The Los Angeles Angels are stuck in a peculiar situation, but one that feels all too familiar. General manager Perry Minasian completely overhauled much of the roster, and at times, it has looked like a complete success. However, there have also been some less than ideal stretches, leading the Halos to where they are now.
Normally, a 36-39 team sitting 8.5 games back of a playoff spot would be considered sellers at the trade deadline. However, the Angels have some reasons to be positive. They’re just barely under .500 despite losing almost all of their best players to injury at various points throughout the season. They went on a huge run without Mike Trout, and their starting rotation has exceeded expectations in recent weeks.
Minasian gave some insight into the team’s approach between now and the trade deadline, saying that the Angels don’t consider themselves buyers or sellers at the moment, according to Jack Harris of The L.A. Times:
“Obviously there’s still significant time left,” Minasian said. “We’re always looking to improve the team. I’ve said that since Day 1… As far as activity, we’ve talked to multiple clubs on different scenarios and we will continue to do that.”
“There’s short-term and long-term [buys], depending on what you’re buying and how much control it has,” Minasian said. “If you’re looking at shorter-term rentals, then obviously we need to be in a position where we feel like that add is going to really push us. If we’re looking at players with control that can not only help us throughout the rest of this season, going into next year, it’s something we’ll entertain.”
“I’ve been with clubs that you might not necessarily think are buyers, per se, but then a certain player pops up and makes sense for the long-term for that club and they go and buy. So I don’t really categorize it as buyer or seller. I think we’re looking for ways to improve our team, both short-term and long-term.”
While it would obviously be easier to know with clarity whether or not they should buy or sell, this is the result of a very talented team being marred with injuries and other issues. A team with Trout, Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani, and Jared Walsh should not be in this position, but it’s difficult given what the team has endured.
Regardless, improvements need to be made. These can be short-term improvements in the form of trading for quality players that can impact winning today. Or they can be long-term improvements, trading away expiring Major Leaguers in exchange for a bolstered farm system.
This is a big trade deadline for the Halos, as contending for a World Series could be pushed off to 2022. Minasian will need to be active in making moves that improve things right now, or open up the door for a brighter future.
Reid Detmers K’s 14 in six innings
One of the things that could push the Angels in one way or another at the deadline is the progress of 2020 first-round pick Reid Detmers. Detmers was said to be the most pro-ready player in last year’s draft, and he may be proving it very early on.
In his most recent start, just the eighth of his professional career in Double-A, he threw an immaculate inning and struck out 14 over six innings. He allowed two runs in that span, but showed exactly the type of swing-and-miss dominance he can generate.