Angels outfielder Brian Goodwin is drawing interest from teams seeking corner depth in the grass, Buster Olney of ESPN tweets. As a 55-52 team with a glimmer of a playoff chance, it’s unclear how open the Angels are to moving the 28-year-old.
He wouldn’t net a significant return in a trade, but Goodwin has been an effective buy-low pickup for the Angels. With left fielder Justin Upton battling a serious toe injury that ultimately kept him out until mid-June, the Angels claimed Goodwin off release waivers from the Royals immediately before the season began. At that point, Goodwin was coming off a run of playable offensive production divided between Washington and Kansas City. The lefty-swinging Goodwin posted a league-average wRC+ (100) from 2017-18, a 458-plate appearance span in which he slashed .246/.315/.456 with 19 home runs and 10 stolen bases.
The Angels likely would have been content with similar production this year from Goodwin, but they’ve instead received markedly better work. While it has been a hot-and-cold type of season for Goodwin – who has had two excellent months (April, July) and two subpar ones (May, June) – he has managed to put together a .287/.343/.480 line (117 wRC+) with 29 extra-base hits (18 doubles, nine homers, two triples) and three steals over 281 trips to the plate. A .360 batting average on balls in play has propped up Goodwin’s output, to be sure, and the gap between his weighted on-base average (.347) and expected wOBA (.319) also suggests good fortune has played a role in his success.
What Goodwin has done as an Angel may be smoke and mirrors to some extent, but no interested team would expect to be acquiring any kind of outfield savior. The fact that Goodwin’s a useful major league hitter, a fast runner and someone who can play all three outfield spots – albeit not especially well, according to advanced metrics – makes him an appealing piece. Plus, he’s earning close to the league minimum this season and still has another three years of arbitration eligibility remaining. The Angels may decide to keep Goodwin for those reasons, not to mention they could lose right fielder Kole Calhoun in the offseason if they decline his $14MM club option in favor of a $1MM buyout.