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Angelsjunky

Which upgrade package would you choose?

Which upgrade package would you choose?  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Which upgrade package would you choose?

    • Cole, Wheeler, d'Arnaud
    • Cole, Odorizzi (or Hamels), Grandal
    • Strasburg, Wheeler, Grandal


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I'm having a hard time with this one. 

I really want Cole, but I'm leaning towards the third option (and voted for it).

All three would cost over $60M in AAV, so are probably outside of the Angels price range.

Edited by Angelsjunky

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9 minutes ago, CanadianHalo said:

Don’t like Grandal or you just want to see that money spent on pitching instead?

Neither really...I like Grandal just fine and acknowledge we need help at catcher, but his likely contract worries me and I think that money is better used elsewhere, be it rotation, cheaper catching, bullpen, depth...

He's at an age where he's going to be seeking a 3-4 year deal, it's his last chance for big money, and he'll likely get $10-$16m AAV as a result. That's not an insignificant amount of money for a team that's already expecting to spend big on long-term pitching, and still has several big contracts on the books. We'll have more needs in coming years too, even with contracts coming off the books. Possible extensions for Ohtani, Adell, Marsh, Fletcher, etc.

For Grandal, it's his age that worries me most - he'll be 31, and virtually every single good catcher with plus bat and plus defense goes through a significant decline around 30, 31, 32...some of the really good ones rebound later in their careers, usually in more of a part-time role.
Buster Posey, Yadi Molina, Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, Russell Martin, Jonathan Lucroy...pretty much any catcher I can think of that was at least very good before the age of 30 goes through a significant regression right around the age Grandal is at. 

His BB% was abnormally high in 2019. His second half featured a .229 BA and a SLG of .398. I don't know if the Angels could expect him to maintain the OBP numbers he's recently produced, and I feel like there's a good chance his BA/SLG could drop further the next season or two as he hits that first catcher aging curve. There's just too much risk that the Angels wind up paying Grandal $14m AAV to put up a league-average, or worse, OPS+, something that they can obtain for much less in both years and millions. Feels like it would turn into the next contract we're counting down the days on really quickly. 

Preferably, the Angels track down a catcher who is a little younger via trade - Hedges, perhaps, or someone like Tucker Barnhart, who seems to be sort of Grandal-lite, and could improve the next couple seasons. I like d'Arnaud too - he doesn't have all the mileage of a full-time catcher and might be at a peak for another season or so, plus he has a bit of versatility. After that, my hope would be someone like Mike Zunino gets non-tendered. He had an awful year with Tampa, but has traditionally produced decent offensive numbers and provides great defense. A step further, I really think another 1-yr FA catcher by on someone like Jason Castro, a platoon with Avila or Maldonado or Cervelli and in-house options, could work out. 

Lucroy was disappointing, and Stassi even more so, but over the years, Eppler has consistently found decent catcher production very cheaply, much like the bullpen. I'd rather he spend 0-$5m for a 1-2-3 WAR catcher than $10m+ on a 3-5 WAR catcher. Catchers tend to get hurt often too. If he goes down, we're back to square one.

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If D'Arnaud rates decently enough at pitch framing and working with pitchers, then option #1.

He doesn't have as much wear and tear as Grandal does.     I can see D'Arnaud catching around 100-110 games, and hope Stassi can recover enough of his 2018 hitting success in order to catch the other 50-60 games.  

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