team is going to pay much for him.  26 year olds that hit well in AAA but don't have a defensive home and have floundered at the major league level don't carry inherent value.  But there's reason to believe he would hit for power and get on base, even at the major league level.  I really do think he can become a platoon 1B and LF, while also being the emergency 3B and C.  There's more value to this team than there is to other teams.  I think I'd just let this one play out.

Walsh - Walsh is trying to piece together a major league career that hasn't been done before, which is that of a bench bat and relief pitcher.  Because there's no precedent, it's difficult to assess his current value or future value.  I'm not opposed to trading him, but my gut for now says hold onto him just in case he develops far enough o become a legitimate two-way player at the top level. 

Michael Hermosillo - He's right where he needs to be, in AAA getting AB's, on the comeback trail from hernia surgery.  Hermosillo clearly won't be a starting OF for the Angels, unless something truly unexpected occurs.  But no one expected him to be a starting OF anyway.  Having said that, because of his loud tools, Hermosillo could become a really good 4th OF.  He'd be a solid defender at all three positions, would be a good pinch runner, he can hit with some serious pop and he's got a good approach at the plate (everywhere except MLB so far).  He's the exact kind of player you want as the 4th OF.  If another team wants to deal for him, sure, but as far as I can tell, other teams don't target backups typically.  So again, probably more value to the Angels. 

Matt Thaiss - He's made himself into a legitimate third baseman.  Too bad it happened just a year too late now that Tommy The Star has arrived.  But Tommy's value is at an all-time high, and he's only under contract one more year, and Thaiss has options.  So there shouldn't be any problem with La Stella being the starting 3B next year with Thaiss in AAA waiting for his turn.  Other teams might want him, but unless they're willing to pay the price of a young starting major league 3B, I wouldn't bother trading him, not unless Tommy signs an extension.  On the other hand, perhaps La Stella is dealt in the off-season for much needed pitching and thus, Thaiss takes over at 3B, at least with Fletcher and serves as the part time 1B when Ohtani isn't DHing and Pujols is.  I'm not opposed to trading La Stella or Thaiss, but I get the feeling if the Angels kind of just let it play it out, they should get value here either way.  So I wouldn't trade him just yet.  Wait until the offseason and then reassess. 

Sandoval-Barria-Suarez - The Angels biggest issue isn't depth anymore as much as it is quality of pitching.  Ohtani and Canning are a start for next year, but beyond those two they need upside and depth.  Upside to go in the front of the rotation, depth to fill out the back of the rotation.  Barria is legitimately a #4 starter in the big leagues and is only 22 years old.  When he bounces between AAA and the majors, he never finds any sort of rhythm.  Just leave him up and let him pitch.  But Suarez and Sandoval are both youngsters with options.  Keep them in AAA unless trading them gets you the starter you want, which doesn't seem logical on the surface but you never know.  I'd spend money on bringing in the upside pitchers this team needs, not prospects. 

I'm not trading Brandon Marsh.  His value hasn't reached its peak yet and quite frankly, I don't think Upton's legs will stay under him for much longer before he needs to move to part time DH or 1B.  

I realize that I'm saying don't trade to pretty much all of them, but it's not because I don't think they should be traded.  I just think the overall direction of the team lacks clarity right now.  Wait until the end of the year and then start making some trades if necessary.  Otherwise, just it play out. 

Edited by Second Base
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I thought that Marsh projected as a RF with that strong arm?

Upton is here through 2022.   I can't see Pujols playing ANY 1B after 2020, and maybe just a start per week at 1B in 2020.    I see Upton moving to 1B after Marsh is promoted for good, which should be no later than post-2020 ASB. 

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6 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Matt Thaiss - He's made himself into a legitimate third baseman.  

Okay, what's the report on Thaiss' defense at 3B?  Ward obviously couldn't progress there past a certain point before they decided to move him to the OF.  Is he looking better than Ward?  What about Thaiss' bat compared to Ward and how it might play at the MLB level?  Eerily, Ward and Thaiss have the same exact numbers at MLB this year (1 for 11 with a 2B and no walks).  

