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Which position players do you want the Angels to target in free agency this year?


mmc

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None of ‘em. Pretty happy with our position players - all that money should go at starting pitching. 

Grandal is at the age where all catchers step back. Go look at Posey, Molina, McCann, Mauer, Iannetta, any good catcher, they almost all come down to earth around 30-32. He’s likely going to be a league average catcher any day now and Eppler finds that all the time cheaply.

I wouldn’t complain if we looked into Rendon or Donaldson though, particularly if Cole isn’t looking like he’s a real option. 

Edited by totdprods
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Mathis.

No really.

Well, not the real Mathis. Id love grandal.... but tots is right. Hes getting a bit old. The offense is pretty decent. If we cant find a bat first catcher (how many are there?) Id like to see us target a defense first one. Someone who can work well with the staff. Lets be honesty they need all the help they can get...

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9 hours ago, Tyler said:

Grandal is such a terrible character guy. Please no to him.

I'm curious about this statement as I've not heard this and would be interested to find out what you know.  Is he a clubhouse cancer?  Milwaukee hasn't played great this year even though barely own the 2nd WC.  Could he have something to do with that?  

He's the obvious choice for a position player upgrade.  

If for some reason the Angels absolutely whiff on every possible pitcher then they could go big on Rendon and make a trade for some pitching.  That would be sort of painful though because then they'd be moving from a pool of players I'd like to see them keep like Fletcher, Rengifo, La Stella, and Thaiss.  

It's always risky to make a move that requires a corresponding move.  I'd rather see them overpay a bit for pitching. 

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7 minutes ago, Dochalo said:

I'm curious about this statement as I've not heard this and would be interested to find out what you know.  Is he a clubhouse cancer?  Milwaukee hasn't played great this year even though barely own the 2nd WC.  Could he have something to do with that?  

He's the obvious choice for a position player upgrade.  

If for some reason the Angels absolutely whiff on every possible pitcher then they could go big on Rendon and make a trade for some pitching.  That would be sort of painful though because then they'd be moving from a pool of players I'd like to see them keep like Fletcher, Rengifo, La Stella, and Thaiss.  

It's always risky to make a move that requires a corresponding move.  I'd rather see them overpay a bit for pitching. 

I haven't heard anything about Grandal and a character issue either...

Rendon would be fun if we aren't having luck with the pitchers (Donaldson would too for less commitment) but the big worry I have going that route is I'm not sure the players displaced (Fletcher, Rengifo, La Stella, Thaiss, Ward) bring us the frontline ace we really need. I'm confident we can put together a good trade that doesn't hurt the MLB team in order to land a controllable #2-#3 who has some potential ace upside, but we really need two of those, or a true #1 and another complimentary vet/controlled arm. 

I'll echo my Grandal concerns from another thread here...I'd max out at like a 2/$18m for him, something like what Moustakas gets, but that's about it.

My nerves aren't specific to him, but rather catchers in general. They're so much more prone to injury, in my opinion, either fluke instances like Lucroy, or nagging things they play through all season which affect performance due to the fact catchers are so few, or the much higher risk of concussions, of which they're at higher risk, and could turn career-ending. That's the inherent risk with ANY catcher - but when you tie potentially tens of millions annually and for several years, it feels like you're playing with fire. And even if they remain healthy, I feel they're simply prone to lessened-production years again, simply due to the demand of the position. That's why I like when Eppler finds someone like Maldonado, who brought all of the extremely high-value intangibles a premium catcher like Realmuto or Grandal or a Molina possesses, the stuff that really matters from a catcher regardless of their offensive prowess, and gets it without all the financial risk.

Additionally, he'll be 31 next year. Practically every good catcher hits their first regression slide right at that age. Now, the really good, elite catchers find a way to creep back up as their careers go on...but across the board, most of your good catchers take a noticeable step back around 30-32 - usually a real underwhelming, sub-par, crash of a season, and then they, the really good ones, creep back to league-average numbers as their career wanes.

  • Posey
    • Age 26-30, he was a consistent .800-820ish OPS, 120-130 OPS+, 5 WAR catcher
    • Age 31-32 (this year), he's .730 OPS, 100 OPS+, 1-3 WAR catcher
  • Molina
    • Age 28-30 reaches his peak - .840 OPS, 130 OPS+,  5 bWAR catcher
    • Age 31-35 (last year) he's dipped to a .730 OPS, 99 OPS+, 2 WAR catcher 
  • Grandal
    • Age 25-30 (this year) he's at .791 OPS, 114 OPS+ a 2-3 WAR catcher
  • McCann
    • Age 23-29, he was a .810 OPS hitter, 115 OPS+, 3 WAR catcher
    • Since, age 30-35, down to .730 OPS, 98 OPS+, 1 WAR catcher
  • Iannetta
    • Age 25-31, .780 OPS, 108 OPS+, 2-3 WAR catcher
    • Age 32-36 (this year), .719 OPS, 88 OPS+, replacement level catcher
  • Mauer
    • Age 22-30, .872 OPS, 135 OPS+, 5 WAR catcher
    • Didn't catch again (except for his last game) afterwards, and was a .746 OPS, 105 OPS+ guy at 1B

