Some rumblings from around the AL West…
- “We are a point where we feel complete with our club,” Angels GM Billy Eppler tells MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, as the Halos feels they made enough short-term additions to be able to compete in 2019. The club was cautious about not dealing any of its top prospects from a farm system that has undergone a major rebuild in recent years, and Los Angeles didn’t splurge on any long-term free agent commitments. That said, the Angels’ focus on short-term signings “wasn’t scripted,” as Eppler put it. “There were some players that we engaged on and made offers to that would’ve been multi-year commitments. Those didn’t work out for a couple different reasons. But shorter-term deals work in a variety of ways — they keep you flexible, and they keep you open to doing things both during the season and in succeeding seasons.” Some type of a reload was necessary for the team, given both the sorry state of the Angels’ minor league pipeline just a few years ago and the number of ill-fated big contracts that didn’t pan out. Still, the Angels are on something of a clock to get back into contention, given that Mike Trout is only under contract for two more seasons.
- Matt Chapman provided an update on his health status in the wake of offseason thumb and shoulder surgery, telling reporters (including the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser) that he’ll be in the lineup when the Athletics begin their season on March 20 in Tokyo. The third baseman could miss a few early Spring Training games as he recovers, however, noting “it’s hard to say when everything will be a full go.” Chapman expressed some regret at waiting until December to undergo his shoulder procedure, as he said the joint was giving him some discomfort during the season but he thought some downtime would correct the issue. While the A’s will certainly be cautious about their star during the spring, it doesn’t yet seem Chapman is in any danger of missing any regular season action.
- Outfield prospect Kyle Lewis was invited to the Mariners’ big league Spring Training camp, a positive development for Lewis after an injury-plagued start to his pro career, TJ Cotterill writes for Baseball America. The 11th overall pick of the 2016 draft, Lewis has already undergone two knee surgeries, limiting him to just 711 plate appearances and 165 games over two-plus seasons. These injuries and a not-unrelated relative lack of production (.258/.328/.430 slash line in the minors) have caused Lewis’ prospect stock to drop, though the 23-year-old is entering a season healthy for the first time. “He’s missed so much time, but we feel better today than we’ve ever felt with his work and his progress. Most of us who have been around Kyle, we really don’t have a lot of concern about the ability. It’s the health,” Mariners farm director Andy McKay said.
Lewis will be fine for the Mariners. Just give him time to regain his legs. They are pretty important for this sport
i believe legs are generally pretty useful for sports. correct me if im wrong though.
not in nursing home Olympics. so you are wrong
Legs have been drawing rave reviews in recent years at the upper minors and major league level of play. Most players without them, whether they were gritty and weren’t afraid to get their uniform dirty or not, have been slowly forced out due to the newer regime’s way of thinking. I expect the new CBA discussions will prompt further questions as to how to best manage these legless players who were once so dominant in the sport; but for the time being I expect either short term deals or simply minor league contracts to hold those in question over as they wait.
What is offseason thumb and shoulder? Did he have surgery or something?
It’s like foot and mouth, but with different parts.
Sesamoid bone excision about two weeks after end of season – a tiny calcified mass inside a tendon in his left wrist. The type of bone mass is called “sesamoid” because it’s about the size of a sesame seed, and is not an uncommon find in major tendons and ligaments. Classified as minor/outpatient surgery.
Shoulder surgery was arthroscopically shaving down the ‘hook’ on the end of his collarbone, as it was causing a minor impingement.
eppler is trying to say all the right things but, in reality, the team is not built for deep postseason run.
The team is not built for a playoff run at all. In Trout’s penultimate season their ceiling is a WC game loss, and their floor is a 70-75 win season. Eppler not doing enough imo.
The Angels are built for a playoff run. I would say they are easily a 500 team. They were last year and not anything went right for them. They never seem to have anything go right for them.
with all due respect, mac, angels’ rotation is not the strongest. and with injury history. and the team doesn’t seem to have a strong pen that can supplement the rotation. once again, team will have to rely on very good defense and hitting. it hasn’t worked last few years.