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3 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

I thought that Marsh projected as a RF with that strong arm?

Upton is here through 2022.   I can't see Pujols playing ANY 1B after 2020, and maybe just a start per week at 1B in 2020.    I see Upton moving to 1B after Marsh is promoted for good, which should be no later than post-2020 ASB. 

Ohtani is your DH from now on so Pujols likely only gets DH starts when Ohtani gets his day off between his pitching and hitting.

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I think Calhoun is realistically our only trade piece that would get us quality pitching in return.

Guys like Adell, Rengifo, and Fletcher have value, but I'd like to think we're not willing to part ways with them.

I'm sure any NL contender would love to have Calhoun off the bench. He can hit in the pitcher's spot and possibly hit a double or home run, then play defense via double switch.

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53 minutes ago, mulwin444 said:

Okay, what's the report on Thaiss' defense at 3B?  Ward obviously couldn't progress there past a certain point before they decided to move him to the OF.  Is he looking better than Ward?  What about Thaiss' bat compared to Ward and how it might play at the MLB level?  Eerily, Ward and Thaiss have the same exact numbers at MLB this year (1 for 11 with a 2B and no walks).  

Thaiss has a good enough arm with quick release, great glove, below average lateral movement, is average-ish coming in, has decent instincts and extremely good reaction.  Put it all together and he's a slightly below average defensive third baseman at present.  Similar to David Freese a few years back.  He's raw, but the glove, arm and reaction all point toward a future.  Give him a year or two and we could see an above average third baseman.  

By contrast, Ward's arm was better than Thaiss', but had a longer release and wasn't as accurate.  Ward had better lateral movement than Thaiss too.  The part about Ward that hasn't made him passable as a third baseman has simply been his instincts, reactions and glove.  He showed no instinct as a third baseman, mostly because he'd played catcher his whole life.  His reactions just weren't there.  Maybe it's because of a lack of experience, but it just wasn't happening.  And finally the glove.  You'd suppose moving from catcher would indicate the Ward could handle a ball in the dirt, but he really couldn't.  With Thaiss, he's handled the ball in the dirt, probably partly due to his time as a catcher in college and a 1B in the minors. 

With Ward, the frame, tools and athleticism were all present, but he just couldn't develop into a third baseman.  With Thaiss, the tools and athleticism are present and he's already developed quite a bit further than Ward did in a fraction of the time.  Sometimes it's a fit and sometimes it isn't.  With Ward, it wasn't a fit.  With Thaiss, it is. 

As for their hitting, Thaiss can't match Ward's power, nor his speed on the base paths.  But across enough AB's, you'd see that Thaiss has better plate discipline and can use the entire field.  He's also got what scouts call "a good head on his shoulders" which is simply to say he's a hard worker and doesn't try to do too much.  The learning curve of major league pitching doesn't figure to be as steep for Thaiss as it does for Ward, but that's largely dependent upon everyday at bats being available for him. 

I think end of the day, Thaiss ends up being a starting 3B that hits .270/.350 with 40 doubles and 10-15 homers.  Remember James Loney for the Dodgers?  Like him, but at third base, and part time first base. 

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I don't see Ward/Thaiss ever moving ahead of Fletcher, Rengifo, or La Stella on the depth chart, and unfortunately, I don't think Ward and Thaiss have much trade value.

I think the Angels would be well served to have Ward/Thaiss try catching again, and have La Stella spend more time at first base.

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1 hour ago, mulwin444 said:

Ohtani is your DH from now on so Pujols likely only gets DH starts when Ohtani gets his day off between his pitching and hitting.

That is 50% of the time though, assuming they do the game before, game he is starting, and game after schedule that they were doing last season.

