MLB Trade Deadline Recap: Angels Trade Andrew Heaney & Tony Watson For Pitching Prospects
Tony Watson, 2021 Season
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB trade deadline came and went on Friday afternoon. And while it was perhaps the most chaotic deadline in baseball history, the Los Angeles Angels stayed relatively quiet. They certainly were not buyers, but they weren’t full-blown sellers either, dealing Andrew Heaney to the New York Yankees and Tony Watson to the San Francisco Giants.

Between these deals, the Angels added five minor league pitching prospects to their ranks, undoubtedly a positive return for two players who had been having mediocre seasons.

Heaney had a 5.27 ERA in 18 starts for the Halos this season, and was one of the longest tenured players on the team. He moves on after seven seasons in Anaheim, and will be a free agent this winter. The Yankees have already announced that he will join their rotation when he arrives.

In exchange for Heaney, the Angels received RHP’s Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero. Junk — prior to the deadline — was the No. 27 prospect in the Yankees system according to MLB Pipeline. In 14 appearances and 12 starts at the Double-A level, Junk has a 1.78 ERA, striking out 68 over 65.2 innings.

Peguero was not ranked in the Yankees’ top 30, but has promising numbers out of the bullpen. In 21 relief appearances between high-A and Double-A this season, Peguero has a 2.23 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 44.1 innings.

The Angels also traded Watson to the Giants in exchange for LHP Sam Selman, RHP Ivan Armstrong, and RHP Jose Marte. Watson, 36, gives the Giants reliable bullpen help while the Angels get a trio of pitchers.

Selman has been bouncing between the Major Leagues and Triple-A since 2019. In 37.2 big league innings, he holds a 4.06 ERA and 1.115 WHIP out of the bullpen. He has a 4.03 ERA in 22.1 Triple-A innings this season.

Armstrong just recently turned 21 years old, and has pitched 38.1 innings as a reliever for the Giants’ A-ball team. In that time, he has a 1.88 ERA and 43 strikeouts. Marte, 25, has pitched for both High-A and Double-A this season with a 2.79 ERA and 50 strikeouts.

Overall, the Angels did not fully commit to being buyers or sellers. However, no one can deny that they got positive value for the players they did trade. Heaney and Watson will now have a chance to compete for a World Series on their separate teams, while the Halos look to make their own postseason run.

Angels looking to figure out Athletics pitching

The Angels still have three more games against the Oakland Athletics this weekend, and they have to bounce back from an ugly 4-0 loss on Thursday. Having kept all of their major pieces, they did not yet wave the white flag.

Joe Maddon spoke about what needs to change for the Angels to win the series, and he kept it very simple. He’s proud of how the team has pitched, but says the offense needs to figure out the A’s deep pitching staff.

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