Problem isn’t that he’s doing enough, it’s that he’s trying to balance rebuilding with contending. It takes a truly elite level executive and perfect circumstances to do both at the same time. Different sport, but it’s sort of the same spot the New Orleans Pelicans find themselves. They don’t have a player they drafted in the first round on their roster since selecting Anthony Davis in 2012. The Angels have tried to “contend” every year when in reality a tear down and rebuild is more likely to produce extended success. Unfortunately, it seems they’ll have to be the team that let Mike Trout go for that to happen.
It really doesn’t. He’s playing for that one game playoff. Every team that is a handful of games over 500 September 1st is likely to compete for that one game playoff. I doubt the As will be that 90+ win team again. I doubt TB will be that 90+ win team.
I think the Angels will be a handful of games over 500 September 1st, and that puts them in the hunt.
As far as Angel Prosepect. Joe Adel is ranked #2 by Baseball Prospectus and #6 by Baseball America. They had the #1 or #2 prospect in baseball last year, Ohtani,
The future looks pretty good.
The New Orleans Pelicans? The Angels are stacked with talent but have suffered an inordinate amount of injuries to their pitching staff. That’s been the problem for that past few seasons. You don’t rebuild because of that. You find durable arms to keep them in games and let the offense at the plate and defense behind the pitcher do their job. That is exactly what Eppler has done.
The Angels pitching is garbage. Dealing Trout would’ve been smart a year ago. Now he only has two years of control left and and his value will go down each day they let rot in the mediocrity of the Anaheim. Kinda sad.
120 more years for cubs!
Garbage? Last year they were all injured so the starting rotation was AAA quality. My guess is you watched fewer than 3 angels games last season.
Hilarious! So original. You’re a comedic genius!!
Maybe you should watch the angels before you pretend to be an expert.
I mean there rotation isn’t as bad as the Marlins or other tanking teams I guess, but it’s hardly something that will be useful enough to make an actual run.
I wasn’t talking to you and have watched the Angels.
Trout isn’t going anywhere
If the Angels were looking for durable arms Trevor Cahill and Matt Harvey were probably not the strongest choices
@txtgab while i agree the angels arent close to competiting to say its epplers fault is quiet idiotic and ignorant. Angels have been delt bad hands signing injuried prone players, hoping for catching lighting in a bottle. They have been trying to stay under cap which prevents them for being big spenders. Eppler has rebuilt the farm and put competitive teams together in a short time.
Eppler has repeatedly said that he hangs up if another team calls for Trout. Why not at least listen. If the Yankees offered Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Andujar you’d hang up?
Thats idiotic and short sighted. It’s not like they’ll ever be Championship caliber the next two years. Why not set your team up to actually win something?!?!
He hangs up because Trout is not available. So it it be a waste of time to even listen as much as you Philly, Red Sox and Yankee fans day dream he will be your future CF. Once Harper and Machado sign, The Angels will have a better idea what it will take. Moreno would be lynched if he let Trout walk away. Trout is not concerned of the state of the Angels in 2019 and 2020. He’s more concerned about the health of the franchise 2021 going forward. And that’s Epplers game plan. Getting the Angels house in order. By that time Pujouls will be in last year if he hasn’t already retired.The farm system will be in even better shape and producing . And they can compliment the up and coming players with useful FA’s
I’m not dreaming he’ll be on my team. I’m simply saying everyone has a price, and to not listen is just dumb. It has nothing to do with anything else.
That all sounds great if it works and he signs. But even if he does sign it’s going to be for insane money. Who knows $500 million? He’s a stud and all but obviously if someone pays a Kings ransom with proven controllable guys it’s worth listening.
Again if you’re not as is in NEVER going to deal him no matter what a team will offer. Why even listen. ????
Why is that so hard to understand? You don’t trade a player of his caliber. Trust me if he was on your beloved Cubs, your GM would hang up.
If he was on the Cubs and they were in the Angels position with the Astros I’d be furious if the GM hung up with our best player only having two years of control left.
Well your team and about a dozen other teams had a chance to draft Trout. But they chose not to. Your lost
500 million is delusional for trout harper and machado are struggling to secure 300 million at 26. Doubt trout at 28/29 would cost more than 400millon. I also dont see angels trading him at all. You cannot quantify how valuable he truly is.
