Phil Nevin Believes Deadline Moves Gave Angels ‘Flexibility & Depth’
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Atlanta Braves
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into Wednesday the Los Angeles Angels remain 10 games out of a Wild Card spot. And after the trade deadline, their focus is once again on the future. But Angels interim manager Phil Nevin is optimistic about the moves general manager Perry Minasian orchestrated.

It is a difficult reality when year after year the Angels seem to come to a point of, ‘to compete or reset’, and this year was believed to be the former.

But a franchise-record losing streak thrust Nevin into the managerial position after the firing of Joe Maddon, and Mike Trout was diagnosed with a rare, but manageable back injury.

Nevertheless, the deadline provided the Angels with three new prospects in their top-30 rankings, including a swap of Brandon Marsh for Logan O’Hoppe, who could soon be their man behind the plate, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:

“Believe it or not, I think we got closer today,” Nevin said of the Angels contending. “We got some flexibility, we got depth. Things we’ll be able to possibly do this offseason. … But at the end of the day, the big centerpieces to our organization are still here. The guys that we plan on building around.”

One big question is if or when the Angels will re-sign Shohei Ohtani after declining to trade him before the deadline amidst speculation they were listening to offers. With the Atlanta Braves taking on all of the remaining money for Raisel Iglesias’ contract, the Angels have the salary cap space to offer Ohtani a boatload of money.

Looking ahead, the Angels remain in a tough position but it was absolutely to their benefit to have the self-awareness to make moves towards the future, unlike the Colorado Rockies who continue to tout their organizational incompetence while remaining in a spin cycle of below-average mediocrity.

Minasian reflects on tough deadline

Minasian made two very clear statements on Tuesday with his moves at the trade deadline. The first — in keeping Ohtani — was that the Angels firmly believe they can compete in 2023, or at least do enough to convince the two-way superstar to stay in Anaheim.

The second statement — trading Noah Syndergaard, Iglesias, and Marsh for high-upside prospects — was that they’re clearly not yet ready to contend. And that they weren’t going to get there with some of the pieces and financial tie-ups they had.

In a vacuum, the Angels did well in all three of their deadline deals. And yet, there is a clear disappointment coming from Minasian and the Angels. Largely because if you had asked four months ago, there’s no chance Minasian would have ever predicted the 2022 season playing out this way.

He reflected on the difficulty of this trade deadline and what spurred him to make the moves he made.

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