As we approach July 31, we will preview what each team is projected to do in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline. For a complete listing of our previews, click here.
Los Angeles Angels: 49-48, 4th in the AL West
The excitement was in the air for the Angels.
After making big splashes in the offseason with the signings of Japanese two-way Star player Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Zack Cozart and the trade for Ian Kinsler, the Angels looked primed to end their three-year streak of missing the playoffs. On May 14, the Halos were tied for first in the AL West.
But, that excitement has disappeared after they have gone 24-22 since then and are now in fourth the much-improved AL West behind the defending champion Astros, Mariners and Athletics. A big part of their decline has been due to injuries, mainly the losses of Cozart and Garrett Richards for the season (Cozart to torn labrum and Richards to UCL damage), and Ohtani being limited to just hitting duties after suffering a sprained UCL.
Now, the Angels are in limbo as to whether they should be true buyers or true sellers. The Angels do not want to waste any time with a rebuild while Trout is in his prime, as he has only two years left on his contract. So, they may look to buy by selling some of their assets in hopes they can get players who will help them remain competitive in the short term.
What moves have they made so far?
Los Angeles has not made any significant transactions so far this season. The Halos thought they had everything in place when they added Ohtani, Upton (re-sign), Cozart and Kinsler in the offseason plus a few minor signings. In addition, they hoped that pitchers Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs and JC Ramirez would bounce back after they all missed time due to injury.
Instead, the Angels are without Richards, Cozart, Ramirez, Shoemaker and Ohtani (for now), and are now in a place where they have to figure out what the best moves will be for them going forward.
Who could they sell?
The Angels have two lefties in Skaggs and Andrew Heaney who they could possibly deal. After all, the Yankees have interest in either starter if they become available, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.
A big reason a deal might be a possibility is because Angels general manager Billy Eppler and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman used to work together in the Yankees’ front office. Though Skaggs (26 years old) and Heaney (27) are in prime years and are anchoring the rotation right now, the Angels could try to snag some younger, more talented prospects who are MLB-ready.
If they decide to not give up any rotation pieces, the Halos could trade some of their top relievers, namely Blake Parker, Cam Bedrosian and Justin Anderson, as Ken Rosenthal reported for FOX Sports. Rosenthal said that rival clubs “are looking into” these guys for bullpen help, which is always in demand this time of year. The Angels, though, want a significant return for any of these three because they each have years of control.
The Angels will not make any big moves before the deadline and will ride out this season while trying to build for 2019.
It would be hard for them to move any starters, given the amount of injuries they have to their rotation. Also, every team needs starting pitching, so they would be competing with contenders for that need as well.
As far as relievers go, the Angels may wait on dealing Parker, Bedrosian and Anderson because they are still under control and their values could increase either this offseason or by this time next year.