Chuckster70

Could the Angels build a Washington Nationals type rotation this offseason?

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3 minutes ago, totdprods said:

It's more that 5/$85m is a lot for someone like Wheeler, not that the Angels couldn't afford it. I think if we were spending another $90m after Cole, I'd rather spread it around by way of two SPs, or a SP and relief/offensive help.

What if we went down to $71M for 4yr? I think i'm just at the point where we need to go after the big arms and no more spreading money around for guys like Cahill, Harvey and Allen. Give money to the guys that are proven to be good.

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10 minutes ago, totdprods said:

^^^ this is what I'm hoping for. Time is now, bump the payroll way up for two years by way of some big pitching adds, hold onto prospects, and let Cozart, Pujols, Upton come off the books to ease things with kids stepping in.

Just not sure Arte will be willing to go there with money, or that Eppler will be able to hold onto the prospects. I worry it'll be something in-between...enough boost in payroll for some help, but still a need to trade.

Yeah man.  I mean, *IF* we signed Cole + Ryu (or Wheeler), and along with the return of Ohtani, we are probably adding 400+ IP of quality SP pitching.  When you consider that most teams probably aim for 950IP from their SPs, that's a great starting point.  We have some very interesting arms in the lower minors (Soriano, Rodriguez, Yan, etc), but it'll take a few years for them to reach the majors.  This is why we need SP now.

I expect Adell to be a significant contributor for us in 2020, and maybe even Marsh by season's end.  Our OF is basically set talent wise for quite some time.  Our infield looks fairly good too.  Catching in a disaster, but that's why I say sign Grandal.

I think the path to contention is clear, but it's just a matter of Arte's willingness to go above the LT limit for ~2 years (once the Cozart + Pujols deals are off the books).  As long as he is, I think we're in fantastic shape.

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Pitching is the key to winning.  You can never invest too much for good pitching.

I'd prefer the Angels signing Maldonado for C and then bringing in three good starting pitchers to immediately turn things around for this team.

Cole, Wheeler and then signing Hamels or making a trade for the third starting pitcher is the way to go.

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The way I see it, the Angels are only 5 pitchers, a catcher, a 3B, a 1B and a few bull pen pieces, a new pitching coach and an entirely new coaching staff (minus hitting coaches and Jose Molina) away from going all the way.

 

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22 minutes ago, Warfarin said:

Yeah man.  I mean, *IF* we signed Cole + Ryu (or Wheeler), and along with the return of Ohtani, we are probably adding 400+ IP of quality SP pitching.  When you consider that most teams probably aim for 950IP from their SPs, that's a great starting point.  We have some very interesting arms in the lower minors (Soriano, Rodriguez, Yan, etc), but it'll take a few years for them to reach the majors.  This is why we need SP now.

I expect Adell to be a significant contributor for us in 2020, and maybe even Marsh by season's end.  Our OF is basically set talent wise for quite some time.  Our infield looks fairly good too.  Catching in a disaster, but that's why I say sign Grandal.

I think the path to contention is clear, but it's just a matter of Arte's willingness to go above the LT limit for ~2 years (once the Cozart + Pujols deals are off the books).  As long as he is, I think we're in fantastic shape.

No disagreements here except Grandal. Loathe the idea of signing him. And though I'd like to think signing two, even three, top arms is achievable, it seems a very tall order. 

It's really hard to say because we don't really know two variables that will wildly affect this offseason...1) what will Arte spend and 2) is Billy's job really on the line

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2 minutes ago, totdprods said:

No disagreements here except Grandal. Loathe the idea of signing him. And though I'd like to think signing two, even three, top arms is achievable, it seems a very tall order. 

It's really hard to say because we don't really know two variables that will wildly affect this offseason...1) what will Arte spend and 2) is Billy's job really on the line

Reasons why I think Arte will spend more this offseason:

1.  He fired Ausmus and replaced him with Maddon after just one year, showing he wants immediate change

2.  Fletcher has said he has seen signs suggesting they will spend more

Again, the key to me though is we just can't trade from our farm system.  We have to keep building it.  Sign significant contract to deals, give up a 2nd round pick, but keep all the prospects you already have and just help them keep getting better.  The combination of significant FA signings + internal growth/promotions is what should ultimately help us become a good team over a good stretch of time.

