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  1. Here's a look at top prospects to watch in today's Minor League action: View the full article
  2. Angels right-hander Bud Norris is slated to throw one inning in a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Thursday, putting him on track to potentially be activated from the disabled list as soon as Saturday. View the full article
  3. We can wax on about the glory of the mojito – this perfect concoction of rum, mint, sugar, lime juice, and sparkling water — but I’m guessing you won’t need a lot of convincing in that regard. Instead, let’s discuss the building of the mojito, which in my opinion, is what distinguishes a “good” mojito from a “truly incredible” mojito. Continue reading "Mint and Lime Mojito" » View the full article
  4. With their 81st game of the season under their belt, the Angels have completed half of their season, and stand at 41-40 following a 4-0 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday night. The club has played much of its season with a pitching staff hampered by a plethora of injuries to both starters and relievers alike. View the full article
  5. The Freeway Series moves to Anaheim on Wednesday night, with Angels righty Alex Meyer looking to shake off his last start opposite the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu. View the full article
  6. Kenta Maeda fired seven scoreless innings and Joc Pederson slugged a three-run homer in a four-run sixth inning as the Dodgers beat the Angels Tuesday night, 4-0, for a split of the Dodger Stadium portion of the Freeway Series, which continues Wednesday night in Anaheim. View the full article
  7. Keynan Middleton is just scratching the surface, but the potential is unquestionably tangible, from his pitching arsenal to his uninhibited passion for the game. View the full article
  8. 2015-2017 Split vs. LHH as of June 20, 2017 2015-2017 Split vs. RHH as of June 20, 2017 We started the Trade Deadline Series with Cameron Maybin because he probably has the most overall value in trade out of all of the players with less than one year of control but right-handed reliever Bud Norris is not too far behind him in the market. Bud has taken to the closer role quite well once Street and Bedrosian hit the disabled list. Not only is his fastball velocity sitting in the mid-90’s but he is complimenting that pitch with a quality cut fastball and slider. The four-seam fastball has been a weakness against both RHH’s and LHH’s but the cutter and slider have been very effective against both sides of the plate per Brooksbaseball.net. Perhaps a lot less noticeable is the fact that, as a reliever, his LOB% has risen significantly against both sides of the plate and his batting average against has gone down considerably particularly against LHH’s. Norris has less than $1M left on his contract so he is a very attractive asset from both a performance and team payroll point of view. Relievers are almost always in high demand at the deadline so there should be quite a strong market for someone like Bud who can effectively get LHH’s and RHH’s out. After we have executed our basic analysis we will also discuss David Hernandez and Yusmeiro Petit who happen to have profiles that are similar to Norris so keep that in mind when reading the rest of the article. Let us take a look at some teams that have a need for Norris’ services. Twins Minnesota is in dire need of relief help against both sides of the plate. Overall their rotation and bullpen rank 25th vs. LHH’s and dead last vs. RHH’s in K-BB%. When you dig deeper the only member of the Twins bullpen getting it done against both sides of the plate is Tyler Duffey. Even Brandon Kintzler, the team’s current closer, is struggling against left-handed hitters. All of this simply means that Minnesota needs to solve its bullpen woes if they really want to compete, particularly in a playoff series where reliever use is critical. Twins Likely Target(s): OF Cameron Maybin, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, RHP Jesse Chavez, and RHP David Hernandez Angels Likely Target(s): AA LHP Stephen Gonsalves, AA LHP Tyler Jay, R OF Alex Kirilloff, R SS Wander Javier, AA RHP Fernando Romero, AA RHP Kohl Stewart, AAA C Mitch Garver, AAA OF Zack Granite, A+ LHP Lewis Thorpe, AAA RHP J.T. Chargois, AA RHP Nick Burdi, A 1B Lewin Diaz, AA OF Lamonte Wade, AA RHP Felix Jorge, R RHP Huascar Ynoa, A+ LHP Lachlan Wells, R RHP Brusdar Graterol, AAA RHP Aaron Slegers, AA RHP John Curtiss, A+ 2B Luis Arraez, R RHP James Jax, and A RHP Sean Poppen Trade Scenario(s): The Twins really could use a more productive outfielder and are in dire need of right-handed and left-handed relief help. Additionally adding a lead-off hitter would move Dozier to the 2-hole and strengthen and lengthen their lineup as a whole. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Twins in exchange for AA LHP Stephen Gonsalves and R RHP James Jax Angels trade RHP Bud Norris and RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Twins in exchange for AAA OF Zack Granite, A+ LHP Lewis Thorpe, and A+ 2B Luis Arraez Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin and RP Bud Norris to the Twins in exchange for AA LHP Stephen Gonsalves, R OF Alex Kirilloff, A+ 2B Luis Arraez, and R SS Wander Javier Rangers Standing literally right behind the Twins in rotation and bullpen suck-age is our A.L. West opponent, the Texas Rangers. They currently rank 27th versus LHH’s and 29th against RHH’s in our tables we generated in the second submission of the series (the Methodology article). Obviously this is an issue that needs to be addressed if the Rangers want to succeed moving forward. When you examine the Rangers bullpen two names, Jeremy Jeffress and Dario Alvarez, stand out as under-performers. The former is a bit surprising as he was the other guy in the Lucroy trade (and boy is that looking not so good for Texas now) and there was an expectation he would make an impact. Most of Texas’ woes are in the back-end of the rotation and in set-up (Jeffress) and middle relief (Alvarez). Normally the Angels might not want to bargain with a team in their own Division but if the trade asset is only a pure rental it should not be an issue for Billy Eppler to strike a deal (although Texas may be loathe to do so). Rangers Likely Target(s): RHP David Hernandez and RHP Yusmeiro Petit Angels Likely Target(s): AA LHP Yohander Mendez, A OF Leody Taveras, AA RHP Ariel Jurado, R LHP Cole Ragans, AA C Jose Trevino, A+ LHP Joe Palumbo, A+ LHP Brett Martin, AA 2B Andy Ibanez, AA RHP Connor Sadzeck, A RHP Michael Matuella, RHP Josh LeClerc, AAA UTIL Drew Robinson, R 2B Kole Enright, A+ RHP Jonathan Hernandez, AAA C Brett Nicholas, A RHP Kyle Cody, AA OF Jose Cardona, and AA RHP Pedro Payano Trade Scenario(s): The Rangers, just like the Angels, are on the outskirts of the Wild Card race. If they do close the gap adding one of our relievers as a pure rental piece is the most likely outcome if Eppler chooses to do business with a Division rival. Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Rangers in exchange for AA RHP Ariel Jurado and A RHP Michael Matuella Angels trade RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Rangers in exchange for A+ RHP Jonathan Hernandez and A RHP Kyle Cody Tigers Detroit is doing a touch better than the previous two teams as their pitching staff is ranked 16th against LHH’s and 27th versus RHH’s. Clearly they need to improve as a whole against the latter but a deeper look shows where the real problem lies. When you peel back the layers you quickly realize that 40% of the Tigers rotation (Zimmerman and Verlander) are really under-performing against both sides of the plate as are relievers LHP Daniel Stumpf and RHP Alex Wilson. There may be very little the Tigers can do about the former when you consider the contracts owed but the latter could be alleviated by acquiring a reliever or two to reinforce their bullpen if Detroit stays in it. Tigers Likely Target(s): OF Cameron Maybin, OF Eric Young Jr., RHP David Hernandez, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, RHP Blake Parker, and RHP Bud Norris Angels Likely Target(s): R RHP Matt Manning, AA RHP Beau Burrows, AA LHP Tyler Alexander, AA OF Mike Gerber, RHP Joe Jimenez, SS Dixon Machado, A+ RHP Kyle Funkhouser, AA RHP Adam Ravanelle, A+ RHP Gerson Moreno, A+ RHP Sandy Baez, R 2B Hector Martinez, A+ RHP Spencer Turnbull, R RHP Wladimir Pinto, AA RHP Myles Jaye, AA LHP Jairo Labourt, A+ RHP Drew Smith, A+ LHP Matt Hall, and AA RHP Artie Lewicki, Trade Scenario(s): Detroit, in the current standings, are still in the mix for a shot at the Division and Wild Card. If that holds they could certainly use a shot in the arm in center field. Additionally the Tigers rotation has been quite ineffective against RHP so that is likely a concern for their management although it is unclear how they can address the issue. Finally Detroit probably needs an additional reliever or two if they want to make a run at a Wild Card spot. Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin and RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Tigers in exchange for RHP Joe Jimenez, R RHP Wladimir Pinto, A+ RHP Kyle Funkhouser, and A+ LHP Matt Hall Angels trade RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Tigers in exchange for AA RHP Adam Ravanelle Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Tigers in exchange for A+ RHP Kyle Funkhouser and A+ RHP Spencer Turnbull Brewers Milwaukee, like Anaheim and Texas, sits on the fringe of the Wild Card race waiting to see how things firm up before the All Star Break. If the Brew Crew finds themselves as buyers at the deadline they will have to account for their current 13th place ranking versus LHH’s and 26th place ranking against RHH’s if they want to sustain a run through the rest of the year. Relievers like Carlos Torres, Paolo Espino, and Wily Peralta along with starters Zach Davies and Junior Guerra are dragging down Milwaukee’s pitching numbers due to bland results and under-performance. Brewers Likely Target(s): RHP Bud Norris, RHP David Hernandez, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Blake Parker, and RHP Yusmeiro Petit Angels Likely Target(s): RHP Brandon Woodruff, A+ 3B Lucas Erceg, A+ RHP Marcos Diplan, A+ RHP Phil Bickford, AAA OF Ryan Cordell, AA RHP Jorge Lopez, A+ RHP Cody Ponce, AAA OF Brett Phillips, AA RHP Corbin Burnes, A+ LHP Kodi Medeiros, AA RHP Freddy Peralta, A C Mario Feliciano, A+ RHP Jordan Yamamoto, AAA OF Kyle Wren, AA RHP Adrian Houser, R RHP Nash Walters, A+ OF Troy Stokes, AA RHP Jon Perrin, and AA RHP Aaron Wilkerson Trade Scenario(s): Milwaukee has been hanging in the playoff hunt and recently they have indicated they are open to potentially adding bullpen help as they near the deadline. The caveat to that need is that they are unwilling to trade any of their top tier pieces, per MLBTradeRumors.com, so in light of that we will only consider certain Brewers prospects and players in this discussion. The Brewers primary need is relievers that can put away right-handed hitters. Angels trade RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Brewers in exchange for AA RHP Aaron Wilkerson and A+ LHP Kodi Medeiros Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Brewers in exchange for AAA OF Ryan Cordell and R RHP Nash Walters Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Brewers in exchange for AA RHP Jorge Lopez and A+ RHP Phil Bickford Angels trade RHP Blake Parker to the Brewers in exchange for AAA OF Ryan Cordell, AA RHP Corbin Burnes, and A+ RHP Cody Ponce Rays When you look closer at Tampa’s bullpen you see a group that is a little bit split in their efficiency against both sides of the plate. Danny Farquhar in particular has had his troubles and frankly this is an area where the Rays could improve by adding a reliever that can get both LHH’s and RHH’s out if they want to compete more effectively down the stretch and especially if they make the playoffs. Rays Likely Target(s): OF Cameron Maybin, OF Eric Young Jr., SP Ricky Nolasco, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, and RHP David Hernandez Angels Likely Target(s): AAA RHP Brent Honeywell, RHP Jose De Leon, A OF Jesus Sanchez, AAA RHP Chih-Wei Hu, AA OF Justin Williams, RHP Jacob Faria, AAA RHP Ryne Stanek, AAA RHP Diego Castillo, R LHP Resly Linares, A+ 3B Kevin Padlo, AAA RHP Taylor Guerrieri, AA RHP Hunter Wood, AAA RHP Jaime Schultz, AA RHP Greg Harris, A+ C David Rodriguez, LHP Jose Alvarado, A+ RHP Brandon Koch, A+ LHP Genesis Cabrera, AAA LHP Ryan Yarbrough, A RHP Deivy Mendez, A- Vidal Brujan, A+ RHP Blake Bivens, A RHP Adrian Navas, A RHP Kevin Gadea, A RHP Peter Bayer, R C Ronaldo Hernandez, and A LHP Kenny Rosenberg Trade Scenario(s): The Rays have had their fair share of bullpen injuries so reinforcing their relief corps by adding one good, two-way reliever might be prudent. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Rays in exchange for AAA RHP Jaime Schultz and A+ RHP Brandon Koch Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin and RHP Bud Norris to the Rays in exchange for AAA RHP Diego Castillo, AAA RHP Jaime Schultz, and R C Ronaldo Hernandez Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin, SP Ricky Nolasco, and RHP David Hernandez to the Rays in exchange for AAA Chih-Wei Hu, AAA RHP Jaime Schultz, LHP Jose Alvarado, and A+ LHP Genesis Cabrera. Angels absorb $2MM of Nolasco’s remaining 2017 salary Mets New York has been taking on water recently and finds themselves on the bubble of completely falling out of the Wild Card race. Realistically the Mets season might be done but like every other team on this list they are one large winning streak away from putting themselves back into the discussion. When you examine New York’s bullpen you can see that they are more match-up based with only their closer, Addison Reed, being a true two-way reliever. It would probably be in their best interest to acquire one more bullpen piece if they are in it at the deadline. Mets Likely Target(s): 3B Yunel Escobar, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Blake Parker, and RHP David Hernandez Angels Likely Target(s): AAA 1B Dominic Smith, A+ RHP Justin Dunn, A SS Andres Gimenez, A OF Desmond Lindsay, A LHP Thomas Szapucki, AA C Tomas Nido, OF Brandon Nimmo, R SS Gregory Guerrero, AAA 2B Gavin Cecchini, A+ 1B Peter Alonso, A+ OF Wuilmer Becerra, A RHP Merandy Gonzalez, AA RHP Marcos Molina, UTIL T.J. Rivera, A C Ali Sanchez, A RHP Harol Gonzalez, AA RHP Chris Flexen, R OF Anthony Dirocie, R RHP Michel Otanez, R OF Raul Beracierta, A+ RHP Nabil Crismatt, and A+ 3B Jhoan Urena Trade Scenario(s): The Mets need another reliable reliever and based on the lackluster performance of some of their middle infield, someone like Yunel Escobar might be a rental they would be interested in. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Mets in exchange for AAA 2B Gavin Cecchini and R RHP Michel Otanez Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Mets in exchange for OF Brandon Nimmo and R OF Anthony Dirocie Angels trade RHP Bud Norris and 3B Yunel Escobar to the Mets in exchange for AAA 2B Gavin Cecchini, A+ 1B Peter Alonso, and AA RHP Chris Flexen Yankees The Bronx Bombers actually have a pretty good bullpen with the likes of Chapman, Betances, and Chad Green being able to control both sides of the plate. However when you look a little closer it is clear they may want to beef up their middle right-handed relief before the deadline as they are a little heavy the other way. To be clear New York does not have to do anything here and they could probably get by adequately particularly in a playoff situation with the three listed above. A move to increase the length and breadth of their bullpen would be a depth one, perhaps even a luxury, which, of course, the Yankees can afford. Yankees Likely Target(s): 3B Yunel Escobar, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Blake Parker, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, and RHP David Hernandez Angels Likely Target(s): A+ RHP James Kaprielian, A+ SS Jorge Mateo, AAA OF Dustin Fowler, AA LHP Justus Sheffield, A+ RHP Albert Abreu, AAA RHP Chance Adams, AAA 3B Miguel Andujar, A+ RHP Dillon Tate, AAA UTIL Tyler Wade, A OF Estevan Florial, AAA RHP Domingo Acevedo, R 3B Dermis Garcia, A+ LHP Ian Clarkin, AAA RHP Gio Gallegos, R RHP Rony Garcia, A+ SS Kyle Holder, AAA RHP Ben Heller, A- RHP Jorge Guzman, AA RHP Yefry Ramirez, R SS Eduardo Torrealba, A RHP Nick Green, A SS Diego Castillo, AA RHP Zack Littell, AAA RHP Adonis Rosa, R RHP Deivi Garcia, AA RHP Travis Hissong, AA RHP Nick Rumbelow, A+ RHP Erik Swanson, and AA 2B Thairo Estrada Trade Scenario(s): The Yankees might take a flyer on Escobar as part of a platoon with Chase Headley but if they were to inquire on anyone first it would probably be one of our available relievers, particularly one that can get RHH’s out well. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Yankees in exchange for AAA 3B Miguel Andujar and R RHP Deivi Garcia Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Yankees in exchange for AAA RHP Domingo Acevedo and R RHP Rony Garcia Angels trade RHP Bud Norris and 3B Yunel Escobar to the Yankees in exchange for AAA OF Dustin Fowler, A- RHP Jorge Guzman, and AA RHP Travis Hissong Nationals Washington’s bullpen woes have been fairly well documented since the beginning of the season. When you look at the current state of their bullpen it becomes clear that they probably need one more reliever that can get lefties out and preferably that person should be a two-way guy that can get RHH’s out too. Nationals Likely Target(s): OF Cameron Maybin, UTIL Danny Espinosa, UTIL Cliff Pennington, RHP David Hernandez, RHP Blake Parker, and RHP Bud Norris Angels Likely Target(s): A+ OF Victor Robles, A OF Juan Soto, AAA RHP Erick Fedde, DSL SS Luis Garcia, A 3B Carter Kieboom, RHP Koda Glover, AAA C Pedro Severino, AA 1B Jose Marmolejos, A OF Daniel Johnson, A C Jakson Reetz, A LHP Tyler Watson, and AA RHP Ryan Brinley Trade Scenario(s): Certain members of the Nat’s bullpen are not performing well so adding someone like David Hernandez or Bud Norris would give them more firepower, particularly against left-handed hitters, in later innings. Also Washington may be a serious player to acquire Cameron Maybin if the Angels are out of it near the trade deadline. Finally a left-handed hitting defensive-minded utility backup like Espinosa (questionable considering the way he argued with Nat’s management before they traded him to the Halos) or Pennington might be in the cards. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Nationals in exchange for AAA RHP Erick Fedde and A C Jakson Reetz Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin and RHP David Hernandez to the Nationals in exchange for RHP Koda Glover, AA RHP Ryan Brinley, A OF Juan Soto, and A LHP Tyler Watson Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin, UTIL Danny Espinosa, and RHP Bud Norris to the Nationals in exchange for AAA Erick Fedde, RHP Koda Glover, A OF Juan Soto, and A LHP Tyler Watson Red Sox Boston has the best reliever, hands-down, in baseball right now in the form of Craig Kimbrel so they are operating off of a great base. However behind Craig the only other two-way guy is Heath Hembree. The rest of the bullpen can play match-ups reasonably well but the Red Sox could use a third two-way reliever to add depth and prepare them for a playoff run. Realistically the Sox are a likely trade partner as they may be on the lookout for a 3B to replace the struggling Pablo Sandoval so they may have interest in Yunel Escobar if the Angels are out of it at the deadline or decide that Kaleb Cowart or Luis Valbuena can replace his production. Red Sox Likely Target(s): 3B Yunel Escobar, RHP Bud Norris, RHP David Hernandez, UTIL Danny Espinosa, UTIL Cliff Pennington, and RHP Blake Parker Angels Likely Target(s): AA 3B Rafael Devers, A LHP Jay Groome, A 3B Bobby Dalbec, A SS C.J. Chatham, A+ RHP Roniel Raudes, AA RHP Travis Lakins, A+ 1B Josh Ockimey, AAA RHP Ben Taylor, AA 3B Michael Chavis, AAA RHP Kyle Martin, A RHP Bryan Mata, A+ RHP Shaun Anderson, A+ OF Trenton Kemp, AAA RHP Chandler Shepard, A+ RHP Marc Brakeman, A+ RHP Stephen Nogosek, R 1B Pedro Castellanos, and AAA RHP Jaime Callahan Trade Scenario(s): Boston almost assuredly would like to beef up their bullpen for a stretch run in the very competitive A.L. East, preferably a two-way type reliever that can impact both sides of the plate. Also the Red Sox are running out their 6th 3B over the last week and might have serious interest in Yunel Escobar as a less expensive option. Finally Boston might have interest in a quality defensive utility player so Espinosa and Pennington might be in play too. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Red Sox in exchange for AA 3B Michael Chavis and A+ RHP Marc Brakeman Angels trade RHP David Hernandez and 3B Yunel Escobar to the Red Sox in exchange for A LHP Jay Groome, A+ 1B Josh Ockimey, and AAA RHP Kyle Martin Angels trade RHP Blake Parker and 3B Yunel Escobar to the Red Sox in exchange for AA 3B Rafael Devers and A LHP Jay Groome Angels trade RHP Bud Norris, 3B Yunel Escobar, and UTIL Danny Espinosa to the Red Sox in exchange for AA 3B Rafael Devers, A+ RHP Stephen Nogosek, and R 1B Pedro Castellanos Indians Cleveland’s pitching as a whole, despite the actual results, has been pretty darn good and is a testament to the front office and coaching staff. However like many teams they do have some holes and one of them may be a lack of middle relief that can effectively close out LHH’s. The Indians have a strong and competitive playoff team and they may be in need of a utility infielder that can hit LHP in addition to a bullpen arm. Indians Likely Target(s): RHP Bud Norris, RHP David Hernandez, RHP Blake Parker, LHP Jose Alvarez, RHP Cam Bedrosian, UTIL Danny Espinosa, and UTIL Cliff Pennington Angels Likely Target(s): AA C Francisco Mejia, AAA 3B Yandy Diaz, AA OF Greg Allen, AA 1B Bobbie Bradley, A- 3B Nolan Jones, AA SS Yu-Cheng Chang, A LHP Brady Aiken, A LHP Juan Hillman, A+ OF Anthony Santander, AAA RHP Shawn Armstrong, A+ RHP Triston McKenzie, A LHP Sam Hentges, A- OF Oscar Gonzalez, A C Logan Ice, A RHP Yoiber Marquina, AA RHP Perci Garner, A+ RHP Shane Bieber, A+ RHP Aaron Civale, and A+ OF Andrew Calica Trade Scenario(s): Cleveland could certainly use another strong reliever that can get left-handed hitters out at the minimum. The Indians are one team that have a plethora of different prospects that the Angels actually need (OF, 3B, and C) so certain Angels players that Eppler may not be offering to other teams might be in play here. Besides relief pitching Cleveland may want a more experienced, defense-first utility player like Espinosa or Pennington that can hit LHP. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris and A RHP Joe Gatto to the Indians in exchange for 3B Yandy Diaz and A+ RHP Shane Bieber Angels trade LHP Jose Alvarez and UTIL Danny Espinosa to the Indians in exchange for AA OF Greg Allen and A RHP Yoiber Marquina Angels trade RHP Blake Parker and UTIL Danny Espinosa to the Indians in exchange for 3B Yandy Diaz and A+ RHP Triston McKenzie Angels trade RHP Cam Bedrosian to the Indians in exchange for AA C Francisco Mejia, AAA 3B Yandy Diaz, and A LHP Juan Hillman Conclusion In terms of overall trade value, Bud Norris certainly has a lot for any team looking to strengthen their relief corps leading up to the trade deadline. Realistically Norris, like Maybin, should bring back a good quality prospect plus a secondary piece of some sort. It won’t be quite the return Cameron generates but it will be in the ballpark. The 10 teams above, the Twins, Rangers, Tigers, Brewers, Rays, Mets, Yankees, Nationals, Red Sox, and Indians are all likely suitors based on our initial analysis. Certainly a couple of these teams are close to being out of the running for Norris’ services but that could mean that there are other teams inching closer to competing that could have a need. To be clear the author examined each of the non-listed teams in detail to determine if they had a need. A bit surprisingly certain teams such as the Astros (Giles, Devenski, and Feliz), Diamondbacks (Bradley, Chafin, and Delgado), Cubs (Davis, Edwards Jr., and Duensing), and Blue Jays (Osuna, Smith, and Barnes) have excellent bullpens with, in the author’s opinion, virtually no holes at this point in time. Essentially this is a season of the have’s and the have not’s which will add a layer of complexity to the trade market. However reliever volatility and injury is quite random and occurs often so any of those squads not mentioned could, at a moment’s notice, become a buyer for an Angels bullpen piece if the need arises. Bud will definitely not be the only reliever on the market so trade competition will be fierce. This is one area the Angels have been very strong in and when you consider the return of Cam Bedrosian to the bullpen, the Angels, if they stick in the playoff hunt, can afford to part with one of their other relievers to bolster the team now or continue building the farm system with prospects. Also what applies to Bud Norris would also apply to David Hernandez as seen below: 2015-2017 Split vs. LHH as of June 20, 2017 2015-2017 Split vs. RHH as of June 20, 2017 In fact there is a compelling case that Hernandez should bring in slightly more than Norris based on the comparison of their splits in 2017. Norris obviously has the more recent high leverage (closer) experience but Hernandez is no stranger to that role either as he spent some time closing for the Diamondbacks a few years back. Based on this similarity between Bud and David we will forego writing a separate article on the latter and simply use this list of teams as a guideline for interested trade partners. One or both should bring in a reasonably good return on investment for the Angels, netting at least one mid-tier prospect and perhaps a secondary piece. We should all applaud Billy Eppler and his staff for the great cherry-picking effort off of the free agent market and waiver wires last year. One other Angels pitcher that does not have closer experience but is, to a lesser degree, similar to Norris and Hernandez is RHP Yusmeiro Petit who has more of an extreme platoon split as seen below: 2015-2017 Split vs. LHH as of June 20, 2017 2015-2017 Split vs. RHH as of June 20, 2017 Yusmeiro has been lights out against right-handed hitters this year in relief. He has given up a large number of walks (12.5%) to left-handed hitters but has managed to suppress their batting average against (.194) through poor contact. Teams in need of specific right-handed relief should find Petit quite appealing in terms of price and ability. Some of those clubs would include the Tigers, Twins, Brewers, and Rangers among others. Yusmeiro will not bring in as much value as Norris or Hernandez but he could snag a reasonably decent prospect in a deadline sale. Because of Petit’s similarity to Norris and Hernandez, he too will not have his own separate article written for this series. Yusmeiro’s interested suitors, as noted above, will be a sub-set of Norris’ gentlemen callers but should draw just as much interest based on his stronger ability to punch RHH’s out. Author’s Best Guess: This is a close call between the Red Sox and the Nationals. I’m going with the former because if the Angels are still in the playoff race Boston still makes some sense as a deadline trade partner for 3B Yunel Escobar (who can be potentially be replaced by Valbuena or Cowart) and one of either Bud Norris or David Hernandez (because one or the other is expendable with the return of Cam Bedrosian). If the Angels sell-off completely here are my predictions for all three: Bud Norris to the Red Sox David Hernandez to the Nationals Yusmeiro Petit to the Brewers View the full article