“Moreno would be lynched if he let Trout walk away.”
I SMH every time I see someone type this. It’s not Moreno’s decision, it’s Trout’s. If he wants to test free agency he will.
He has already purchased his 300 acre home in Jersey. But the end on his contract he will have already banked $150M +/- via his contracts and endorsements. Moreno can’t do a thing if Trout wants to walk.
It’s moreno’s decision prior to his contract expiring, with the exception of any no trade clause, which I think would be in play. As far as where trout lives, do you think every ball player sells his house and buys a new one every time they are traded? Harper, for example, lives in Vegas. They live where they want and travel to play.
phi447…not sure if you are replying to me or not but it appears that way so I’ll reply.
My point is he is already set for life. He has his home life set so the decision is his and his alone.
BTW Trout does have a full NTC.
No I don’t think every player sells and buys when traded, they don’t have to. I’m sure some rent especially if they are the type to be traded often. It’s no risk for them as they can be reimbursed for rental housing and furniture if they want (and if they qualify)
Article VIII—Moving Allowances – D page 35 of the CBA
Cat…if he has a full no trade, then it is his decision, you’re right. I think though, if he was unhappy with the Angels, he would have approached them to explore the possibility of being traded. I remember when I lived in DC, a bunch of the Nats including Davey Johnson rented in my neighborhood in Old Town. But they all had their permanent houses in the off season.
I love that you attached the moving allowance agreement. That’s way too many words to read for a Monday, or any day really.
No kidding.Captain Obvious But if Moreno offers $400M+ and Trout turns it down. Then it’s not Moreno’s fault. But I really doubt all things being equal. Trout would rather play in that miserable heat and in front of those insuffrable Philly and east coast fans in general rather than the perfect weather in SoCal.
This take is a short sighted fan take on a grown mans job.
Eppler is KILLING IT, like GM of the year. Hear me out.
He is essentially took a tire-fire from the previous GM who gutted the farm and gave out insanely large deals all while competing with what might be (from a WAR perspective) the best team the AL West has ever seen relative to the league (Houston) and built the team into a competitive team (Mid May Angels led the west before right-arm-syndrome struck Anaheim)
Doing this all while building the farm system back from what was considered by Keith Law to be the worst of all time, to a top 10 system with a chance to break top 5 and graduate contributers now.
So you’d say, he has Trout, he should go all in. Once-in-A-Generation (something something cheesteaks in 2021), Thats wrong, you should do better.
The conversation to res=sign best player of a generation is likely to be thought of along different lines to the following. Is the team showing vision to be competitive longterm? Is ownership behind the vision? Are they spending? Is the team set-up for the next 10 years I am thinking of playing here? Do I like the staff?
This dude built a top 10 farm from scratch FAST, stole Simmonds, signed Ohtani, has convcined his meddled owner to CHILL, and has 50m/yr coming off the books for the next phase of Trouts career.
Also ceiling is WC loss? If the Red Sox were in the West their ceiling would be a play-in game too, so NEXT.
I agree. But everyone keeps saying Eppler signed Ohtani. Ohtani chose the Angels. Who ever he chose had to pay the $20M fee
Naw, it was pretty well established he built a relationship with him while he was Assistsnt GM in New York.
The Angels won’t make the playoffs.
Son of DiPoto will finish the job that his father started.
You know they won’t make the playoffs? It’s amazing how people know these things.
What ever the hell that means
It’s tough for an Angels fan to watch Jerry Dipoto guide the Mariners to a better cumulative record (253-233, .518) than the Halos (234-252, .470) in the three seasons since Dipoto’s arrival in Seattle.
The Angels’ three straight losing seasons came with a payroll that exceeded that of the Mariners in each of those three years.
it was dip dip that left the angels in weak position before he left angry at scoscia and arte.
So Dipoto guided them to a better record. Where did it get them? Now he’s blown up the team. Most Angel fans are glad he’s gone.
It got them to where they should be: in a rebuild. LA is too stubborn to do the same. They might sneak into the postseason if they stay healthy and a few things go right, but LA looks like a team stuck in mediocrity.