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the Nats got away with having a pretty poor bullpen in part because of how good their starters were.  We have a much better bullpen than they do actually.  

I don't think Ohtani is going to get enough innings to equal Stras but the sum of the parts of Cole, Ohtani, another solid starter, Heaney (could easily replicate Sanchez' numbers 166ip, 3.85 era, 2.5 WAR) and our 5th starter options could come very close in terms of overall production.  

I think one of the keys to this is Canning.  First of all, can he stay healthy?  If he can, I think he's capable of 150+ innings and a sub 4 era.  That's where we could make up some ground.  

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12 minutes ago, Warfarin said:

Reasons why I think Arte will spend more this offseason:

1.  He fired Ausmus and replaced him with Maddon after just one year, showing he wants immediate change

2.  Fletcher has said he has seen signs suggesting they will spend more

Again, the key to me though is we just can't trade from our farm system.  We have to keep building it.  Sign significant contract to deals, give up a 2nd round pick, but keep all the prospects you already have and just help them keep getting better.  The combination of significant FA signings + internal growth/promotions is what should ultimately help us become a good team over a good stretch of time.

This is where I was raising question about what Eppler's job security really is. If he really thinks he has to produce a winner this season or he's out of a job, then Brandon Marsh, Jose Soriano, Jeremiah Jackson, Jordyn Adams, and Hector Yan won't mean too much to him.

If those trades yield the desired results, he'll buy himself more time to figure out how to replace whomever he dealt. If they don't get him a new contract, it's someone else's problem. 

And this can be true regardless of what Arte spends. If Eppler isn't really under-the-gun, and I hope he isn't, then yeah, ideally signing two-three SPs per any new Arte willingness to spend should seal the deal. But if Eppler has to make the playoffs this year, no matter what they spend, we could still see a major trade for another bat or arm to put them over the top in 2020.

Personally, I hope for something much more measured, and for Eppler to be evaluated this coming season and the one following, before considering a change.

Edited by totdprods

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1 minute ago, totdprods said:

This is where I was raising question about what Eppler's job security really is. If he really thinks he has to produce a winner this season or he's out of a job, then Brandon Marsh, Jose Soriano, Jeremiah Jackson, Jordyn Adams, and Hector Yan won't mean too much to him.

If those trades yield the desired results, he'll buy himself more time to figure out how to replace whomever he dealt. If they don't get him a new contract, it's someone else's problem. 

And this can be true regardless of what Arte spends. If Eppler isn't really under-the-gun, and I hope he isn't, then yeah, ideally signing two-three SPs per any new Arte willingness to spend should seal the deal. But if Eppler has to make the playoffs this year, no matter what they spend, we could still see a major trade for another bat or arm to put them over the top in 2020.

While Arte gets a lot of crap around here, I do think he's reasonable.  I don't think he will tell Billy, "if you don't make the playoffs, you're done."  I think what he does want to see, though, is that he can put together a winning product on the field AND start graduating prospects who can be significant contributors to the team.

For example, if we win, say, 85-87 games, Adell graduates and plays well, and some of the other young talent we have takes a step up, I think that'd buy him more time on the whole.

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1 minute ago, Warfarin said:

While Arte gets a lot of crap around here, I do think he's reasonable.  I don't think he will tell Billy, "if you don't make the playoffs, you're done."  I think what he does want to see, though, is that he can put together a winning product on the field AND start graduating prospects who can be significant contributors to the team.

For example, if we win, say, 85-87 games, Adell graduates and plays well, and some of the other young talent we have takes a step up, I think that'd buy him more time on the whole.

I agree - I'm hoping all of this 'last chance for Eppler' stuff is just rampant media speculation, fanbase overreaction, and maybe a little bit of front office/organizational bluster being blown out of proportion. 

