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The Angels Trade Deadline Strategy Will Be Different Than You Think

The Los Angeles Angels trade deadline strategy should be to sell like a team in full rebuild mode. This is not a controversial take. The Angels best player (Mike Trout) is frequently hurt and makes a ton of money. Their second “star” (Anthony Rendon) has barely played an entire season’s worth of games over the last four seasons and makes a ton of money. However, Rendon returned to the field last night against the Texas Rangers. They let the most exciting player in baseball history (Shohei Ohtani) leave after last season without getting anything back. They have only been to the playoffs once in the past 14 seasons. It will be 15 seasons once this season ends. The cherry on top is that they also have what is considered to be the worst farm system in baseball.

The Angels Trade Deadline Strategy Will Be Different Than You Think

Angels Trade Deadline Strategy Is Usually Wrong

Blame for a poorly run organization is usually placed squarely on the head of the team’s general manager. Yet, Angels GM Perry Minasian can only take partial blame because, as any Angels fan can tell you, the real fault lies with owner Arte Moreno. When news came that he was looking to sell the team, Angels fans danced in the street. But as he usually does, Moreno once again brought anger and sadness to fans when he decided not to sell.

What does this mean for Angels fans? The Angels trade deadline strategy in 2024 will be far different than most people think it should be. They’ll flip a reliever or two. The Carlos Estévez trade market will certainly be competitive. A position player like Kevin Pillar will bring value in a smaller trade so that he might be sent elsewhere. The trade options for Tyler Anderson would help land a top prospect or two, something the Angels desperately need. A Taylor Ward trade is a must if the team wants to improve the farm club sooner rather than later. The trade market for Rengifo is massive, given his versatility, and he would also net the Angels a top prospect. Yet, the one thing they are unlikely to do is make deals for their valuable trade pieces like Anderson, Ward, and Rengifo.


Because GM Perry Minasian will say, the Angels think they have a chance to compete in 2025 and that they don’t need a full rebuild; they need to retool their roster for next season. Much like the speech he has given multiple times during his Angels tenure, Minasian will be incorrect. Bob Nightengale of USA Today recently wrote that the Angels would likely move rental players only unless they received offers that blew them away.

Angels Trade Deadline History With Minasian As GM

The Angels hired GM Perry Minasian in November 2020 following the dismissal of Billy Eppler. The Angels hadn’t been a .500 club since 2015 and hadn’t made the playoffs since 2014. Minasian came in as the kid who grew up in a clubhouse and understood the scouting and analytical approach to organization building.

2021 Angels Deadline Moves

In Minasian’s first season at the helm, the Angels trade deadline strategy was to apparently do nothing. The Halos victory on 4th of July put them a game over .500 at 42-41. While they were nine games back of the division-leading Houston Astros, the Angels were only 5 1/2 games back of the Oakland Athletics for the second AL Wild Card. On July 14, they signed Adam Eaton, who posted a .509 OPS over 25 games before retiring. Then, they waited until the last minute to see whether they would be buyers or sellers.

On July 30, they waved the white flag and traded Andrew Heaney to the Yankees for Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero, two pitchers who lasted less than two years in the organization. The Angels also traded left-handed reliever Tony Watson to the Giants for Ivan Armstrong, José Marte, and Sam Selman. Armstrong has looked excellent this season…in Double-A (he’s only 23). Marte has a career 7.08 ERA over 34.1 innings with the Angels. Selman retired after the 2022 season.

The Angels finished the season 77-85, 18 GB in the AL West and 15 GB in the AL Wild Card.

2022 Angels Deadline Moves

It’s easier to give Minasian a pass for the Angels trade deadline strategy in 2022. After an excellent 27-17 start, the Angels forgot how to play baseball, which led to a 14-game losing streak that cost manager Joe Maddon his job. Worse, it allowed the Angels to stick to the holding pattern of “wait until next year” because of the hole they were in. What did Minasian do? For the second year in a row, he signed a veteran in the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. Jonathan Villar signed on July 2, and like Adam Eaton the year before, he was around for a short time. Villar played 13 games for the Angels, posted a .451 OPS, and then retired.

