The Los Angeles Angels have completely revamped their bullpen from last season, and could now be home to one of the best relief crews in the Majors. However, they may still be in the market for starting rotation additions.
Meanwhile, their AL West rival Oakland Athletics are taking a polar opposite approach to the offseason, selling off everybody they can with value. They’ve already traded Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Chris Bassitt and are still looking to deal starting pitcher Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea.
Both teams could realistically achieved their goals if they teamed up to get either Montas or Manaea from Oakland to Anaheim. And reportedly, the Angels are one of many teams making offers, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
The team’s two rotation additions, Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen, cost another $27.75 million, and both come with risk. The Angels are among the teams interested in A’s starters Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea. However, they are likely to be outbid. The Athletic’s Keith Law ranks their system only 23rd in the majors.
Between the two, Montas is believed to have more value in a trade, given that he is 29 with two years of team control left while Manaea is 30 with one year left. But the report makes it relatively clear that the Angels will have to pony up a significant package to land either one.
The Angels do not have the strongest farm system, meaning any trade for an impactful starting pitcher could cost one of Jo Adell or Brandon Marsh. Both names had been floated around in conversations surrounding Luis Castillo. But Castillo is better than both Montas and Manaea, meaning the Halos may not be willing to part with either of their young outfielders.
It also has to be considered that the Athletics may ask for a premium from the Angels for being in the same division. Teams often don’t like to trade good players to teams they have to see 19 times per season, meaning the Angels may need to significantly outbid the top offer in order to get it done.
At this point, a trade for either player feels unlikely. But it’s a good sign to see Perry Minasian poking around the two best starting pitchers that are known to be available on the trade market.
Angels likely sticking with middle infield competition
Rather than going out and getting a premium veteran at a high cost, the Angels may be sticking with their six-man competition to fill the two middle infield spots and the utility role.
Joe Maddon loves what he’s seeing from David Fletcher, Tyler Wade, Andrew Velazquez, Luis Rengifo, Jack Mayfield, and Matt Duffy. He praised them all for having no egos throughout this competition, showing a willingness to play anywhere they’re asked. Of this group, only Fletcher has appeared to secure a starting role.