Their higher payroll is due in large part to having the best player in the game. He gets paid well but not nearly well enough and also having arguably the 2nd worst contract in the game in Pujols which he inherited. It’s not as if the Angels have been spending tons more than Seattle either. Their payrolls have been pretty comparable and neither team has made the playoffs. So quite honestly I don’t think there’s anything to brag about here.
The idea that farm system rankings are the root of success has been roundly disproven: Prospects best value is as trade bait for proven players. When 75% in general Fail and 80% of pitchers not trading them isn’t about improving your team, it is about keeping the costs down..
The Angels are a team for years that had a barren system and it showed with how little success they had in producing players around Trout. There is 0 reason to start dealing now that they have a decent system
for every team that has had a good farm system that ended up with noting to show for it: I’d think they wouldn’t want to waste trout’s best years waiting for some prospects who may never develop..
Who was out there? Other than JT Realmuto there hasn’t been much to trade for
we don’t know who was out there for trade, most certainly all the teams not looking at really going for a championship, which is most of the teams in the MLB, would like controllable assets for their future push.. every one of them.. The Twin have Gibson just this year for example,
Everyone on the Mariners has been available.
The Twins are trying to win this season. Your ‘most prospects bust so trade them all’ act is getting old. Do you even do research into the guys you are calling for them to trade. Do you even know who Jo Adell is? They are trying to get enough of a foundation so if Trout leavs they won’t be completely F’d
I have followed the twins since the 1960’s No they are not trying to be anything more than competitive this season: That is their goal: sell tickets telling them that they will be “competitive”. Now winning isn’t the goal if you only are playing to be competitive and hoping it is more isn’t trying.
I didn’t do the studies: they show what i am saying is correct.
Ace of Diamonds
Everyone on the Mariners has been available.
dip dip hates angels.
You have a link for the analysis that finds no correlation between farm system rankings and success? Is the 75% and 80% figures in that analysis as well?
this one has Pittsburg as number 1 and doesn’t expect them to succeed.. it has to do with spending it shows
This is the data for the top 100 Prospects needless to say it is much worse for prospects not in the top 100. It is a rehash of the original study i quoted using new parameters. https://www.royalsreview.com/2018/3/22/16749948/updating-the-success-and-failure-rates-of-top-mlb-prospects
Cozart hasn’t shown any ability to play 3rd and Fletcher has not show he can hit. With the price for Moustakas so low, I think they are making a gamble they don’t have to make.
I like the Angels of season, but I’d like it more if they made that one final move.
If you get in and get hot at the right time anything is possible. And I’m not saying because I’m a Angels fan.
Angels made a 3 year offer to Moustakas last year but he turned them down and signed a 1 year deal with KC.
I don’t know anyone who has confirmed that, however I have people deny it.
The rumored offer was at the beginning of the offseason when Moose was shooting for 70-80 million bucks. The angels offered 45. (Reportedly) They pivoted when he declined and went with Cozart instead. I’m sure team and player wish they could have that one back. I doubt Moose turned them down because he didn’t like LA or anything like that. He and Boras were just overestimating their market.
I don’t know what team you watched last year. Fletcher hit .275 in his freshman effort. That’s a good start.
I don’t pay much attention to batting average, especially in short sample sizes.
In terms of barreling up a baseball, he ranked 331 out of 332 last year.
Exit velocity, 323 out of 332. He even struck out more than twice as often as he walked.
316 OBP with little speed and no power is not much of a hitter.
Rengifo is probably MLB ready and will force one of Cozart or Fletcher to either step up or step aside.
Moose is a lot of money for a one trick pony.
Moustakas isn’t just one trick pony, He plays adequate defense and you can have him for a lot less than was paid to Allen, Harvey or Cahill.
As for Rengifo, He not going to force out Cozart, but at second, he could easily force out Fletcher. Fletcher isn’t very good and I doubt Ward is very good either.
But sign Moustakas to a one year contract, and you don’t have to worry about Rengifo being ready.
Below average defense, on base percentage, and running = one trick pony.
But power is a good trick.
uh, arte won’t spend money to get him.
He is not below average defensively, his DRS was plus two.
