The Angels and Padres have discussed a trade recently, potentially involving the Padres’ collection of second basemen, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets. Fletcher points out that the Padres have four lefty-hitting infielders who could help the Angels fill their void at second base: Yangervis Solarte, Ryan Schimpf, Cory Spangenberg and Carlos Asuaje.
Of those four, Solarte is the most established hitter, and he’s coming off a strong .286/.341/.467 season. He played primarily third base in 2016, however, and has limited big-league experience at second. Schimpf played 68 games at second in 2016 while having an unusual breakout rookie season in which he batted just .217 but had a remarkable .533 slugging percentage, to go with 20 homers in just 330 plate appearances.
Spangenberg has spent the bulk of his career at second, but he missed most of the 2016 season due to injury and has a more modest track record as a hitter, in both the Majors and the minors. Asuaje, one of the prospects the Padres acquired in the Craig Kimbrel deal, had a good season at Triple-A El Paso in 2016 (batting .321/.378/.473, albeit in a favorable hitting environment) and made his big-league debut.
In return for one of their infielders, Fletcher suggests the Padres could target one of the Angels’ depth starters. Someone like Triple-A lefty Nate Smith might make sense, Fletcher tweets, apparently speculatively.
The Angels’ desire to acquire a second baseman comes as no surprise. They’ve lately been connected to trade targets such as the Phillies’ Cesar Hernandez, as well as free agents like Chase Utley and Stephen Drew. Hernandez is a switch-hitter, while Utley and Drew bat from the left side; a lefty hitter at the keystone would be a better fit for the Angels, who only have one lefty (outfielder Kole Calhoun) among their everyday players.