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A Brief (Recent) History of the Angels at the Deadline


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1 hour ago, mmc said:

Great post, though I think in 2017 you also have to include the fact that at the waiver deadline they picked up Upton and Phillips, their only real instance of buying since Eppler took over

Right, thanks. I added in a sentence.

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  • Angelsjunky changed the title to A Brief (Recent) History of the Angels at the Deadline
22 hours ago, Angelsjunky said:

While it is still almost two months until the July 31 trade deadline, talk has heated up as to what the Angels might do. It is clearly too soon to tell; while the Angels might seem to be sellers this year, they're also starting to play well, going 9-5 over the last 14 games to bring them to only three games below .500. They've got 29 games until the All-Star Break, which is the estimated time that Mike Trout will return--so one would think that will be when we have a better sense of whether the Angels buy or sell.

Here is everyone's fear, or at least anyone who has paid attention over the last decade: The Angels will neither be good enough to be clear buyers, nor bad enough to be clear sellers, and end up "kinda selling" or "kinda buying" - or, perhaps, standing pat. But again, we've got time to see how it all plays out.

I was curious, though, to go down memory lane and see what the Angels have done at the deadline in the past decade or so, or the "Post-Golden Age" Angels of Trout and Pujols, or Reagins-Dipoto-Eppler, if you'd rather. So here goes...

2020 (26-34): A truly weird season. The Angels were reeling at 12-24 at the end of August and were sellers, sending Tommy LaStella to the Athletics for Franklin Barreto, Jason Castro to the Padres for Gerardo Reyes, and Brian Goodwin to the Reds for Packy Naughton and Jose Salvador--not a great group of prospects, but possibly some useful pieces.

2019 (72-90): This could have been the most Angelsian of all Angels seasons. 45-46 at the ASB, the Angels went on a hot streak after - winning 5 in a row and 9 of 12 to reach 54-49 on July 24 and on the verge of contention, at least for the wildcard. They were neither buyers or sellers, their lone significant deadline deal being trading two low minors prospects for Max Stassi. They proceeded to collapse, going 18-41 the rest of the way to finish 72-90, their worst record since 1999. I suppose the lone saving grace is that their terrible finish did get them a top 10 draft pick, which they used on Reid Detmers - and so far, so good.

2018 (80-82): The Angels were 49-48 at the ASB, although already 14 GB the surging Astros and 9 GB the second wild card. They were sellers, but didn't have a lot of tradable pieces, swapping Martin Maldonado for Patrick Sandoval and Ian Kinsler for Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez. Sandoval has shown promise and may be an important starter or swingman for the next two years, but the two relievers were, overall, duds.

2017 (80-82): 45-47 at the ASB, and far behind the Astros (16.5 GB), but only 3 GB the second wildcard. The Angels were in limbo, sending only David Hernandez to the Diamondbacks for prospect Luis Madero, who is now in the Marlins organization (he pitched his first two major league games about a month ago, getting bombed in his second, and is back in the minors). The Angels also traded several lower tier prospects for Brandon Phillips and Justin Upton before the waiver deadline.

2016 (74-88): Far out of contention at the ASB with a 37-52 record, although the Angels won six in a row right after. But they remained sellers and made a couple August 1 deals, trading Hector Santiago to the Twins for Alex Meyer and Ricky Nolasco (for some reason), and Joe Smith for Jesus Castillo. Meyer is now out of baseball due to injuries and Castillo is in the Milwaukee organization.

2015 (85-77): After a seven-game win streak, the Angels were 54-40 a week after the ASB, 2 games ahead of the Astros for 1st in the AL West. They collapsed in the second half, going on an 11-26 run and falling out of playoff contention and a game under .500. They were lukewarm buyers, bringing in a few veteran players--Shane Victorino, David DeJesus, and David Murphy--for Josh Rutledge and a couple fringe prospects.  To make matters worse, they righted the ship and went 20-11 to finish the season, dropping in the Amateur Draft rankings, picking Matt Thaiss at #16 in the 2016 draft.

2014 (98-64): Despite a slowish start, the Angels were never more than 6 GB 1st place, and reached 1st and stayed there on August 16. It is the last time the Angels were in a clear-cut buying mode. They sent a package of prospects to the Padres--including Taylor Lindsey, RJ Alvarez, and Jose "The First" Rondon--for Huston Street and Trevor Gott. But then, they made a post-deadline trade that will forever live in infamy, sending Mike Clevinger to the Indians for Vinnie Pestano, one of the worst trades the organization has ever made. 

2013 (78-84): 5 games below .500 at the ASB and 10 games below by the deadline, the Angels were obviously sellers, but they only sent Scott Downs to the Braves for Cory Rasmus and Alberto Callaspo to the Athletics for former first rounder Grant Green. Another year without many sellable parts.