Pretty much every above-average catcher becomes a league-average catcher around 30-32. We'd be really rolling the dice with Grandal, whose bat and peak wasn't as good as some of these examples. If we're gonna wind up with a league-average catcher, we'd just as fine going year to year with Lucroy/Maldonado/James McCann/Avila types until we find an above-average catcher before or entering his peak, and even then it's a risk. Realmuto is back to a below-average bat this year, .750 OPS, 95 OPS+ at age 28. It's one reason I like someone like Austin Hedges. He's at an age where his peak still could be ahead.

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Also, there was a lot of interest in Wilson Ramos last offseason - completely different skill set from Grandal, but age caught up with him this year and now the Mets can’t seem to even pawn him off to anyone. 

Multi-year deals for catchers over 30 seems too risky. We need that cash more for pitching.

Edited by totdprods
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48 minutes ago, Calzone 2 said:

DJ Lemahieu 

oops we already missed out on him. Probably the best free agent pick up this season. Plays three different infield positions, great leadoff hitter and is nails wRISP. 

I really liked LeMahieu last year too. Didn't expect him to become what he did, but really liked what he could've been at a minimum. Cozart screwed that up by basically already being 'that guy'. 

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22 minutes ago, floplag said:

Grandal is the obvious guy, but i feel like that ship may have sailed. 
Ill throw out another one, trade one of our MIF options for a C and put the money into Rendon perhaps?

This makes sense, but I have a real hard time seeing the Angels part with any of their current MIFs. 
Fletcher is just too damn good - too versatile, too great defensively, and is Eppler's wet dream when it comes to offensive profile - doesn't strike out, a lot of contact, just enough power. 
Rengifo looks like he'll be at a minimum another Erick Aybar, and with Simmons set to hit free agency next year, probably the heir apparent to SS should the Angels somehow choose to part with Simba. 
And if they don't, Rengifo is still too valuable in a UT IF/2B role, with Fletcher filling the other. 

I just can't get behind the notion of trading La Stella this winter. I'd be surprised if anyone was willing to part with anything substantial for a 31-year old career PH with one year of control remaining, no matter how good he was this year. 
They're so much better off keeping him as our 2B/3B/1B next year. He's cheap, possibly a borderline elite bat and if not, still has the same Eppler wet dream offensive profile (no strike outs, plus contact, now plus power). 
If the Angels by some miracle still signed Rendon or Donaldson, I think we'd see La Stella move over to 2B or even 1B, replacing Bour's at-bats, with Fletcher becoming the super-sub across nearly every field position, and Rengifo stashed in AAA for insurance. 
Then, if La Stella is still producing and the Angels need to clear room for Fletcher or Rengifo, he can be traded July 2020 and still probably reap a return comparable to what he'd get this winter. 
He'd have less control, but he'd impact a contender (which ups the price a little), and would have had another few months to prove his 2019 was no fluke.

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8 minutes ago, totdprods said:

This makes sense, but I have a real hard time seeing the Angels part with any of their current MIFs. 
Fletcher is just too damn good - too versatile, too great defensively, and is Eppler's wet dream when it comes to offensive profile - doesn't strike out, a lot of contact, just enough power. 
Rengifo looks like he'll be at a minimum another Erick Aybar, and with Simmons set to hit free agency next year, probably the heir apparent to SS should the Angels somehow choose to part with Simba. 
And if they don't, Rengifo is still too valuable in a UT IF/2B role, with Fletcher filling the other. 

I just can't get behind the notion of trading La Stella this winter. I'd be surprised if anyone was willing to part with anything substantial for a 31-year old career PH with one year of control remaining, no matter how good he was this year. 
They're so much better off keeping him as our 2B/3B/1B next year. He's cheap, possibly a borderline elite bat and if not, still has the same Eppler wet dream offensive profile (no strike outs, plus contact, now plus power). 
If the Angels by some miracle still signed Rendon or Donaldson, I think we'd see La Stella move over to 2B or even 1B, replacing Bour's at-bats, with Fletcher becoming the super-sub across nearly every field position, and Rengifo stashed in AAA for insurance. 
Then, if La Stella is still producing and the Angels need to clear room for Fletcher or Rengifo, he can be traded July 2020 and still probably reap a return comparable to what he'd get this winter. 
He'd have less control, but he'd impact a contender (which ups the price a little), and would have had another few months to prove his 2019 was no fluke.

