The Los Angeles Angels are still in the offseason’s evaluation mode. While the MLB Playoffs continue on without them, they are left to figure out what went wrong in 2021 and what they need to do to fix things going into next season.
General manager Perry Minasian already knows the simple answer to this question: pitching. The Angels need top tier starting and relief pitching in the worst way, and he has made that the priority of the offseason.
But free agency is not the only way to acquire top-level players. The San Diego Padres added nearly all of their starting pitchers — Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove — via trade. Last season, the Angels nabbed Raisel Iglesias and Alex Cobb in trades.
Trades could clearly play a big factor in the Angels offseason plans, but the question remains how far they would be willing to go to b ring in a big name via trade. Minasian was nothing if not honest when answering this question, according to Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“I would never label anybody untouchable,” Minasian said.
When asked if he felt like the team had enough prospects to make strong trades, Minasian said, “We’ll find out.”
The Angels most likely wouldn’t trade away Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, or a couple other players. However, Minasian is likely saying that — for the right player — anything could be on the table.
For example, perhaps a Cy Young caliber pitcher becomes available in a trade, and to do it, the Angels must give up some combination of Reid Detmers, Jo Adell, and other top 10 talents. They may not do it, but they’d have to consider it if they’re really trying to win in 2022.
This is all a part of the difficulty of Minasian’s job this winter. Yes, it’s much easier for a locker room to acquire a player via free agency, but that usually requires the player wanting to play for you at the price that you set.
The Angels have usually traded for one or more starting pitchers in each of the last few offseasons. Perhaps the trend continues in 2021.
Angels could use David Fletcher, Luis Rengifo for shortstop
If the Angels do complete a big trade, it will almost certainly be for a pitcher. Much like free agency, they have made it clear they don’t want to spend big money in position players. This includes shortstop, where they have a big hole heading into the offseason.
Minasian feels that David Fletcher and Luis Rengifo could be serviceable options to take over the position next season.