The Los Angeles Angels made three moves at this year’s trade deadline in early August. The major move was sending Raisel Iglesias — and the entirety of his four-year, $58 million contract — to the Atlanta Braves. But they also made two big trades with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The first was acquiring Mickey Moniak and Jadiel Sanchez in exchange for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The second was sending Brandon Marsh to Philadelphia for elite catcher prospect Logan O’Hoppe. And while the Angels waved the white flag on their season, the Phillies pushed ahead, clinching their first playoff berth since 2011.
The Phillies then stunned the St. Louis Cardinals by sweeping them in the Wild Card round, setting up a NLDS matchup with the reigning World Series champion Braves, with Iglesias. And although very few people gave the Phillies a chance, they once again pulled off the upset, winning 3-1 and advancing to the NLCS.
In the final game of the NLDS, both Syndergaard and Marsh were instrumental in securing the 8-3 win and the series victory. Syndergaard started what was effectively a bullpen game, allowing one run on three hits over 3.0 innings of work.
Meanwhile, Marsh went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Following the franchise-altering win, Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski spoke about the Angels acquisition, according to Molly Burkhardt of MLB.com:
“They’ve been big for our club,” Dombrowski said. “I mean, every contribution by anyone throughout the club has been so [big] throughout. To see [Marsh] come through … big-time like today, it’s a compliment to the people in the office that made the recommendation. So I really tip my cap to all the scouts and our organizational people that are up in the front office that made those recommendations.”
Marsh — the offensive hero of the Game 4 win — said that he and Syndergaard have developed a bond from their time together in Anaheim, and it has made their current playoff success that much more meaningful.
“I feel like every round that we’ve advanced [so] far, we give each other a little look and be like, ‘How ‘bout that?’” Marsh said. “Just both being traded over here at the Deadline, and now we’re in the Final Four. It’s a blessing. No words can really describe this right now.”
Angels fans would certainly have preferred if Syndergaard and Marsh made these contributions to an Angels playoff run. However, the Halos were unable to get over the hump, and now hold what is tied for the longest active playoff drought in MLB.
Instead, the Angels can watch as Marsh and Syndergaard attempt to make history and win the World Series with the Phillies. And hopefully, Moniak, O’Hoppe, and Sanchez can make similar contributions to their team in the near future.
Yankees’ Gerrit Cole takes shot at Angels
The Angels are seemingly a large topic of conversation around the 2022 MLB playoffs. New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has also mentioned the Angels, albeit in a far less pleasant manner. He took a shot at the Angels by saying that he could have picked them in free agency to play alongside Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani while avoiding any postseason pressure.