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OC Register: Angels looking to trade market to find help for 2019 and beyond


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ANAHEIM — As the Angels approach the MLB trade deadline on the fringes of the playoff race, Billy Eppler is still looking to make upgrades that could help the team in 2019 or 2020.

The Angels’ general manager said Thursday they are “absolutely” in the market to add players, either pitchers or position players.

“I would say our preference is to lean heavily in the direction of people that have control after this season,” Eppler said. “That’s not an absolute, but that is more where our sightline is focused. I am having conversations continually and will continue to have conversations with clubs.”

That means the Angels aren’t as likely to be involved in the bidding for starting pitchers like the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, the Reds’ Tanner Roark or the Mets’ Zack Wheeler (who is currently injured).

The Angels opened play on Thursday trailing by 5-1/2 games in the race for the second American League wild-card spot, needing to leapfrog at least four teams to get a playoff spot. It would not make sense for them to use much of their prospect capital on a player who would only help them this year.

However, pitchers such as Matthew Boyd, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Robby Ray or Chris Archer all would remain under control next season, too, so they could be Angels targets.

The prospect cost is, of course, higher for a player with more control, though.

Eppler also said the Angels aren’t likely to trade away major league players who have control beyond this season, even if they fall further out of the race before the deadline.

“Our direction is an upward angle, so if we were to entertain (trading anyone) with control that would take us away from that upward angle, that’s a non-starter,” Eppler said. “It has to continue our progression for us to (trade anyone) who has control.”

The Angels’ only impending free agents are pitcher Matt Harvey, pitcher Trevor Cahill and catcher Jonathan Lucroy. The team holds an option on outfielder Kole Calhoun, so the Angels consider him to be under control.

RAMIREZ TO BULLPEN

The Angels have decided to continue JC Ramírez’s rehab assignment with the idea of bringing him back as a multi-inning reliever.

Eppler said that considering “how our club has been unfolding,” they believe they can get more value from Ramírez having him pitch multiple innings every two or three days instead of trying to get five or six out of him every fifth day.

Ramírez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, will continue his rehab assignment with Class-A Inland Empire. He can pitch in the minors until July 30, when his rehab assignment will expire and he’ll need to be activated.

Ramírez has allowed 32 runs in 36 innings so far in the minors, mostly at Triple-A. He said he’s feeling healthy, but he still has some work to do to be more effective, including waiting for his velocity to come back. He’s been at 90-93 mph, instead of the 95 mph he pitched at before he was hurt.

“The slider is getting there,” Ramírez said. “I need more consistency. … The velocity, you can’t force that. That will come.”

LUCROY RETURNS

Lucroy rejoined to the Angels after having his broken nose repaired. He said he feels “great,” although he’s expected to be out a few more weeks.

Lucroy also commented on Noé Ramírez’s three-game suspension, which stemmed from him hitting Jake Marisnick with a pitch nine days after Marisnick’s collision with Lucroy. Manager Brad Ausmus was also suspended for one game, on Wednesday night.

“The ball got away from Noé,” Lucroy said. “If we’re going to hit a guy on purpose, doing it with Noe Ramirez throwing 89 wouldn’t be the guy, for me. But it happened and it’s over with. Guys got suspended and fined and everything else. And our manager is back tonight, which is good. It should be over with on both sides. It should be. It better be.”

ALSO

The Angels recalled Jake Jewell and optioned Luke Bard, who would have been unavailable after throwing 46 pitches on Wednesday night. …

Keynan Middleton, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, still has “a little more” than two weeks left before he will be activated, Eppler said. Middleton is pitching at Triple-A Salt Lake.

UP NEXT

Angels (TBA) at Mariners (RHP Mike Leake, 7-8, 4.60), Friday, 7:10 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM

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They’re gonna be buyers and they’re gonna grab a good arm with control, then they’ll sign another good arm this winter. 

High time to cash in on some of our prospects, especially after Fletcher, Rengifo, and soon Adell will have carved out everyday roles. 

We only need one or two of Walsh, Rojas, Ward, and Thaiss to stick - one everyday, one bench. 

Edited by totdprods
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11 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

I honestly don't know who they'd trade. I mean I suppose they could package Barria, one of Ward/Walsh, and maybe someone like Castillo or Madero for a pitching upgrade, but it wouldn't be that much of an upgrade.