2012 (89-73): Trout's rookie year and Pujols' first year, it was (supposed) to be a return to glory for the flailing franchise, after the infamous Big Splashes of Pujols and CJ Wilson--the best hitter and pitcher free agents of the offseason. They were a solid 48-38 at the ASB, just 4 GB the Rangers, and about as clear a case as a buyer as you could imagine. They sent a package of three prospects--including two of their best in Johnny Hellweg and Jean Segura--to the Brewers for their ace, Zack Greinke, who pitched well for them down the stretch, although not enough to get the Angels to the playoffs. Greinke left for free agency which, in turn, led to the Angels making a Big Splash (aka, panic move), signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year deal.

2011 (86-76): Something of a bounce-back year, the Angels were a solid 50-42 at the ASB, just a game behind the Rangers. The Angels answered by...doing nothing. In fact, from June 20 to Sept 29, they had zero transactions. One would think this would be the time to buy, but they didn't. Oh yeah, GM Tony Reagins "resigned" at the end of September.

2010 (80-82): A disappointing year due to losing much of the core of their perennial contending teams of the Aughties, and their first losing season since 2003. This, of course, led to the panic Big Splash of trading for Vernon Wells, especially after the team missed out on their top targets, Adrian Beltre and Carl Crawford. It was to be the first of three "albertross" contracts that would hobble the org for years to come. Thus, the Woeful Tale of the Angels in the 2010s.

Man, that was a depressing recap. This team has been bad for too long.

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Nice job AJ.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane.  

One you left out was probably one of the biggest deadline deal we made of the years on that list and kinda set the tone for years to come.  

In 2010 we were 7 games back on July 25th.  The day we traded Saunders, Corbin and Skaggs for Haren.  We were 8.5 games back of the WC at the time.   The year before we had traded for Kazmir.  

For me, that was really the beginning of the end.  The decimation of the farm had begun and it was the true indicator that Stoneman was no longer in charge.  Eddie Bane was essentially neutered around the same time.  Vlad was given a handshake and a pat on the but just before.  And as you mentioned, Wells soon followed.  And then Dipoto, and then Albert and then Hamilton.  

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6 hours ago, WicketMaiden said:

The biggest thing that stands out to me is just how awful the Angels have been at the deadline. Greinke and Stassi were wins, that's it in eleven years. Both totally outweighed by Vernon Bloody Wells of course. Maybe Perry will be better.

Upton was a win at the deadline. I’d say getting Sandoval for Maldonado is a win. 

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I would also like to point out that any time we've had a player of decent value to trade we've done so for someone as close to major league ready as possible.  Not for the best player on our board but the best player that could help as soon as possible.  Otherwise, when we trade a random piece we might get some guy in rookie ball.  

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10 minutes ago, cals said:

Haren wasn’t worth what was given up but at least he was pretty good and was a good dude while was here.

I liked Haren a lot.  It was an odd deadline move considering that we weren't in the race.  It was obviously meant to get his next two year because Arte had big plans.    That 2012 team looked great sans that dreadful bullpen and then just underperformed.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Dochalo said:

Nice job AJ.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane.  

One you left out was probably one of the biggest deadline deal we made of the years on that list and kinda set the tone for years to come.  

In 2010 we were 7 games back on July 25th.  The day we traded Saunders, Corbin and Skaggs for Haren.  We were 8.5 games back of the WC at the time.   The year before we had traded for Kazmir.  

For me, that was really the beginning of the end.  The decimation of the farm had begun and it was the true indicator that Stoneman was no longer in charge.  Eddie Bane was essentially neutered around the same time.  Vlad was given a handshake and a pat on the but just before.  And as you mentioned, Wells soon followed.  And then Dipoto, and then Albert and then Hamilton.  

Damn, I missed that one - not sure why. I'll add it to the list. But yeah, a grim era (2010-13) as far as team moves that crippled the organization to the present. Maybe the end of 2021 will also be the end of that era, with Pujols off payroll.

Edited by Angelsjunky
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9 hours ago, Stradling said:

Upton was a win at the deadline. I’d say getting Sandoval for Maldonado is a win. 

Ok I nearly agree on Sandoval, jury is still out for me but looking good so far, but Upton? Upton has given the Angels 3.2 bWar in total, and will have been paid $78m by the end of this season by the Angels for that 3.2 plus whatever else he gives this year (currently 0.5 bWAR), and with another $28m next year, I don't see how that can be a win. But then maybe it is just our personal definition of 'win' that's the difference here.

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1 hour ago, WicketMaiden said:

Ok I nearly agree on Sandoval, jury is still out for me but looking good so far, but Upton? Upton has given the Angels 3.2 bWar in total, and will have been paid $78m by the end of this season by the Angels for that 3.2 plus whatever else he gives this year (currently 0.5 bWAR), and with another $28m next year, I don't see how that can be a win. But then maybe it is just our personal definition of 'win' that's the difference here.

But Upton came over at the deadline to get us over the hump and get us a wild card.  Once we acquired him he was our best hitter down the stretch, but as we all know it wasn’t enough.  

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