  9. By Robert Cunningham, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer 2015-2017 Split vs. LHH as of June 20, 2017 2015-2017 Split vs. RHH as of June 20, 2017 We started the Trade Deadline Series with Cameron Maybin because he probably has the most overall value in trade out of all of the players with less than one year of control but right-handed reliever Bud Norris is not too far behind him in the market. Bud has taken to the closer role quite well once Street and Bedrosian hit the disabled list. Not only is his fastball velocity sitting in the mid-90’s but he is complimenting that pitch with a quality cut fastball and slider. The four-seam fastball has been a weakness against both RHH’s and LHH’s but the cutter and slider have been very effective against both sides of the plate per Brooksbaseball.net. Perhaps a lot less noticeable is the fact that, as a reliever, his LOB% has risen significantly against both sides of the plate and his batting average against has gone down considerably particularly against LHH’s. Norris has less than $1M left on his contract so he is a very attractive asset from both a performance and team payroll point of view. Relievers are almost always in high demand at the deadline so there should be quite a strong market for someone like Bud who can effectively get LHH’s and RHH’s out. After we have executed our basic analysis we will also discuss David Hernandez and Yusmeiro Petit who happen to have profiles that are similar to Norris so keep that in mind when reading the rest of the article. Let us take a look at some teams that have a need for Norris’ services. Twins Minnesota is in dire need of relief help against both sides of the plate. Overall their rotation and bullpen rank 25th vs. LHH’s and dead last vs. RHH’s in K-BB%. When you dig deeper the only member of the Twins bullpen getting it done against both sides of the plate is Tyler Duffey. Even Brandon Kintzler, the team’s current closer, is struggling against left-handed hitters. All of this simply means that Minnesota needs to solve its bullpen woes if they really want to compete, particularly in a playoff series where reliever use is critical. Twins Likely Target(s): OF Cameron Maybin, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, RHP Jesse Chavez, and RHP David Hernandez Angels Likely Target(s): AA LHP Stephen Gonsalves, AA LHP Tyler Jay, R OF Alex Kirilloff, R SS Wander Javier, AA RHP Fernando Romero, AA RHP Kohl Stewart, AAA C Mitch Garver, AAA OF Zack Granite, A+ LHP Lewis Thorpe, AAA RHP J.T. Chargois, AA RHP Nick Burdi, A 1B Lewin Diaz, AA OF Lamonte Wade, AA RHP Felix Jorge, R RHP Huascar Ynoa, A+ LHP Lachlan Wells, R RHP Brusdar Graterol, AAA RHP Aaron Slegers, AA RHP John Curtiss, A+ 2B Luis Arraez, R RHP James Jax, and A RHP Sean Poppen Trade Scenario(s): The Twins really could use a more productive outfielder and are in dire need of right-handed and left-handed relief help. Additionally adding a lead-off hitter would move Dozier to the 2-hole and strengthen and lengthen their lineup as a whole. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Twins in exchange for AA LHP Stephen Gonsalves and R RHP James Jax Angels trade RHP Bud Norris and RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Twins in exchange for AAA OF Zack Granite, A+ LHP Lewis Thorpe, and A+ 2B Luis Arraez Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin and RP Bud Norris to the Twins in exchange for AA LHP Stephen Gonsalves, R OF Alex Kirilloff, A+ 2B Luis Arraez, and R SS Wander Javier Rangers Standing literally right behind the Twins in rotation and bullpen suck-age is our A.L. West opponent, the Texas Rangers. They currently rank 27th versus LHH’s and 29th against RHH’s in our tables we generated in the second submission of the series (the Methodology article). Obviously this is an issue that needs to be addressed if the Rangers want to succeed moving forward. When you examine the Rangers bullpen two names, Jeremy Jeffress and Dario Alvarez, stand out as under-performers. The former is a bit surprising as he was the other guy in the Lucroy trade (and boy is that looking not so good for Texas now) and there was an expectation he would make an impact. Most of Texas’ woes are in the back-end of the rotation and in set-up (Jeffress) and middle relief (Alvarez). Normally the Angels might not want to bargain with a team in their own Division but if the trade asset is only a pure rental it should not be an issue for Billy Eppler to strike a deal (although Texas may be loathe to do so). Rangers Likely Target(s): RHP David Hernandez and RHP Yusmeiro Petit Angels Likely Target(s): AA LHP Yohander Mendez, A OF Leody Taveras, AA RHP Ariel Jurado, R LHP Cole Ragans, AA C Jose Trevino, A+ LHP Joe Palumbo, A+ LHP Brett Martin, AA 2B Andy Ibanez, AA RHP Connor Sadzeck, A RHP Michael Matuella, RHP Josh LeClerc, AAA UTIL Drew Robinson, R 2B Kole Enright, A+ RHP Jonathan Hernandez, AAA C Brett Nicholas, A RHP Kyle Cody, AA OF Jose Cardona, and AA RHP Pedro Payano Trade Scenario(s): The Rangers, just like the Angels, are on the outskirts of the Wild Card race. If they do close the gap adding one of our relievers as a pure rental piece is the most likely outcome if Eppler chooses to do business with a Division rival. Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Rangers in exchange for AA RHP Ariel Jurado and A RHP Michael Matuella Angels trade RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Rangers in exchange for A+ RHP Jonathan Hernandez and A RHP Kyle Cody Tigers Detroit is doing a touch better than the previous two teams as their pitching staff is ranked 16th against LHH’s and 27th versus RHH’s. Clearly they need to improve as a whole against the latter but a deeper look shows where the real problem lies. When you peel back the layers you quickly realize that 40% of the Tigers rotation (Zimmerman and Verlander) are really under-performing against both sides of the plate as are relievers LHP Daniel Stumpf and RHP Alex Wilson. There may be very little the Tigers can do about the former when you consider the contracts owed but the latter could be alleviated by acquiring a reliever or two to reinforce their bullpen if Detroit stays in it. Tigers Likely Target(s): OF Cameron Maybin, OF Eric Young Jr., RHP David Hernandez, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, RHP Blake Parker, and RHP Bud Norris Angels Likely Target(s): R RHP Matt Manning, AA RHP Beau Burrows, AA LHP Tyler Alexander, AA OF Mike Gerber, RHP Joe Jimenez, SS Dixon Machado, A+ RHP Kyle Funkhouser, AA RHP Adam Ravanelle, A+ RHP Gerson Moreno, A+ RHP Sandy Baez, R 2B Hector Martinez, A+ RHP Spencer Turnbull, R RHP Wladimir Pinto, AA RHP Myles Jaye, AA LHP Jairo Labourt, A+ RHP Drew Smith, A+ LHP Matt Hall, and AA RHP Artie Lewicki, Trade Scenario(s): Detroit, in the current standings, are still in the mix for a shot at the Division and Wild Card. If that holds they could certainly use a shot in the arm in center field. Additionally the Tigers rotation has been quite ineffective against RHP so that is likely a concern for their management although it is unclear how they can address the issue. Finally Detroit probably needs an additional reliever or two if they want to make a run at a Wild Card spot. Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin and RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Tigers in exchange for RHP Joe Jimenez, R RHP Wladimir Pinto, A+ RHP Kyle Funkhouser, and A+ LHP Matt Hall Angels trade RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Tigers in exchange for AA RHP Adam Ravanelle Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Tigers in exchange for A+ RHP Kyle Funkhouser and A+ RHP Spencer Turnbull Brewers Milwaukee, like Anaheim and Texas, sits on the fringe of the Wild Card race waiting to see how things firm up before the All Star Break. If the Brew Crew finds themselves as buyers at the deadline they will have to account for their current 13th place ranking versus LHH’s and 26th place ranking against RHH’s if they want to sustain a run through the rest of the year. Relievers like Carlos Torres, Paolo Espino, and Wily Peralta along with starters Zach Davies and Junior Guerra are dragging down Milwaukee’s pitching numbers due to bland results and under-performance. Brewers Likely Target(s): RHP Bud Norris, RHP David Hernandez, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Blake Parker, and RHP Yusmeiro Petit Angels Likely Target(s): RHP Brandon Woodruff, A+ 3B Lucas Erceg, A+ RHP Marcos Diplan, A+ RHP Phil Bickford, AAA OF Ryan Cordell, AA RHP Jorge Lopez, A+ RHP Cody Ponce, AAA OF Brett Phillips, AA RHP Corbin Burnes, A+ LHP Kodi Medeiros, AA RHP Freddy Peralta, A C Mario Feliciano, A+ RHP Jordan Yamamoto, AAA OF Kyle Wren, AA RHP Adrian Houser, R RHP Nash Walters, A+ OF Troy Stokes, AA RHP Jon Perrin, and AA RHP Aaron Wilkerson Trade Scenario(s): Milwaukee has been hanging in the playoff hunt and recently they have indicated they are open to potentially adding bullpen help as they near the deadline. The caveat to that need is that they are unwilling to trade any of their top tier pieces, per MLBTradeRumors.com, so in light of that we will only consider certain Brewers prospects and players in this discussion. The Brewers primary need is relievers that can put away right-handed hitters. Angels trade RHP Yusmeiro Petit to the Brewers in exchange for AA RHP Aaron Wilkerson and A+ LHP Kodi Medeiros Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Brewers in exchange for AAA OF Ryan Cordell and R RHP Nash Walters Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Brewers in exchange for AA RHP Jorge Lopez and A+ RHP Phil Bickford Angels trade RHP Blake Parker to the Brewers in exchange for AAA OF Ryan Cordell, AA RHP Corbin Burnes, and A+ RHP Cody Ponce Rays When you look closer at Tampa’s bullpen you see a group that is a little bit split in their efficiency against both sides of the plate. Danny Farquhar in particular has had his troubles and frankly this is an area where the Rays could improve by adding a reliever that can get both LHH’s and RHH’s out if they want to compete more effectively down the stretch and especially if they make the playoffs. Rays Likely Target(s): OF Cameron Maybin, OF Eric Young Jr., SP Ricky Nolasco, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, and RHP David Hernandez Angels Likely Target(s): AAA RHP Brent Honeywell, RHP Jose De Leon, A OF Jesus Sanchez, AAA RHP Chih-Wei Hu, AA OF Justin Williams, RHP Jacob Faria, AAA RHP Ryne Stanek, AAA RHP Diego Castillo, R LHP Resly Linares, A+ 3B Kevin Padlo, AAA RHP Taylor Guerrieri, AA RHP Hunter Wood, AAA RHP Jaime Schultz, AA RHP Greg Harris, A+ C David Rodriguez, LHP Jose Alvarado, A+ RHP Brandon Koch, A+ LHP Genesis Cabrera, AAA LHP Ryan Yarbrough, A RHP Deivy Mendez, A- Vidal Brujan, A+ RHP Blake Bivens, A RHP Adrian Navas, A RHP Kevin Gadea, A RHP Peter Bayer, R C Ronaldo Hernandez, and A LHP Kenny Rosenberg Trade Scenario(s): The Rays have had their fair share of bullpen injuries so reinforcing their relief corps by adding one good, two-way reliever might be prudent. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Rays in exchange for AAA RHP Jaime Schultz and A+ RHP Brandon Koch Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin and RHP Bud Norris to the Rays in exchange for AAA RHP Diego Castillo, AAA RHP Jaime Schultz, and R C Ronaldo Hernandez Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin, SP Ricky Nolasco, and RHP David Hernandez to the Rays in exchange for AAA Chih-Wei Hu, AAA RHP Jaime Schultz, LHP Jose Alvarado, and A+ LHP Genesis Cabrera. Angels absorb $2MM of Nolasco’s remaining 2017 salary Mets New York has been taking on water recently and finds themselves on the bubble of completely falling out of the Wild Card race. Realistically the Mets season might be done but like every other team on this list they are one large winning streak away from putting themselves back into the discussion. When you examine New York’s bullpen you can see that they are more match-up based with only their closer, Addison Reed, being a true two-way reliever. It would probably be in their best interest to acquire one more bullpen piece if they are in it at the deadline. Mets Likely Target(s): 3B Yunel Escobar, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Blake Parker, and RHP David Hernandez Angels Likely Target(s): AAA 1B Dominic Smith, A+ RHP Justin Dunn, A SS Andres Gimenez, A OF Desmond Lindsay, A LHP Thomas Szapucki, AA C Tomas Nido, OF Brandon Nimmo, R SS Gregory Guerrero, AAA 2B Gavin Cecchini, A+ 1B Peter Alonso, A+ OF Wuilmer Becerra, A RHP Merandy Gonzalez, AA RHP Marcos Molina, UTIL T.J. Rivera, A C Ali Sanchez, A RHP Harol Gonzalez, AA RHP Chris Flexen, R OF Anthony Dirocie, R RHP Michel Otanez, R OF Raul Beracierta, A+ RHP Nabil Crismatt, and A+ 3B Jhoan Urena Trade Scenario(s): The Mets need another reliable reliever and based on the lackluster performance of some of their middle infield, someone like Yunel Escobar might be a rental they would be interested in. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Mets in exchange for AAA 2B Gavin Cecchini and R RHP Michel Otanez Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Mets in exchange for OF Brandon Nimmo and R OF Anthony Dirocie Angels trade RHP Bud Norris and 3B Yunel Escobar to the Mets in exchange for AAA 2B Gavin Cecchini, A+ 1B Peter Alonso, and AA RHP Chris Flexen Yankees The Bronx Bombers actually have a pretty good bullpen with the likes of Chapman, Betances, and Chad Green being able to control both sides of the plate. However when you look a little closer it is clear they may want to beef up their middle right-handed relief before the deadline as they are a little heavy the other way. To be clear New York does not have to do anything here and they could probably get by adequately particularly in a playoff situation with the three listed above. A move to increase the length and breadth of their bullpen would be a depth one, perhaps even a luxury, which, of course, the Yankees can afford. Yankees Likely Target(s): 3B Yunel Escobar, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Blake Parker, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, and RHP David Hernandez Angels Likely Target(s): A+ RHP James Kaprielian, A+ SS Jorge Mateo, AAA OF Dustin Fowler, AA LHP Justus Sheffield, A+ RHP Albert Abreu, AAA RHP Chance Adams, AAA 3B Miguel Andujar, A+ RHP Dillon Tate, AAA UTIL Tyler Wade, A OF Estevan Florial, AAA RHP Domingo Acevedo, R 3B Dermis Garcia, A+ LHP Ian Clarkin, AAA RHP Gio Gallegos, R RHP Rony Garcia, A+ SS Kyle Holder, AAA RHP Ben Heller, A- RHP Jorge Guzman, AA RHP Yefry Ramirez, R SS Eduardo Torrealba, A RHP Nick Green, A SS Diego Castillo, AA RHP Zack Littell, AAA RHP Adonis Rosa, R RHP Deivi Garcia, AA RHP Travis Hissong, AA RHP Nick Rumbelow, A+ RHP Erik Swanson, and AA 2B Thairo Estrada Trade Scenario(s): The Yankees might take a flyer on Escobar as part of a platoon with Chase Headley but if they were to inquire on anyone first it would probably be one of our available relievers, particularly one that can get RHH’s out well. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Yankees in exchange for AAA 3B Miguel Andujar and R RHP Deivi Garcia Angels trade RHP David Hernandez to the Yankees in exchange for AAA RHP Domingo Acevedo and R RHP Rony Garcia Angels trade RHP Bud Norris and 3B Yunel Escobar to the Yankees in exchange for AAA OF Dustin Fowler, A- RHP Jorge Guzman, and AA RHP Travis Hissong Nationals Washington’s bullpen woes have been fairly well documented since the beginning of the season. When you look at the current state of their bullpen it becomes clear that they probably need one more reliever that can get lefties out and preferably that person should be a two-way guy that can get RHH’s out too. Nationals Likely Target(s): OF Cameron Maybin, UTIL Danny Espinosa, UTIL Cliff Pennington, RHP David Hernandez, RHP Blake Parker, and RHP Bud Norris Angels Likely Target(s): A+ OF Victor Robles, A OF Juan Soto, AAA RHP Erick Fedde, DSL SS Luis Garcia, A 3B Carter Kieboom, RHP Koda Glover, AAA C Pedro Severino, AA 1B Jose Marmolejos, A OF Daniel Johnson, A C Jakson Reetz, A LHP Tyler Watson, and AA RHP Ryan Brinley Trade Scenario(s): Certain members of the Nat’s bullpen are not performing well so adding someone like David Hernandez or Bud Norris would give them more firepower, particularly against left-handed hitters, in later innings. Also Washington may be a serious player to acquire Cameron Maybin if the Angels are out of it near the trade deadline. Finally a left-handed hitting defensive-minded utility backup like Espinosa (questionable considering the way he argued with Nat’s management before they traded him to the Halos) or Pennington might be in the cards. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Nationals in exchange for AAA RHP Erick Fedde and A C Jakson Reetz Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin and RHP David Hernandez to the Nationals in exchange for RHP Koda Glover, AA RHP Ryan Brinley, A OF Juan Soto, and A LHP Tyler Watson Angels trade OF Cameron Maybin, UTIL Danny Espinosa, and RHP Bud Norris to the Nationals in exchange for AAA Erick Fedde, RHP Koda Glover, A OF Juan Soto, and A LHP Tyler Watson Red Sox Boston has the best reliever, hands-down, in baseball right now in the form of Craig Kimbrel so they are operating off of a great base. However behind Craig the only other two-way guy is Heath Hembree. The rest of the bullpen can play match-ups reasonably well but the Red Sox could use a third two-way reliever to add depth and prepare them for a playoff run. Realistically the Sox are a likely trade partner as they may be on the lookout for a 3B to replace the struggling Pablo Sandoval so they may have interest in Yunel Escobar if the Angels are out of it at the deadline or decide that Kaleb Cowart or Luis Valbuena can replace his production. Red Sox Likely Target(s): 3B Yunel Escobar, RHP Bud Norris, RHP David Hernandez, UTIL Danny Espinosa, UTIL Cliff Pennington, and RHP Blake Parker Angels Likely Target(s): AA 3B Rafael Devers, A LHP Jay Groome, A 3B Bobby Dalbec, A SS C.J. Chatham, A+ RHP Roniel Raudes, AA RHP Travis Lakins, A+ 1B Josh Ockimey, AAA RHP Ben Taylor, AA 3B Michael Chavis, AAA RHP Kyle Martin, A RHP Bryan Mata, A+ RHP Shaun Anderson, A+ OF Trenton Kemp, AAA RHP Chandler Shepard, A+ RHP Marc Brakeman, A+ RHP Stephen Nogosek, R 1B Pedro Castellanos, and AAA RHP Jaime Callahan Trade Scenario(s): Boston almost assuredly would like to beef up their bullpen for a stretch run in the very competitive A.L. East, preferably a two-way type reliever that can impact both sides of the plate. Also the Red Sox are running out their 6th 3B over the last week and might have serious interest in Yunel Escobar as a less expensive option. Finally Boston might have interest in a quality defensive utility player so Espinosa and Pennington might be in play too. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris to the Red Sox in exchange for AA 3B Michael Chavis and A+ RHP Marc Brakeman Angels trade RHP David Hernandez and 3B Yunel Escobar to the Red Sox in exchange for A LHP Jay Groome, A+ 1B Josh Ockimey, and AAA RHP Kyle Martin Angels trade RHP Blake Parker and 3B Yunel Escobar to the Red Sox in exchange for AA 3B Rafael Devers and A LHP Jay Groome Angels trade RHP Bud Norris, 3B Yunel Escobar, and UTIL Danny Espinosa to the Red Sox in exchange for AA 3B Rafael Devers, A+ RHP Stephen Nogosek, and R 1B Pedro Castellanos Indians Cleveland’s pitching as a whole, despite the actual results, has been pretty darn good and is a testament to the front office and coaching staff. However like many teams they do have some holes and one of them may be a lack of middle relief that can effectively close out LHH’s. The Indians have a strong and competitive playoff team and they may be in need of a utility infielder that can hit LHP in addition to a bullpen arm. Indians Likely Target(s): RHP Bud Norris, RHP David Hernandez, RHP Blake Parker, LHP Jose Alvarez, RHP Cam Bedrosian, UTIL Danny Espinosa, and UTIL Cliff Pennington Angels Likely Target(s): AA C Francisco Mejia, AAA 3B Yandy Diaz, AA OF Greg Allen, AA 1B Bobbie Bradley, A- 3B Nolan Jones, AA SS Yu-Cheng Chang, A LHP Brady Aiken, A LHP Juan Hillman, A+ OF Anthony Santander, AAA RHP Shawn Armstrong, A+ RHP Triston McKenzie, A LHP Sam Hentges, A- OF Oscar Gonzalez, A C Logan Ice, A RHP Yoiber Marquina, AA RHP Perci Garner, A+ RHP Shane Bieber, A+ RHP Aaron Civale, and A+ OF Andrew Calica Trade Scenario(s): Cleveland could certainly use another strong reliever that can get left-handed hitters out at the minimum. The Indians are one team that have a plethora of different prospects that the Angels actually need (OF, 3B, and C) so certain Angels players that Eppler may not be offering to other teams might be in play here. Besides relief pitching Cleveland may want a more experienced, defense-first utility player like Espinosa or Pennington that can hit LHP. Angels