He hasn't produced the results we'd like to see and there have been misses, but as a whole I still think he's done a phenomenal job, nor do I think we're any worse for wear than if he'd pursued a different route. 

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1 minute ago, totdprods said:

I agree - I'm hoping all of this 'last chance for Eppler' stuff is just rampant media speculation, fanbase overreaction, and maybe a little bit of front office/organizational bluster being blown out of proportion. 

He hasn't produced the results we'd like to see and there have been misses, but as a whole I still think he's done a phenomenal job, nor do I think we're any worse for wear than if he'd pursued a different route. 

Yeah, I largely agree.  He has made some missteps in terms of FA contracts, but he inherited a team with a lot of onerous contracts and absolutely zero farm system.  In 4 full years now, he has overhauled the farm system significantly.  Our overall organizational talent level, when you look at MLB all the way down to the DSL, has improved significantly.  

But, I would say 5 years is probably enough time to fully evaluate Billy.  So, I'd say if we are still showing poorly at the end of this year, yeah, that's probably it.  If, though, our MLB team shows significant improvement, and our minor league prospects continue to show good improvement, then he should be retained, whether or not we make the playoffs.

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1 minute ago, Warfarin said:

Yeah, I largely agree.  He has made some missteps in terms of FA contracts, but he inherited a team with a lot of onerous contracts and absolutely zero farm system.  In 4 full years now, he has overhauled the farm system significantly.  Our overall organizational talent level, when you look at MLB all the way down to the DSL, has improved significantly.  

But, I would say 5 years is probably enough time to fully evaluate Billy.  So, I'd say if we are still showing poorly at the end of this year, yeah, that's probably it.  If, though, our MLB team shows significant improvement, and our minor league prospects continue to show good improvement, then he should be retained, whether or not we make the playoffs.

I’d still like to believe that Eppler’s primary objective, that both he and Arte agreed upon when he got the job, was not contending, but rebuilding the farm and all of the internal processes and systems needed to continually produce a sustainable source of talent - redoing the coaching staffs, re-establishing a presence internationally, creating a data/analytical system to measure everything in the org, and adding every value piece they could find to the big-league club.

But that doesn’t sound exciting to the average fan. And they didn’t want the optics of a rebuild, they wanted to still bring in 3m fans and the money that comes with it, so Eppler just dropped whatever payroll he had on recognizable vets to feign contention to casual fans, and maybe recoup some of those value adds at the deadline. 

We should be now starting, or maybe starting the second year of three or four, of a phase where Billy’s work on the farm should be eligible for real evaluation. If these prospects establish themselves this year, specifically the arms, Thaiss, Rengifo, and the lower-level guys make an impression in A Ball, it should be fair to say Mission Accomplished, even if the Angels don’t make the playoffs in 2020. 

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38 minutes ago, True Grich said:

The way I see it, the Angels are only 5 pitchers, a catcher, a 3B, a 1B and a few bull pen pieces, a new pitching coach and an entirely new coaching staff (minus hitting coaches and Jose Molina) away from going all the way.

 

My as well give up on 2020 now then with that outlook.

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1 minute ago, Chuckster70 said:

My as well give up on 2020 now then with that outlook.

You can't take everything I say seriously... c'mon.

We have Ohtani... four pitchers and the rest should do it.

Edited by True Grich

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2 minutes ago, Warfarin said:

While Arte gets a lot of crap around here, I do think he's reasonable.  I don't think he will tell Billy, "if you don't make the playoffs, you're done."  I think what he does want to see, though, is that he can put together a winning product on the field AND start graduating prospects who can be significant contributors to the team.

For example, if we win, say, 85-87 games, Adell graduates and plays well, and some of the other young talent we have takes a step up, I think that'd buy him more time on the whole.

I think Arte believes that personalities can influence and/or significantly impact results.  Personally, I am a big believer in that.  Pretty much all teams are using numbers to determine who they sign and what to expect, but the x factor that can't be measured is people.  How they motivate.  How they communicate.  