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I don't really see any deals at the deadline. Cahill & Harvey won't get anything at this point. I think they will be released soon. LaStella's value was never any higher before he got hurt. He could be a trade piece in the off season. Bour might fetch a ml roster filler. After yesterday, i doubt anyone will take Lucroy. I think Bour & Lucroy are one losing streak away from being dumped, as their deals are up at the end of the year. Garcia could be traded, but i doubt it. Brian Goodwin same as Garcia. All of these players mentioned will be gone after the end of the season, except La Stella. I think Eppler will continue the same approach. Building the farm, and using  free agency to fill holes. His off season goals will probably a catcher and Starting pitchers.

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Scotty pretty much covered my view, with a few added thoughts.

I would try to trade Goodwin once he comes back from injury and insert Hermosillo as the 4OF. Like Scotty I really like Herm as the 4OF of the future, at least until the Knowles/Deveaux/Adams cohort arrives in a few years.

The Angels likely only have room for one of Thaiss, Ward, and Walsh long-term, but Scotty well pointed out the fact that they all have limited usefulness and trade value, so unless someone approaches Eppler "dying to have Jared Walsh," these three will all probably stick around with frequent flights between Utah and Cali, until one of them separates himself from the pack. Thaiss is the most likely to stick, especially if the Angels dont extend La Stella after next year. Ward and Walsh will eventually run out of options and be traded for cash considerations or a fringe prospect.

At some point we'll see some outfield prospects traded. Adell is on the cusp and could hold his own in the majors right now and will be starting no later than 2020. Marsh is maybe a year behind and should be ready later in 2020, 2021 at the latest. Knowles, Deveaux, and Adams are probably 2022-23, Alex Ramirez sometime after that. No idea how all that plays out...I think a lot depends on how good Adell and Marsh are. 

Eppler won't trade any of the pitching--it is too rarified a commodity--unless it is a lesser pitcher packaged for a better one. Pitchers like Gatto, Luis Pena, Jesus Castillo, Jose Rodriguez are all trade fillers. But obviously Canning, Suarez, Barria, and Sandoval won't be traded, and the Angels will want to see how Madero, C Rodriguez, Soriano, Rivera, Aquino, Bradish, Hernandez etc develop before considering trading them.

On one hand Eppler must be a bit disappointed. At the beginning of the year he was hoping the Angels would either be solid wildcard contenders and buyers or if they're where they are now--fringe contenders--or worse, and have a group of players to trade in Cahill, Harvey, Allen, La Stella, Goodwin, Garcia. Goodwin might have some value, but the rest are pretty much no longer trade candidates for a variety of reasons.

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48 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Ward's arm was better than Thaiss', but had a longer release and wasn't as accurate.  Ward had better lateral movement than Thaiss too.  The part about Ward that hasn't made him passable as a third baseman has simply been his instincts, reactions and glove.  He showed no instinct as a third baseman, mostly because he'd played catcher his whole life.  His reactions just weren't there.  Maybe it's because of a lack of experience, but it just wasn't happening.  And finally the glove.  You'd suppose moving from catcher would indicate the Ward could handle a ball in the dirt, but he really couldn't.  

It's a shame Ward can't just slide back to catcher as we have nothing there on the farm and it would get him more ab's with the bug club.

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Would Ward have a future elsewhere as DH?    He's got the hitting tools and baserunning.

Madero is a sleeper now, with his increased velocity and solid first two months in AA, although struggling recently.   Did something change in June for him?   League hitters figured him out?   Just a slump?    He is still only 22.

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This is how I picture it playing out. 

2020: The Angels end up signing Gerrit Cole and Zack Wheeler and employ a six man rotation to help save Ohtani's arm.  Cole, Ohtani, Wheeler, Canning, Heaney and Barria/Suarez (riding the SLC to Anaheim express).  La Stella, Fletcher and Rengifo are share time at 2B and 3B, with La Stella also getting starts at 1B when Pujols is DHing and Ohtani isn't.  Adell will be in RF, Trout in CF and Upton in LF.  Angels win second wild card. 

2021: Pujols will enter into forced retirement of sorts.  The Angels can't keep him on the roster, he isn't performing, but he doesn't want to be relegated to the bench with the Angels legitimately contending, so he's bought out and gone, at least from the 25 man roster.  Thaiss is at 3B, Rengifo at 2B, Fletcher at UT and Upton at 1B.  Some days Upton is at DH and Fletcher is in the lineup.  Trout is flanked in the OF with Adell in LF and Marsh in RF.  Angels win the division. 