The real fireworks came right at the end of trade season. Noah Syndergaard was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jadiel Sanchez. Thor had a 3.83 ERA with the Halos, so it wasn’t a huge loss for the team. The 23-year-old Sanchez is currently struggling in High-A for the Angels. Their second deal sent closer Raisel Iglesias to the Atlanta Braves for Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson. Why Chavez? No idea. He posted a 7.59 ERA down the stretch. Davidson wasn’t much better. He pitched to a 6.87 ERA down the stretch and followed that up with a 6.54 ERA in 2023 before being dumped on the Royals.

Minasian’s final trade at the deadline was again with the Phillies. The Angels sent outfielder Brandon Marsh to Philadelphia in return for catcher Logan O’Hoppe. As is usually the case, Marsh’s small issues were immediately fixed, and he’s been a far better hitter in Philadelphia. Yet, the Angels aren’t too angry with Marsh’s departure as they secured their catcher of the future. O’Hoppe has been incredible since arriving in Anaheim.

2023 Angels Deadline Moves

The Angels front office knew what was at stake in 2023. GM Perry Minasian had one season to convince superstar Shohei Ohtani to stay with the club. Minasian made his first move on June 24. The Angels had a 42-36 record, six games back in the AL West, and tied for the final AL Wild Card.  The Angels sent minor league pitchers Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux to the New York Mets for Eduardo Escobar. Here comes the deja vu. Escobar played 59 games for the Angels and posted a .563 OPS. When the season was over, he retired. You can’t make this stuff up.

A day later, on June 25, they traded for Mike Moustakas of the Colorado Rockies. In return, they sent minor league pitcher Connor Van Scoyoc. Clearly, the Angels trade deadline strategy was to go for it. Owner Arter Moreno even alluded to keeping Ohtani as the right move because baseball is about entertainment. What did Moustakas do? He slashed .236/.256/.371/.627 over 65 games. Then, he retired after the season. Wow.

The 2023 Trade Disaster

The real disaster began on July 26, when Minasian swung for the fences. The Angels acquired pitcher Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López. In return, the Angels sent two of their top three prospects to the Chicago White Sox. Catcher Edgar Quero is currently the #73 prospect in all of baseball. Ky Bush is the White Sox #17 prospect. Bush has posted a 2.12 ERA over 14 starts in Double-A this year. Giolito only made six starts with the Angels. He was 1-5 with a 6.89 ERA. The Angels waived him, and the Cleveland Guardians picked him up on August 31—total failure. López posted a 2.77 ERA over 13 relief appearances. The Angels waived him once their season went off the rails. For those of you counting at home, those are two top prospects from an already thin farm system, with 19 appearances. That’s not what you are hoping the Angels trade deadline strategy is going to amount to, no matter how cynical you are.

The last two moves the Angels made were similar failures. On July 26, the Angels sent minor league pitchers Mason Albright and Jake Madden to the Colorado Rockies for C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk. Cron posted a .519 OPS over 15 games and hasn’t played in the majors since. Grichuk put up a .677 OPS over 54 games. On August 1, the Angels final bid to improve saw them send minor league infielder Jeremiah Jackson to the New York Mets for reliever Dominic Leone. Thirty days later, Leone was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners.

Angels Trade Deadline Strategy In 2024

The Angels trade deadline strategy seems like an obvious thing. When you are a bad team with injured players who have no chance of contending, then you should sell. If all of that is true, and you have the worst farm system in baseball, you should do whatever you can to improve it. Owner Arte Moreno is known to be meddlesome, and the Angels have only gone downhill since he purchased the team in August of 2003. Unfortunately, things are unlikely to improve if they stay the same. GM Perry Minasian should spend this trade deadline as a springboard to reset and rebuild an organization that has become a laughingstock. Yet, most baseball fans know that is different from what will happen. The Angels will do the wrong thing like they always do.

Main Photo Credits: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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