I wasn't happy that Ausmus got fired because I thought his in game strategy was lacking, I was happy he got fired because the team recognized that the way the players responded to his leadership wasn't working.  They didn't hire Joe Maddon because he bats the pitcher 8th or brings in so and so in this matchup.  

They hired him for his personality.  That's where value comes from on the managerial side these days and even if Arte was pissed, I think it was very smart to recognize that the current environment wasn't right.  

I'm always going to believe in the number because they matter but it's not the only thing that matters.  I have no doubt that Joe and Billy will be on the same page from a numbers standpoint.  Joe will implement the baseball philosophy that the two of them agree should be implemented but hopefully what Joe brings is the rest of the stuff that isn't that.  That's what the Arte is seeing, and that's what he wants.  We'll find out if Joe is the right guy for that.  He has been before.  I wouldn't expect much change from Ausmus to Maddon in terms of what he did on this play or that play or what pitcher he brought in against this guy or that guy.  The difference will come in areas and ways that we never saw before and won't see now.  Hopefully.  

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2 minutes ago, Dochalo said:

I think Arte believes that personalities can influence and/or significantly impact results.  Personally, I am a big believer in that.  Pretty much all teams are using numbers to determine who they sign and what to expect, but the x factor that can't be measured is people.  How they motivate.  How they communicate.  

I wasn't happy that Ausmus got fired because I thought his in game strategy was lacking, I was happy he got fired because the team recognized that the way the players responded to his leadership wasn't working.  They didn't hire Joe Maddon because he bats the pitcher 8th or brings in so and so in this matchup.  

They hired him for his personality.  That's where value comes from on the managerial side these days and even if Arte was pissed, I think it was very smart to recognize that the current environment wasn't right.  

I'm always going to believe in the number because they matter but it's not the only thing that matters.  I have no doubt that Joe and Billy will be on the same page from a numbers standpoint.  Joe will implement the baseball philosophy that the two of them agree should be implemented but hopefully what Joe brings is the rest of the stuff that isn't that.  That's what the Arte is seeing, and that's what he wants.  We'll find out if Joe is the right guy for that.  He has been before.  I wouldn't expect much change from Ausmus to Maddon in terms of what he did on this play or that play or what pitcher he brought in against this guy or that guy.  The difference will come in areas and ways that we never saw before and won't see now.  Hopefully.  

Right.  I think the biggest part of being a manager nowadays isn't really so much the tactical decision-making, as a lot of that is actually done by the FO, but rather, in being an excellent communicator.  Communicating to the players, to the FO, to the media, etc.  To me, this is one of Maddon's greatest strengths, and I do think he'll be an excellent fit in that regard.  

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OK, so forget my Ohtani can be Strasburg argument as @Dochalo illustrates Wheeler can fill that role. 😀

Cole > Scherzer (Scherzer is a beast, but Cole is younger, pitches more innings and has a higher K rate)

Wheeler - Strasburg (Wash. While you can argue Strasburg is the bigger name here, Wheeler has better stuff) 

Corbin > Ohtani (this one could go either way, but giving the edge to Corbin slightly)

Heaney or Canning - Sanchez

Heaney or Canning > over all of the Nationals 5th starters in 2019.

Plus with the better bullpen than the Nats. 

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2 minutes ago, Chuckster70 said:

OK, so forget my Ohtani can be Strasburg argument as @Dochalo illustrates Wheeler can fill that role. 😀

Cole > Scherzer (Scherzer is a beast, but Cole is younger, pitches more innings and has a higher K rate)

Wheeler - Strasburg (Wash. While you can argue Strasburg is the bigger name here, Wheeler has better stuff) 

Corbin > Ohtani (this one could go either way, but giving the edge to Corbin slightly)

Heaney or Canning - Sanchez

Heaney or Canning > over all of the Nationals 5th starters in 2019.

Plus with the better bullpen than the Nats. 

I like it!! 

I'm gonna reserve my playoff tickets.  

