Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Angels could use off-season help

As a fan, I bang the drum for the Angels so I have something to look for as far as a big league team to collect - with the exception of all-world Mike Trout and Albert Pujols however, the Angels have really been hard to watch in recent seasons.

With the big league team presumably desperate to contend with Trout 'just' entering his prime years - the Angels need to fill some big holes sooner than never.

With injuries knocking out starting pitchers left and right for much of the year [and maybe through next year] -  the team was forced to start guys like the corpse of Tim Lincecum, Ghoulish Chacin, something called a 'Brett Oberholtzer' and Jeff Weaver.

Picking up a Jose Quintana or Chris Sale is totally unrealistic, but I can dream about that No. 1 or No. 2 guy the Angels have not had in recent seasons - the team would probably need to empty their barren farm system to get one of those guys and so be it, since there should be no particular minor leaguer the Angels must hold onto.

The obvious problem is every other team looking to get Quintana or Sale has a deeper set of prospects to trade off - maybe outfield prospect Jahmai Jones, a couple of pitchers [Nate Smith and/or Grayson Long] and money is just not going to get anything done.

As far as position players, the Angels need a second baseman and longtime Cincinnati Red Brandon Phillips may help - he is going to be 36, but he's a guy that has put up counting numbers with the bat and you take what you can get [hopefully his OPS+ gets a bit north of 100] if you can trot him out at second base for at least 130 games in 2017.

Finally the Angels probably need a competent veteran catcher - after Geovany Soto didn't play much due to injuries, Jett Bandy did emerge as a viable semi-regular option while Carlos Perez kind of plateaued as a strictly a backup guy with limited upside.

The Angels might need to go out and get Matt Wieters - he was never the great hitting all-around catcher people anticipated as he made his way to the Major Leagues, but if the 30-year old is healthy to play 120 games behind the plate, he probably does enough good things to be an asset.

Another option would be Brian McCann, who would give the Angels lineup a lefty hitter with pop to lengthen the lineup a little bit in addition to the usual Trout and Pujols power duo - maybe money and a prospect of some sort would get McCann to Anaheim.

A caveat is McCann is going to be 33, an age where many catchers seemingly crater with the bat - will the Angels be able to give McCann time at DH [Pujols] or first base [C.J. Cron] to get his bat into the lineup when he's not catching.

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