Angel in someone elses outfield?

Posted: May 6, 2016 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
Tags: , ,

I wrote about how I think the LA Angels may be wasting the best years of the eventual Hall of Famer Mike Trout (Here). With the pitching woes and inconsistency of certain positions in their line-up Trout is this shining hood ornament on a rusted out jalopy.

Since I wrote that a couple things have happened to make you wonder if it just might be possible that the Angels would part ways with the best player in baseball. The Ace of the Angels staff Garrett Richards has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, which will require season ending Tommy-John Surgery. At the same time pitcher Andrew Heaney is trying to rest and rehab his elbow to avoid under going the same Tommy-John Surgery that would end his season. With C.J. Wilson already on the 60 day DL with shoulder tendonitis this leaves the Angels with 3 starting pitchers.

  • Jared Weaver with a 5.40 ERA
  • Hector Santiago with a 3.58 ERA
  • Nick Tropeano with a 3.42 ERA

It’s pretty damn obvious Angels are in a world of hurts now.

They are currently 13 and 15 and 4 games back from the division leading Mariners, enough in the thick of it that I don’t think you can justify throwing in the towel and going down with the ship. Especially after they have only made it to the playoffs once in the last 6 years (not counting this year since it’s just May). When they did make it in 2014 they were swept by the Royals in the Division Series. Can the Angels fan base really tolerate throwing away a season this early in the year?

Where do the Angels go from here to try to make something out of their season?

They could call back up Matt Shoemaker but he was 1 and 4 with a 9.15 ERA. They have A.J. Achter but he has always been a relief pitcher in three years experience with Milwaukee and LAA. Fernando Salas has more years in the league but again he has always been a reliever and was even a closer back in 2011 with the Cardinals. More of the same with Mike Morin limited MLB experience (3 years) and has always been a relief pitcher. Tyler Skaggs is on the 7-day disabled list and in the minors. On top of that he has never posted a ERA lower then 4.30 back in 2014. Greg Mahle is an interesting candidate with a 2.16 ERA in 11 games but in those 11 games he has only pitched 8.1 innings. He’s a side arm specialist. There is Jose Alvarez but he hasn’t started a game since 2013 where he went 1 and 5 with a 5.82 ERA.

What about their farm system?

Right now the top pitching prospect is Nate Smith on the Pacific Coast League AAA affiliate. Smith was drafted by the Angels in 2013 in the 8th round pick number 247 which normally carries the stigma of not having a real chance of long term time in the MLB. Saying that Smith has surpassed most expectations while in Triple A; 6 games 2 wins 1 loss 3.79 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 35.2 innings. Overall not bad and with the recent prospect call-ups success it might work out, but he isn’t an Ace so at best he could replace Heaney or Wilson. The next in line is Victor Alcantara who the Angels signed back in 2012. While Alcantara is a hard thrower with 95-99 mph fastball with sink on it he doesn’t have the repertoire to be an effective starter. Overall consensus is that Alcantara will be an effective short outing reliever which is not what the Angels need at this moment. After Alcantara is Joe Gatto picked up in the second round of the draft in 2014. Gatto was in high school when they selected him in the draft so currently he is of the ripe age of 20. With youth on his side he is starting to get the hang of what it takes to be a consistent starter but he is in Single A and the road so far has been bumpy. You have to imagine it’s hard for someone just out of high school to make the kind of progress some 5 years his senior have trouble with. Can you see where I’m going with this? The Angels farm system has some potential but it’s not the kind of pull this guy up now and save us kind.

Okay so no one on the 40 man roster and not a lot of options in the farm system what avenue do we go down next?

Trades….

Who has value?

Pujols is to senior in his career to warrant trading. Do you notice I’m stalling here?

Calhoun is a definite trade contender because of his bat and glove. Also he is only signed for this year at a rather small 3.4 million. Everyone can use a good right fielder.

They won’t trade Andrelton Simmons because they gave up a lot to get him *cough high prospect pitchers*.

Johnny Giavotella could be trade bate with his minuscule 533k salary for this season but with a .190 batting average he is much more a defensive commodity currently. Right now thought the second baseman market is pretty small. Dodgers have Utley (one of my favorite people ugh *gag barf shoot me*) and he is old but Howie Kendrick is the back up and then Kike Hernandez can play there too. Miami lost Dee Gordon to PEDs (*cough cheater cough*) but Dietrich is killing it currently. San Diego could be a landing spot and most of their veteran pitchers are not playing well currently. He could be better then a number of backups but that would make his return value less.

I can not see them moving Yunel Escobar as they just got him and he’s doing really well for them.

Rafael Ortega is a possibility but their outfield is rather depleted and that could really damage days off and backups for that.

How about C.J. Cron who finally is starting to look like their consistent first baseman. He still isn’t hitting for constant power and tends to be error prone.

Are you tired of waiting yet?

At long last we come to Mr 5 tool player Mike Trout. Here are a couple things about trading Trout though.

  1. He is on contract through 2020
  2. He is due to make 16 million this year. 20 million next year and 34 million for the next 3 years after that.
  3. He is the best player in the game bat + fielding + base running
  4. Read number three again
  5. Again
  6. You get the point

Who on earth would have enough trade value to get someone like Trout?

Yes I know initial knee jerk reaction is the Yankees, but no they are all old and while they could cover the money they don’t have enough pitching talent to offer enough. Don’t say the Mets they would not trade away the pitching staff that might win them several championships. Nationals? Maybe, they have depth in all areas and some really nice veteran and young pitching talents but they are currently trying to win and trading away enough might kill their chances. That sounds weird I know but that’s what you are dealing with here. You are probably going to take any chances of winning the World Series this year away simply because of the amount of guys you will have to trade. Lets just look money wise the Angels have the 6th highest payroll this year, and with Trout getting ready to really get paid its going to go up. If they trade Trout the team they are trading with has to either have enough money to cover his contract OR the Angels would have to keep some of that on their books for a while. Now you’ve cut who can trade with you way down, you’re looking for high revenue teams that would take on some of that contract or the Angels are going to suck for WAY longer. So who are the High Revenue teams that could take on this kind of thing? Nope again not the Yankees they only have 13 million operating income this year. Dodgers? Uh definitely no as they have -73 million operating income this year (YIKES). This would bring you to the Red Sox and the San Fran Giants. Boston has 43.2 million operating income and San Fran has 72.6 million operating income. Both have enough to absorb Trouts salary currently and into the year or so. Do either of those teams have enough to offer to get Trout? Sadly no, Giants problem is their pitching staff this season and the Red Sox while in first place in their division their pitching staff is being held together by masking tape and Big Papi. Probably the only two that make sense because of Revenue amount, Talent and Operating Income are St Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros.

St Louis – Revenue 1.6 Billion, Talent out the wazoo because they win every year with no name players, Operating Income 59.8 Million.

Houston – Revenue 1.1 Billion, Very talented and young team, Operating Income 66.6 Million.

The other thing about both those teams is they have a good, if not great farm, system.  While the Angels would be cashing it in this season (and probably the next few) they could get good young talent to start with. With the fact the Angels season is already in the crapper it might not be that bad of a move. Now your fan base will HATE you forever for it but hey.

It’s already been established by the Angels front office that they have NO DESIRE to trade Trout but its fun as hell to throw it out there. 🙂

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