True, but it is a position of quality proven depth and were going to have to give up something we maybe dont want to to get the quality we want back so, it seems the logical spot. 
For example, if you could spin one of them in some form of deal to SD for one of their top rated young catchers, that seems like a plausible option.   Just tossing that out there for context. 

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8 minutes ago, floplag said:

True, but it is a position of quality proven depth and were going to have to give up something we maybe dont want to to get the quality we want back so, it seems the logical spot. 
For example, if you could spin one of them in some form of deal to SD for one of their top rated young catchers, that seems like a plausible option.   Just tossing that out there for context. 

I agree that, broadly speaking, we're deep enough with mid-infielders to deal from that surplus. 
But once you get a closer-up view, all three of them have a lot of specificity that mark them down for important roles in 2020, especially if the Angels (for whatever reason) decide to part ways with Simba. 

And while yes, Simmons is likely here for the long-haul, I don't think it'd be wise to move on from a possible SS heir for him quite yet, especially with his propensity for getting hurt as an Angel.

I also think that on their own, or as a headlining piece, neither Fletcher or Rengifo, or La Stella will really get anything that exciting back in a deal. They have value, but don't have the high-impact/high-upside to bring back anyone with significant upside that we need.
Marsh really is the most attractive piece to achieve that.

Also, I know you were just spitballin' an example, but San Diego is pretty well stocked at mid-infield now. Tatis, Machado, Urias, Kinsler is under contract in '20... a lot of talent in A/A+ ball that's not far away either. 

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Also:

  • Yasmani Grandal: .256/.372/.505/.877 with 16 doubles, two triples, 19 HR, 51 RBI, 55 BB, 79 K - 28% CS% (17 of 43), .995 fielding percentage, 2 WAR for a cost of $16m. 
  • Angels catchers: .257/.342/.406/.747 with 17 doubles, one triple, 11 HR, 48 RBI, 38 BB, 61 K - 26% CS% (22 of 62), .993 fielding percentage, 0.5 WAR for a cost of around $4.5m.

Basically, is the fifteen more walks and eight more HR Grandal hit worth $12m? 
Keep in mind the way above-average production the Angels have received with Trout, Ohtani, La Stella, and Fletcher, which more than makes up the offensive difference between Angels catchers and Grandal.

They're fairly comparable without regards to the non-quantifiable intangibles or accounting pitch-framing. 

BTW, I still wish we had traded Matt Shoemaker home to Michigan for James McCann before both were non-tendered.
40% CS%, 3 WAR, .293/.347/.479/.826 and an All-Star appearance, all for $2.5m, controlled through '20. 

Detroit would have avoided signing one or both of Ross/Moore, the Angels would've gotten their catcher, and if Shoe had still gotten hurt, at least he would've been pitching for his hometown team.

Edited by totdprods
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10 minutes ago, totdprods said:

Also:

  •  Yasmani Grandal: .256/.372/.505/.877 with 16 doubles, two triples, 19 HR, 51 RBI, 55 BB, 79 K - 28% CS% (17 of 43), .995 fielding percentage, 2 WAR for a cost of $16m. 
  • Angels catchers: .257/.342/.406/.747 with 17 doubles, one triple, 11 HR, 48 RBI, 38 BB, 61 K - 26% CS% (22 of 62), .993 fielding percentage, 0.5 WAR for a cost of around $4.5m.

Bingo 

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30 minutes ago, totdprods said:

I agree that, broadly speaking, we're deep enough with mid-infielders to deal from that surplus. 
But once you get a closer-up view, all three of them have a lot of specificity that mark them down for important roles in 2020, especially if the Angels (for whatever reason) decide to part ways with Simba. 

And while yes, Simmons is likely here for the long-haul, I don't think it'd be wise to move on from a possible SS heir for him quite yet, especially with his propensity for getting hurt as an Angel.

I also think that on their own, or as a headlining piece, neither Fletcher or Rengifo, or La Stella will really get anything that exciting back in a deal. They have value, but don't have the high-impact/high-upside to bring back anyone with significant upside that we need.
Marsh really is the most attractive piece to achieve that.

Also, I know you were just spitballin' an example, but San Diego is pretty well stocked at mid-infield now. Tatis, Machado, Urias, Kinsler is under contract in '20... a lot of talent in A/A+ ball that's not far away either. 

The fact remains that we have 4 guys, for 3 spots.  Either way i was just tossing that out as an " if" option.  

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