For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what would make sense.
I take a dive into the AL West… one of the most puzzling divisions in the entire MLB. The Astros are really good, we get that… but the A’s seem to compete every year, the Mariners decide to miss the playoffs every year, the Angels have no pitching every year, and the Rangers are just horrid.
Los Angeles Angels
|Eric Young Jr||OF|
Top FA Targets:
- Dallas Keuchel, SP
With Ohtani unable to pitch in 2019 and Garrett Richards gone to free agency, the Angels currently have a rotation led by Heaney/Skaggs/Shoemaker… That isn’t going to bode well for them in the AL West. The Angels must be familiar with Keuchel after facing him intra-division over the past handful of years.
- Kelvin Herrera, RP
I can’t imagine the Angels going after an elite closer, since they haven’t had one since K-Rod in his prime. Someone in the Herrera/Robertson/Familia tier seems like a good bet for the Angels. I think they go after Herrera though.
- Marwin Gonzalez, UTIL
Showing up on my top 5 list yet again, Marwin would be a good signing to play 2B for the Angels or just play 4-5x/week across the diamond. Think of it as a better version of what the Angels thought they were going to get with Luis Valbuena.
- Mike Moustakas, 3B
The Angels could shift Cozart to 2B in 2019 and go after a 3B instead… Moose would be a nice LH compliment to the middle of a lineup that boasts a lot of righties.
- Andrew Miller, RP
With a lot of question marks in the bullpen and lacking a quality lefty, the Angels would do well to add someone of Miller’s caliber.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Angels trade prospects 1B Matt Thaiss (#5) & SP Jose Suarez (#8) to the Yankees for SP Sonny Gray
The Angels need SP badly and the Yankees don’t want Sonny Gray. The Yankees would like the most value possible for Gray, but GM Brian Cashman killed some leverage by publicly saying he needs a change of scenery. Gray is familiar with the AL West and could be a good bounceback candidate.
- Angels trade RF Kole Calhoun & RP Blake Parker to the Phillies for 3B Maikel Franco
The Phillies have entertained the thought of moving Franco recently and there could be even more reason to do so if they sign Manny Machado. The Phillies can send 3 years of Franco away for a solid RF and a good set-up RP in one deal. Calhoun is in the last year of his contract (with a 2020 option) and Parker will be under team control for the next two seasons. The Angels would save about $7M in 2019 and clear a space for top prospect Jo Adell’s eventual promotion.
- Angels trade SP Matt Shoemaker to the Marlins for 2B Starlin Castro
Two years of team control would be nice for a desperate team, but Shoemaker is nothing special and they have internal replacements in Barria. At $4.5M he isn’t a bargain, but he isn’t expensive either. Castro on the other hand is making $11.8M in 2019 and the Marlins would love to move as much of that off their books as possible. Castro could slide into their opening at 2B for one year and not tie up their long-term finances.
- Angels trade 1B Albert Pujols and prospect SS Kevin Maitan (#7) to the Rangers for 2B Rougned Odor & OF Shin-Soo Choo
Fat Albert has 3/$87M remaining on his massive contract signed in 2012, but injuries have made it necessary for him to DH moving forward. However, rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani will need to spend 2019 at DH after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Choo (2/$42M) and Odor (4/$43.5M) combine to make $85.5M in total and that salaries match up nearly identically. For the Rangers, Pujols would represent a big name and mentor to the young Rangers and be able to DH freely in TEX (with occasional starts at 1B). Maitan would be the real prize here for Texas, as he was wildly hyped when originally signed by Atlanta. For the Angels, Choo can provide value in RF/DH for the Angels and Odor can start at 2B and potentially figure things out again offensively.