trade RHP Bud Norris and A RHP Joe Gatto to the Indians in exchange for 3B Yandy Diaz and A+ RHP Shane Bieber Angels trade LHP Jose Alvarez and UTIL Danny Espinosa to the Indians in exchange for AA OF Greg Allen and A RHP Yoiber Marquina Angels trade RHP Blake Parker and UTIL Danny Espinosa to the Indians in exchange for 3B Yandy Diaz and A+ RHP Triston McKenzie Angels trade RHP Cam Bedrosian to the Indians in exchange for AA C Francisco Mejia, AAA 3B Yandy Diaz, and A LHP Juan Hillman Conclusion In terms of overall trade value, Bud Norris certainly has a lot for any team looking to strengthen their relief corps leading up to the trade deadline. Realistically Norris, like Maybin, should bring back a good quality prospect plus a secondary piece of some sort. It won’t be quite the return Cameron generates but it will be in the ballpark. The 10 teams above, the Twins, Rangers, Tigers, Brewers, Rays, Mets, Yankees, Nationals, Red Sox, and Indians are all likely suitors based on our initial analysis. Certainly a couple of these teams are close to being out of the running for Norris’ services but that could mean that there are other teams inching closer to competing that could have a need. To be clear the author examined each of the non-listed teams in detail to determine if they had a need. A bit surprisingly certain teams such as the Astros (Giles, Devenski, and Feliz), Diamondbacks (Bradley, Chafin, and Delgado), Cubs (Davis, Edwards Jr., and Duensing), and Blue Jays (Osuna, Smith, and Barnes) have excellent bullpens with, in the author’s opinion, virtually no holes at this point in time. Essentially this is a season of the have’s and the have not’s which will add a layer of complexity to the trade market. However reliever volatility and injury is quite random and occurs often so any of those squads not mentioned could, at a moment’s notice, become a buyer for an Angels bullpen piece if the need arises. Bud will definitely not be the only reliever on the market so trade competition will be fierce. This is one area the Angels have been very strong in and when you consider the return of Cam Bedrosian to the bullpen, the Angels, if they stick in the playoff hunt, can afford to part with one of their other relievers to bolster the team now or continue building the farm system with prospects. Also what applies to Bud Norris would also apply to David Hernandez as seen below: 2015-2017 Split vs. LHH as of June 20, 2017 2015-2017 Split vs. RHH as of June 20, 2017 In fact there is a compelling case that Hernandez should bring in slightly more than Norris based on the comparison of their splits in 2017. Norris obviously has the more recent high leverage (closer) experience but Hernandez is no stranger to that role either as he spent some time closing for the Diamondbacks a few years back. Based on this similarity between Bud and David we will forego writing a separate article on the latter and simply use this list of teams as a guideline for interested trade partners. One or both should bring in a reasonably good return on investment for the Angels, netting at least one mid-tier prospect and perhaps a secondary piece. We should all applaud Billy Eppler and his staff for the great cherry-picking effort off of the free agent market and waiver wires last year. One other Angels pitcher that does not have closer experience but is, to a lesser degree, similar to Norris and Hernandez is RHP Yusmeiro Petit who has more of an extreme platoon split as seen below: 2015-2017 Split vs. LHH as of June 20, 2017 2015-2017 Split vs. RHH as of June 20, 2017 Yusmeiro has been lights out against right-handed hitters this year in relief. He has given up a large number of walks (12.5%) to left-handed hitters but has managed to suppress their batting average against (.194) through poor contact. Teams in need of specific right-handed relief should find Petit quite appealing in terms of price and ability. Some of those clubs would include the Tigers, Twins, Brewers, and Rangers among others. Yusmeiro will not bring in as much value as Norris or Hernandez but he could snag a reasonably decent prospect in a deadline sale. Because of Petit’s similarity to Norris and Hernandez, he too will not have his own separate article written for this series. Yusmeiro’s interested suitors, as noted above, will be a sub-set of Norris’ gentlemen callers but should draw just as much interest based on his stronger ability to punch RHH’s out. Author’s Best Guess: This is a close call between the Red Sox and the Nationals. I’m going with the former because if the Angels are still in the playoff race Boston still makes some sense as a deadline trade partner for 3B Yunel Escobar (who can be potentially be replaced by Valbuena or Cowart) and one of either Bud Norris or David Hernandez (because one or the other is expendable with the return of Cam Bedrosian). If the Angels sell-off completely here are my predictions for all three: Bud Norris to the Red Sox David Hernandez to the Nationals Yusmeiro Petit to the Brewers View the full article
  10. This round-up is brought to you in partnership with the California Olive Committee. Dreaming up a menu for your next summer cookout? Look no further than one of our favorite pantry staples, olives. The buttery, mild flavor of both California green and black ripe olives are a fantastic contrast to all of the smoky flavors coming off the grill this summer. You can chop them up into a quick tapenade to serve with chips, make a quick relish to spoon on top of burgers, or toss them with fresh summer vegetables in a pasta salad. Here are fifteen recipes that put a can of olives to work, guaranteed to make your next cookout a memorable one! Continue reading "15 Recipes for a Summer Cookout with California Ripe Olives" » View the full article
  11. There are wet ribs, sticky with a succulent, spicy barbecue sauce, and there are dry ribs, where the flavor is all in the dried mixture of herbs and spices, melded into something greater than the sum of their parts by time, smoke and pork fat. This is what they do in Memphis, Tennessee, and it’s why Memphis-style ribs are some of the best in the world. Continue reading "Memphis-Style Pork Ribs" » View the full article
  12. At long last, Ricky Nolasco was on the right end of the result. View the full article
  13. The Freeway Series will continue with Kenta Maeda making a spot start for the Dodgers against Jesse Chavez and the Angels on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. View the full article
  14. Ricky Nolasco, tied for the MLB lead in home runs allowed, kept the homer-happy Dodgers in the park Monday night as the Angels opened the Freeway Series with a 4-0 victory that snapped the Dodgers' win streak at 10 and home streak at 11. View the full article
  15. The Angels recalled infielder Jefry Marte from Triple-A Salt Lake ahead of Monday's Freeway Series opener against the Dodgers. Infielder Kaleb Cowart was optioned to Salt Lake in a corresponding move. View the full article