The Los Angeles Angels were buyers at the MLB trade deadline but have since fallen out of contention, which amounted to them placing Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López, Hunter Renfroe, Matt Moore, Dominic Leone and Randal Grichuk on waivers.
Giolito, López and Moore were claimed by the Cleveland Guardians, while Renfroe (Cincinnati Reds) and Leone (Seattle Mariners) landed elsewhere. Grichuk was the only player who went unclaimed and will remain with the Angels for the rest of the 2023 season.
The current system has been in place since 2019, when MLB eliminated the August waiver trade period. Only a handful of players are placed on waivers now, but the names usually don’t get out to the public.
That wasn’t the case with the Angels as all six players who were placed on waivers eventually leaked to social media. Renfroe discussed the whirlwind of a week and said his teammates were confused about the process Zack Meisel and C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic:
“I don’t know if anybody had really heard of it, honestly,” Renfroe said. “It’s one of those things where it’s not really talked about. It’s never really out in public as far as waivers stuff goes. Nobody really knew or understood what was going on.”
The names of the six Angels players who were placed on waivers became public information on August 29. As the waiver period lasts for two days, Renfroe knew he was playing his final games with the Angels:
“I had to play two games knowing that basically you’re probably going to be gone,” Renfroe said. “Tough scenario.”
The motivation behind the Angels placing the aforementioned six players on waivers was to get below the luxury tax threshold for the 2023 season. The team saved roughly $5.7 million, but will still pay the tax as a result of Grichuk going unclaimed.
The Angels are due to pay 20% for every dollar above the $233 million limit. Furthermore, their potential compensatory draft pick for Shohei Ohtani if he departs in free agency will no longer follow the second round.
Mike Trout hasn’t thought about future with Angels
In what could be an offseason of change for the Angels, Mike Trout said he has not yet thought about his future with the organization.
It is possible that Trout’s name will be mentioned in trade rumors, but he will not entertain the idea until he’s first had conversations internally.