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OC Register: Angels staying busy with trade talks, but Mike Trout isn’t going anywhere


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While the baseball world waits on free agent Shohei Ohtani to make his decision, Perry Minasian said the Angels are active – perhaps more than usual – in trade talks.

One player, however, is not a part of that.

“Mike Trout is not being traded,” Minasian said from the Winter Meetings on Tuesday. “One hundred percent.”

That’s no surprise for anyone who paid attention or made an accurate assessment of the situation.

First, the Angels under owner Arte Moreno have never shown the desire to rebuild, and a Trout trade would definitely signal a rebuild.

Beyond that, Trout has a no-trade clause. Even if he were to waive it, it would be difficult for the Angels to get difference-making talent in return because Trout is 32 and has seven years and about $250 million left on his contract.

With all that out of the way, the Angels still could make a trade to go the other direction, adding a player or players who can help in the short term.

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes, Chicago White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease, Cleveland Guardians righty Shane Bieber and Tampa Bay Rays righty Tyler Glasnow are the top starting pitchers believed to be on the market.

The top position player is San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto, but other outfielders like the Minnesota Twins’ Max Kepler and the Rays’ Harold Ramirez could also be fits for the Angels.

Although Minasian obviously wouldn’t say which players he’s targeting, he did say that the trade talks have been more significant than in past years. It’s possible that’s because the free agent market is in a holding pattern while Ohtani ponders his decision.

“It seems like, at least for us, there are more players available (in trades) than maybe in the past,” Minasian said.

The Angels’ farm system is considered one of the thinnest in the sport because of years of poor player development and trades. The Angels dealt away two of their top prospects in trades last summer for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López, who remained in the organization for just one month.

The Angels could find trades involving players who no longer qualify as prospects because of their time in the major leagues.

“We’re open to everything,” Minasian said. “I think we have to be. We’re trying to be as creative as possible to a certain extent. We have a lot of talented major league players that people like. We have a lot of talented minor league players that people like.”

Luis Rengifo could be one of the Angels’ most valuable trade chips. Rengifo has been coveted in past years by the Dodgers and Cleveland Guardians, at least. He is going to play next season at 27, and coming off back-to-back seasons with an OPS+ of over 100, meaning he was above average offensively. He is also versatile enough to play just about anywhere besides first base and catcher.

Minasian said on Monday that he still views Rengifo as an everyday player, although perhaps not with one set position.

The Angels also could trade outfielder Jo Adell, who is going to be out of options in 2024. Adell is currently No. 4 on the outfield depth chart, behind Trout, Taylor Ward and Mickey Moniak. All of the players ahead of him have been injured in recent years, so the Angels could still find playing time for Adell if they keep him.

BACHMAN UPDATE

Right-hander Sam Bachman, who missed the last three months with a shoulder injury, is “feeling good” and will be “full go” in spring training, Minasian said.

Minasian also said that the Angels still view Bachman’s long-term future as a starter, even though he was used out of the bullpen in the majors last season.

“We’ll come into spring training and see where it goes, but we believe he can start,” Minasian said.

NOTES

The Angels ended up with the No. 8 pick in the 2024 draft after the lottery. The Angels would have been seventh if the draft order was determined solely by win-loss record. It will be the Angels’ highest first-round pick since they had the No. 3 pick in 1997. …

The Rule 5 draft will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. PT. The Angels have the seventh pick. “There’s a possibility we (make a selection),” Minasian said. “I wouldn’t rule it out. That being said, no guarantee.”

The Angels are not likely to have any players taken by other teams in the Rule 5 draft.

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6 hours ago, AngelsWin.com said:

Minasian also said that the Angels still view Bachman’s long-term future as a starter, even though he was used out of the bullpen in the majors last season.

“We’ll come into spring training and see where it goes, but we believe he can start,” Minasian said.

So they don’t know yet if Bachman will enter spring training as a starter or reliever?

What about Jose Suarez?

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