I tier up our ‘expendable’ prospects like this:

  • One of Ward/Thaiss (or Rojas/Walsh as a lesser tier)
  • One of Jones/Marsh (last shot for Jones to have value, Marsh has huge value)
  • One of any number of the A/A+ arms not named Soriano or Yan, maybe Bradish (though I could part with Yan or Hernandez it the returning arm was legit)
  • one of our lower-level OFs, Deveaux, Adams, Knowles, Uceta, Rivas, Sala
  • maybe one of Lund, Hermosillo, Martinez, Hunter if a team liked what they saw
  • one of Madero, Barria, Sandoval, Wantz again, if only for a legit MLB arm with control

Not one from each tier, that would be overkill, but you could pluck one name from a few tiers, and have a pretty damn good package to offer up for an arm, and so long as it was only one name from each of those, you wouldn’t compromise the farm. 

It’s kind of weird - I think we all here sometimes really overvalue our prospects, but also undervalue them often too. There’s a lot to like on the Angels farm. I think they could get a deal done for a Stroman, Ray, or Boyd without hurting us too badly - but no guarantees. I do think there’s a chance though. 

Edited by totdprods
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20 minutes ago, HaloComputerGeek said:

So my first takeaway from Eppler's comments was confirmation that Calhoun is not going anywhere this year. He probably won't be back but he'll finish the season with us.

This makes no sense.

Why not trade him if he won't be back?

 

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I’m not buying the fact that they consider Calhoun a “controllable piece”. Goodwin can cover RF when we trade Calhoun until Adell is ready. The only reason why Eppler would consider Calhoun a controllable piece not to move could be because no one else wants him. That will change when the deadline comes around and playoff teams really see where they line up.  Any playoff team would call about Calhoun. Even the Yankees could use him as a bench option/defensive replacement come playoff time. Specially with their short porch in RF. I’d be shocked If Calhoun isn’t dealt when the deadline comes around. We shouldn’t be buyers at all. 

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1 hour ago, Vlad27Trout27 said:

I know that people will disagree with me, but Sanchez has a buy- low Candidate could be an interesting trade. He has an high spin rate on his Curve, above average on his Fb, and maybe remove the Sinker. 

Archer is another buy low candidate. 

Do you really want the possibility of having another Matt Harvey or Trevor Cahill?  We should only be trading for starters that are both currently good and project to be good for the foreseeable future.

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8 hours ago, HaloComputerGeek said:

@Jeff Fletcher when you wrote Eppler considers Calhoun under control does it mean they are unlikely to trade him?

And if they don't trade Kole what are the chances they pick up his $14 M option?

I think they are unlikely to trade him, but unlikely doesn’t mean they won’t. 

Basically he said any move they make while 2019 is in play has to make them better in 2019. Once 2019 is out of play, any move has to make them better in 2020.

That means you don’t trade anyone who could help you in 2020 for someone who may not help till 2021+.

As for the option, that is a whole different discussion.

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This makes zero sense to me.  I mean the theory is of course sound, but who fits that description that we could actually get? 
Why not trade Calhoun unless youre planning to pick up the option, he has value (how much is debatable but he has some regardless) ... why let perhaps your most valuable chip walk and get nothing when teams are in need of OF help?
All of this sounds like lip service to me, expect nothing but some lesser relievers or more projects. 
I hope im mistaken.

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I think all Eppler really said (applied to Calhoun) is Calhoun, with the possibility that he could help in 2020, will not be traded unless it returns something that would also help in 2020 or beyond.

If no such deal develops and he doesn’t get traded, we will see comments like “I told you they were not going to trade him!  Eppler even said so!”

 

 

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6 hours ago, floplag said:

This makes zero sense to me.  I mean the theory is of course sound, but who fits that description that we could actually get? 
Why not trade Calhoun unless youre planning to pick up the option, he has value (how much is debatable but he has some regardless) ... why let perhaps your most valuable chip walk and get nothing when teams are in need of OF help?
All of this sounds like lip service to me, expect nothing but some lesser relievers or more projects. 
I hope im mistaken.

What's not to get? Calhoun has value to the team now - they have a better chance of winning the second wildcard with him than without him, even if only marginally. Plus there's the whole clubhouse/team chemistry/weNasty thing.

The only way the Angels trade him now is if they lose the next five games or so AND Eppler can get a solid pitcher for him.

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