If Moose plays below average defense at 3rd then Cozart must not be wearing a glove over there. If Moose is a one trick pony you’ve got yourself a zero trick pony holding down the corner now. No doubt Moose’s biggest asset is his power bat but his defense isn’t a negative in anyway. He’s as consistent as they come and he won’t be prohibitively expensive. I’d prefer to have to bank on one of fletcher or Cozart being adequate enough to start everyday rather than both. I think Cozart would do a lot better in the field at 2B as well.
Moose would be fine if he could be had for a Bourish contract of 1 yr and >$5m. I think he makes plenty of sense as an insurance policy at that rate but I fully expect him to get more elsewhere. I still see us being in on Keuchel despite no real indication that were involved. I remember reading a eerie Pettitte comp (probably from Boras) and I can’t shake the chance to get 31-35yr old Andy at a bargain rate
I don’t see how Moose is an insurance policy considering he’s better than Cozart in every way. The angels just blew it on that signing. Look at Cozart’s career. He’s a hell of a lot closer to the offensive player he was last year v that one clear outlier year he had in 2017. He played his entire career in a very hitter friendly environment and still put up mediocre numbers. It was always a questionable decision to pay someone who’s biggest asset historically was his defense at SS to play another position.
the best move for me is a lefty setup guy.
The offseason prior to last year, Eppler made the decision to sign Cozart and not go after Moose. You can disagree with that decision, but what’s done is done, and since they still owe Cozart 25 mil, Eppler isn’t going to put Moose ahead of Cozart now just because Cozart had two mediocre months prior to his season ending injury. Eppler’s gotta give Cozart one more year to figure it out.
Cozart didn’t show an ability to play 3rd last year. It happens, but it did happen.
Fletcher has not shown the ability to hit. Moose solves both problems. Cozart, a fine shortstop, is much more suited to play second than third.
They owe Cozart about 25 mil. They’ll give Cozart one more year to figure it out.
It would be more for Fletcher than Cozart but really he could plug into 3rd with either Cozart or Fletch manning 2B
How about sign Keuchel so they have a fee t starter. Harvey. Lol
Oh another great joke. You’re just full of great one’s. Good for you. You should take it on the road. Good stuff with adding 10 years. Pure genius
I’m just wondering why a cubs fan is constantly al over the Angels thread….
Eppler had alot of holes to fill this offseason on a limited budget and has done a decent job but a competitive team is going to require Arte Moreno opening up the pocket book
They just need to stay relatively healthy, if they do, they’ll be competitive.
If the Angels can break their 3 year run of being a MASH unit pitching staff, they have a shot at a WC. Won’t catch the Astros no matter what they do.
he has been here since 2015. any holes are his own making.
That’s partly true, but when an ESPN expert says that your team has “by far the worst farm system he’s ever seen” just prior to Eppler’s arrival, it takes time. Then, couple that with all of the injuries to the big club and the fact that the weak farm system was ill-equipped to fill-in the spots emptied by the injured players, and you see what a challenge it has been for Eppler. Keep building the farm system until it’s so strong, you can overcome a few injuries in Anaheim. Eppler seems to be doing that. I’d like the progress to go a little faster, but I think it is progressing.
I agreee with half of what you said. Limited budget? Self imposed.
At the current payroll they are about $40 million below the tax level. Moreno needs to man up and admit he screwed up signing Pujols and increase payroll $30 million. Pujols now is a bench player.
These 1 year deals foreshadow a youth movement is coming as early as the trade deadline if 3/4 of them don’t pan out . There is no more talk of a Trout extension and my gut tells me he has informed the front office he will be testing the market. I hope i’m wrong but this may be the last season for our generational HOFer
If it is they waited to long to deal him. A team can’t give away that many great prospects for one year of even the best player in baseball. They should’ve dealt him last offseason with 3 years of control. But Eppler insists that he “hangs up” when someone calls about Trout. Which is just dumb. Every player has a price. This isn’t the NBA where 1 guy can make a team playoff caliber.
The Angels roster has a solid chance of looking very different in the second half as it dies on opening day. The next wave of talent is coming on board.
It made sense to chase Corbin, Grandal, and Ramos like Eppler did, but not to block Canning, Suarez, and Adell with second tier free agents.
that only make sense after we know how adell plays in the bigs.