2022: Soriano and Rodriguez break into the rotation.  Cole, Ohtani, Wheeler, Canning, Soriano and Rodriguez.  Angels win the division and World Series. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Second Base said:

This is how I picture it playing out. 

2020: The Angels end up signing Gerrit Cole and Zack Wheeler and employ a six man rotation to help save Ohtani's arm.  Cole, Ohtani, Wheeler, Canning, Heaney and Barria/Suarez (riding the SLC to Anaheim express).  La Stella, Fletcher and Rengifo are share time at 2B and 3B, with La Stella also getting starts at 1B when Pujols is DHing and Ohtani isn't.  Adell will be in RF, Trout in CF and Upton in LF.  Angels win second wild card. 

2021: Pujols will enter into forced retirement of sorts.  The Angels can't keep him on the roster, he isn't performing, but he doesn't want to be relegated to the bench with the Angels legitimately contending, so he's bought out and gone, at least from the 25 man roster.  Thaiss is at 3B, Rengifo at 2B, Fletcher at UT and Upton at 1B.  Some days Upton is at DH and Fletcher is in the lineup.  Trout is flanked in the OF with Adell in LF and Marsh in RF.  Angels win the division. 

2022: Soriano and Rodriguez break into the rotation.  Cole, Ohtani, Wheeler, Canning, Soriano and Rodriguez.  Angels win the division and World Series. 

 

I salute your optimism...hope the Angels do indeed have enough money to sign both Cole and Wheeler...and that they'd choose us over other contenders who would be bidding as well. 

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18 minutes ago, mulwin444 said:

I salute your optimism...hope the Angels do indeed have enough money to sign both Cole and Wheeler...and that they'd choose us over other contenders who would be bidding as well. 

Initial estimates indicate the Angels will clear like 50 million off the books from Calhoun, Harvey, Cahill, Lucroy, Allen, etc...

After player raises and arbitration the Angels will likely have 35 million to spend. Adell obviously fills the hole in RF, they have more infielders than they know what to do with. That just leaves pitching. Cody Allen was the first time Eppler spent on a bullpen asset and serve seem how that worked out. Every other reliever he's gotten for cheap. So that just leaves starting pitching. 

I figure Cole is going to command something similar to Pat Corbin this last year, which is 23 million a year (6/140). Wheeler is one of those guys who is just a step away from dominating, like he did last year. His FIP indicates positive regression to a mid-rotation starter. I think the Angels could get him for 3/36. It's about what Happ got from the Yankees, except Happ's numbers were better, but he's older. 

I think adding Cole, Wheeler and Ohtani to the starting five gives the Angels enough upside to win a lot of ball games.

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46 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

Wheeler's FA price tag is probably lower, with him giving up a lot more hits and HRs this season (1.38 higher ERA), although the K's/BBs (over 3/1) and durability (6 innings/start) are still solid enough.

Does he have the same stuff that he had a year ago?   That's the big question.

Wheeler's FB velocity is at a career high.   His FIP is at 3.65.   Fans are going to look at his ERA and think he's crap, but most of the smarter teams likely view him as the most underrated potential FA.   

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10 minutes ago, Inside Pitch said:

Wheeler's FB velocity is at a career high.   His FIP is at 3.65.   Fans are going to look at his ERA and think he's crap, but most of the smarter teams likely view him as the most underrated potential FA.   

Good point, and while I was thinking that the ERA and HRs allowed might send the price lower, teams are fixated today on velocity and spin rates.  

That is why I think the Barrias still have a place in MLB.   Imagine facing nothing but heat for a few days, and then facing Barria's mixture of pitches.   Those pitchers will never totally go away, if they have solid command of at least three pitches.

I do worry that Cole/Boras could send the price tag to as high as upper 20s per season, even $30 million/season.  Would Arte walk away in that case? 

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