 

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4 hours ago, Ace-Of-Diamonds said:

back-loading only helps the actual payroll and does nothing to reduce the AAV, but could help Arte balance the books until Albert retires after the 2021 season.

Yes, that’s the point. Fletch said Arte cares primarily about the payroll, not the luxury tax. 

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58 minutes ago, Warfarin said:

Right.  I think the biggest part of being a manager nowadays isn't really so much the tactical decision-making, as a lot of that is actually done by the FO, but rather, in being an excellent communicator.  Communicating to the players, to the FO, to the media, etc.  To me, this is one of Maddon's greatest strengths, and I do think he'll be an excellent fit in that regard.  

I like Joe's balance of keeping the clubhouse just loose enough with solid on field focus, and also the balance between tradition and analytics.    That is exactly what this team needs.

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I wrote out a big thing but the reality is that its too early to speculate.  Could they, sure they could, if they are willing to bust the budget for a couple years.  The pieces are out there, we just have to go get them. 

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2 hours ago, Warfarin said:

Reasons why I think Arte will spend more this offseason:

1.  He fired Ausmus and replaced him with Maddon after just one year, showing he wants immediate change

2.  Fletcher has said he has seen signs suggesting they will spend more

Again, the key to me though is we just can't trade from our farm system.  We have to keep building it.  Sign significant contract to deals, give up a 2nd round pick, but keep all the prospects you already have and just help them keep getting better.  The combination of significant FA signings + internal growth/promotions is what should ultimately help us become a good team over a good stretch of time.

I think they’re gonna make a trade or two. One of the minor league OF and one of the major league infield group is gonna get traded probably for a starter but it could be for another position entirely. 
 

They still might sign two starters but I would bet against them acquiring a third. 
 

The prospect depth isn’t all to make the major league with the Angels, some will be moved to other teams. 
 

Marsh and Rengifo for instance for Boyd. Or something maybe similar that doesn’t involve one of these two.

Cozart and a prospect for Jeff Samardija.

Maybe more of blockbuster trade that shakes up the roster. Teams also go from worst to first all the time. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Hubs said:

I think they’re gonna make a trade or two. One of the minor league OF and one of the major league infield group is gonna get traded probably for a starter but it could be for another position entirely. 

They still might sign two starters but I would bet against them acquiring a third. 

The prospect depth isn’t all to make the major league with the Angels, some will be moved to other teams. 

Marsh and Rengifo for instance for Boyd. Or something maybe similar that doesn’t involve one of these two.

Cozart and a prospect for Jeff Samardija.

Maybe more of blockbuster trade that shakes up the roster. Teams also go from worst to first all the time. 

I agree - maybe not this winter, it could make more sense to save those bullets for the deadline and see how the team's doing, but looking at the next couple years, there will be a 40-man jam up. 
Now, obviously, there will always be things that change, and other players to DFA, but we're entering a timeframe where numerous guys become Rule 5 eligible each winter, and while the Angels might have room to protect them they might not have time or depth to play them. We also have very few key players leaving the next few seasons, either by FA or out-of-option roster crunches. 

I posted this before, but here's a basic glance at baseline, internal, controlled talent we have the next few seasons. Leaving out anyone who might wind up on the chopping block - Kevan Smith, Felix Pena, Noe Ramirez, Nick Tropeano, etc. Players in their walk year in gold, players in their out-of-options year in blue they will have to have stuck in the bigs by end of this year, or they're potentially out. New 40-man additions, either because they have to be added for R5 protection or will likely join the club that season, in green.
 