What has Eppler done about extending Trout? If you are not working to extend him, you might as well trade him.
I think Trout wants to see how this wave of Angel prospects performs in the big leagues before deciding if he wants to re-sign. Also, it’d be nice if Ohtani returns nicely from TJS. We won’t know all of this until the 2020 season at the earliest. If all goes well with the prospects, however, I think there’s a decent chance he’ll re-sign.
Feel bad for Eppler. Angels were a tough situation to come into. Have to try to compete because of Trout, but the farm was barren and the rest of the roster was ready for a rebuild and he doesn’t have much financial flexibility. He has done a better job rebuilding the farm than competing, but hard to lay it all at his feet imo.
It’s October 2015, and Eppler is hired as Angel GM. He gets told that he better be ready for a barren farm system and some financial limitations. Of course, nobody knew about all of the injuries that the Angels would deal with after that. Considering all he’s dealt with since then, his performance hasn’t been awful.
Eppler is a joke this team is no playoff team
That’s an insightful post. The last two years most of the Angels starts have been by pitchers outside the top five of their rotation and their Pythagorean W-L record is exactly 500. That formula is more indicative of where a team stands than it’s actual record. It also lost Trout for two and a half months.
All this team needs to compete is to stay relatively healthy.
the only problem was that all the free agent starters eppler brought in bombed. and the mullti-position players he so gladly signed were not much of use for the team.
Who, Cozart? Eppler didn;t bring in any starting pitchers. Ohtani was a free agent and he didn’t bomb.
Cozart had a horrible year last year, no question, but the last two years combined not a single Angel starting pitcher has made over 30 starts.
I’d like to sign Sipp and Moose. But other than that, I really like the moves.
If the Angels don’t win and go to the playoffs this year do they consider a full tear down and trade Trout before free agency? I know nobody wants to trade a player that good but I don’t know it seems like they gotta do something before losing him for nothin
Eppler has done a solid job in my opinion.
I don’t know man. Eppler did a solid job at addressing our SP situation but the bullpen is just as embarrasingly disgusting as last season with the only impactful addition being Cody Allen in the 9th. Bourjos and Hermosillo as our 4th OF option is pretty weak as well given the amount of power hitting OFs on the FA list this off season. Cahill and Harvey are good adds, but a lil risky. Bour and Lucroy were good little pickups. But our bullpen was an OBVIOUS issue and was barely even addressed. I smell a down year unfortunately but am hoping for the best. Maybe one more down year and Arte will blow up the roster and “go for it” for Troutys last season.
one of the first thing eppler set for himself this offseason was trading kole. and it hardly seems possible now. and arte cut the spending while epp was trying add one more late inning pen pitcher.
Vizionaire I’m bummed we didn’t trade Kole and go after a big bat for RF. Maybe there truly weren’t many takers. Figured we’d at least get bullpen help for Kole in a trade…
I share your skepticism about the bullpen, But there are a lot of good arms in that pen. The pen could be terrible, but it could also be great. It is such a volatile position.
By the way.. Sciosica was clueless when it came to the pen, so just changing managers helps the Angels out in that department.
Good point macstruts, I should be a bit more optimistic on the pen with the new coaching staff. I mean, there are some decent young arms to choose from but I wanted Halos to grab one dominant reliever like maybe Andrew Miller or someone similar for peace of mind…
Its just my opinion. The Angels NEED HEALTH on their good side and CONSISTENT OFFENSE. Plain and simple. The angels have built offensive teams year after year. The pitching has been weak but Angels should be producing more runs at a consistent rate! Too many times the Angels have lost games because they didn’t score.
There have been multiple stories of Eppler offering multi-year deals to top FAs this year. Can’t say the man ain’t trying. How the hell do you think they’re gonna be able to even AFFORD what it’s gonna cost to resign Trout? I see a man trying to maintain his cap space to retain the best player in baseball. Is he throwing away this season..? Yeah, maybe. But when Trout retires as an Angel, I’ll be happy.
It’s hard to trade a player like Trout. You would have to receive a substantial package in return. If the Astros were willing to trade Springer, Bregman, Forrest Whitley and Kyle Tucker, you would have to take that imo. But that’s a pretty steep offer.