  • 2020:
    • Rotation: Ohtani, Heaney, Canning, Sandoval, Barria, Suarez, Peters
    • Bullpen: Robles, Buttrey, Bedrosian, Anderson, Middleton, Cole, maybe Bard, maybe Ortega
    • Infield: Stassi, Pujols, Fletcher, Rengifo, Simmons, La Stella, Thaiss, Ward, Cozart, Walsh, Jones, probably Rojas
    • Outfield: Upton, Trout, Goodwin, Hermosillo, Adell, maybe Lund
    • DH: Ohtani
      • The Angels will gain a little bit of IF and OF reinforcement with Adell, Jones, and maybe Rojas all likely to join the 40-man at some point in '20. The bullpen might see some help in Ortega.
      • The Angels will also lose some of their IF depth via FA at end of year, with Cozart almost definitely gone, and likely one of La Stella/Simmons.
  • 2021
    • Rotation: Ohtani, Heaney, Canning, Sandoval, Barria, Suarez, Peters, Soriano, Yan, Rodriguez
    • Bullpen: Robles, Buttrey, Bedrosian, Anderson, Middleton, Cole, Beasley, Mattson, maybe Ortega, Bard
    • Infield: Stassi, Pujols, Fletcher, Rengifo, Ward, Thaiss, Walsh, Jones, probably Rojas, maybe Soto, maybe Maitan
    • Outfield: Upton, Trout, Goodwin, Hermosillo, Adell, Marsh, maybe Lund
    • DH: Ohtani
      • The Angels are on track to add a ton of upper-end pitching talent - Soriano, Yan Rodriguez, Mattson, and Beasley's versatility - important as our best SP and two best RPs hit FA.
      • The Angels might have two potentially dynamic infielders to add - Soto's glove, discipline, and speed might give him good UT IF opps, Maitan could boom or bust.
      • Marsh is a significant add to the outfield.
      • Pujols' mega-deal comes off payroll. 
  • 2022:
    • Rotation: Ohtani, Canning, Sandoval, Barria, Suarez, Peters, Soriano, Yan, Rodriguez, Bradish, Aquino
    • Bullpen: Buttrey, Anderson, Middleton, Cole, Beasley, Ortega, Mattson, Hernandez, Bard, Pina
    • Infield: Stassi, Fletcher, Rengifo, Ward, Thaiss, Walsh, Jones, Rojas, Soto, Maitan, Stefanic
    • Outfield: Upton, Trout, Goodwin, Adell, Marsh, Hermosillo, Knowles, Deveaux, maybe Lund, Martinez
    • DH: Ohtani
      • This is the year in which our current crop of talent has to have established itself, otherwise they fall into out-of-options danger. 
      • Some dynamic arms add in to either the pen or rotation, too far out to project now - but Hernandez, Aquino, Pina, and Bradish all have a real shot at impacting the club.
      • This is ironically the first season Adell would need to be added by to be protected - Knowles and Deveaux could be big sparks by now, Martinez likely a safe 4th OF.
        • Either way, a lot of outfield talent hits the MLB club in Upton's final year...


Looking at our core for the next three seasons, the talent we expect to add to the 40-man or establish itself from within, and the relatively few players we're losing, should really be seen as an encouraging sign of the work Eppler has done. These next three years are really what he's built us towards. Don't let the PTSD of Dipoto/Reagins or the deluge of injuries cloud you too much, or lead you to think kneejerk actions need to be made this offseason. Go look at what we have to work with as a baseline the next three seasons. We're in good shape - health permitting. 

We're entering a period where the minor leagues will provide MLB depth by way of potentially high-impact prospects every offseason now, and realistically, if things are going right, we will not have space for every prospect. Our farm and 40-man were thin enough to protect guys like Luis Madero, who was barely out of A+ Ball (and maybe not even) when he was protected, because we actually had room. Some of these guys might be in a similar position in a couple years, but there won't be enough reason to justify adding say D'Shawn Knowles as our 7th best OF if he has Trout, Adell, Upton, Marsh, Hermosillo/Lund, and Goodwin all still ahead of him, even if he is still a strong prospect. 

Since this year seems to have a sense of urgency, taking three of those names in green and turning them into a SP with some control makes a good bit of sense still. Eppler just needs to choose those three very carefully.

PS - after 2022 is the year in which Jordyn Adams, Jeremiah Jackson, Will Wilson, William Holmes, Alexander Ramirez, and the '19 drafted college pitchers will need to be added, so it doesn't stop there. 
Paris and Kochanowicz after 2023.

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