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Angelsjunky

Three Big Questions for 2020

31 posts in this topic

Thanks for this @Angelsjunky, great summary and hits the nail on the head, in my mind. 

  • 1) Starting Pitching
    • By and far our biggest need - and we've got at least ~$30m and likely a few prospects (Ward, Thaiss, Marsh, Jones, A/A+ pitching, Rk.-level bats) we can offer up to solve this.
      I simply don't see how Gerrit Cole can be anything but Priority #1A and feel the Angels have a good shot - a need, the money, childhood home - but all the eggs in the Cole basket is risky. 
      Our pitching depth is thin enough on the vet-side and cheap-enough on the salary side that even if Cole doesn't pan out, they should be able to pursue one or two of the other names mentioned. 
      Cole or a combo of one/two others, maybe a trade, should be enough to shore up the pitching - really in my mind, I don't see us having any other real dire needs than bringing in two SPs, and with a shopping list that short, it should be attainable. 
      I also feel we have a bit of a prospect crunch coming this offseason, so if a trade can be made here in the next two weeks to fill the non-Gerrit Cole need, it should (and could) be made. 
       
  • 2) Catcher
    • I'm out on Grandal, unless his market mirrors what happened to Moustakas and he becomes a 1/$8m or 2/$16m-type guy, which isn't impossible, but also not very likely given how good he's been. 
      Quite simply, as good as he is, I don't think the Angels need to tie up that much money behind the plate when Eppler has consistently found productive catching on the cheap.
      Rivera, Soto, Lucroy, Maldonado, Briceno, Garneau, Graterol, Arcia, Smith...all have been productive in their own ways mostly, and very cheap. Garneau has a 33% CS%, .404 OBP, and .808 OPS even, almost 1 WAR, in 20 games.
      Even the ones who didn't really stick with us (Curt Casali, Joe Hudson) played well elsewhere or in the minors. And I still like what Jack Kruger has to offer, even with a down year so far. 
      Obviously those guys don't have the consistency, or ceiling, or all-around game as Grandal...but they also don't have his contract. They're cheap and Eppler just keeps finding them.
      I'd rather use that money to help pitching, especially since our offense projects to be very solid still - we can afford a defense-first, weak bat behind the dish, especially if it helps the staff even more. Few teams have above-average catchers.
      I would like to see some effort made at some time to find a long-term solution with a decent prospect acquired, but not pressing.
       
  • 3) Kole Calhoun
    • In a vacuum, I think it's an easy decision - trade him now - the odds are against us, he'd bring us a decent prospect or two, we can get Adell his cup of coffee now and gauge 2020 plans now. But, there's a lot more in play.
      Ultimately, I feel the real question regarding Kole Calhoun isn't how good Jo Adell is, how ready Jo Adell is, the difference between Kole's steady production over the last 162+ games and Jo's rookie production, should we create depth, etc....
      The real question is how badly do the Angels need his $14m freed up to address the above #1 and #2 points, on top of the $36m they have free up and the prospects they could part with?
      Given how Eppler really seems to avoid big multi-year contracts, I have a hard time believing the Angels are going to free up another $14m just to have more money to spend on FAs. It's just not his MO - he likes vets on one-year deals, vets he can trade away before they FA. 
      It's very unlikely we trade Kole this summer. But I could see it happening next year, after Adell has forced his hand - after Kole covers RF for a month or two to start '20, then maybe replaces the 4th OF/LHB 1B role to make way for Adell, who takes RF and runs with it.
      I also don't see how an argument can be made that playing Adell over Calhoun makes us a better team or would be more of a 'win-now' move , and I think the Angels will be firmly in 'win-now mode', especially if they land Cole. 
      The only way that argument can be made comes back again ultimately to the money - how badly do the Angels need $14m more in FA? Are the Angels better with Kole, Adell and $36m, or are they better with Adell and another $50m?
      I think that's something that will be determined this winter and I personally don't think Adell as the Opening Day RF is the foregone conclusion (though he would be if I were GM)

2020:

  • A contract for La Stella after 2020 is contingent on three things:
    • 1) his performance in '20 - even a step back, he'd be reasonable as an everyday player/depth
    • 2) the performance of the prospects behind him - Rengifo, Ward, Thaiss, Rojas
    • 3) the number of prospects behind him, in case any of those are dealt for pitching
       
  • Just too early to tell with Upton/Marsh.
     
  • And for Ohtani? I'm sure he will be. I like the idea of keeping him as the Sunday SP. Since many Mondays are off-days, it allows him to get his day of rest post-pitching without missing as many games. 

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Sign Cole and trade for Greinke, and use the many pitchers in the upper minors for bullpen depth after Undertaker, Buttrey, Middleton, Cole, Noe Ramirez, Anderson, and BedRock Jr.?

Find another Machete, or bring him back?

That should be plenty enough.

Key prospects are kept, and Arte ONLY has to exceed budget and tax threshold for two years max.    Question for Arte, with all of the prospects here for the future to keep the success going, what is the worst thing that happens if you exceed the budget/tax threshold for just two years (2020-2021)?  

I guess if Arte is that steadfast to never exceed either one, then they don't sign Cole and instead just trade for Grienke since his contract lasts only until the younger pitchers are established enough?

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With regard to your thought on one of the Padres catchers, there may be another option.   I think SD might take less in return, IF we were willing to take on some bad money, such as Wil Myers, but of course that limits other possibilities as its a huge chunk of money for what would be a 4th OF so its probably not realistic.  Just thought it throw that out there. 

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3 minutes ago, floplag said:

With regard to your thought on one of the Padres catchers, there may be another option.   I think SD might take less in return, IF we were willing to take on some bad money, such as Wil Myers, but of course that limits other possibilities as its a huge chunk of money for what would be a 4th OF so its probably not realistic.  Just thought it throw that out there. 

The only way I'd take Wil Myers would be if they threw in Hedges, Mejia, or Allen, and a young pitcher with some plus-upside. Luis Perdomo would be interesting and is seemingly on the margins there. 

Myers contract isn't good, but of those catchers, any of them still have some potential to become very, very good players, and an arm with some high-upside, even with faded luster such as Perdomo, present enough potential big reward to stomach it. 

Aside from Myers' contract being bad and the down year he's having, he was still a reliable .250/.330/.450/.780 guy with a 110 OPS+ four years running before, and he's only 28. 
That's not the most exciting line, but the thing that I like about him is:

  • he'd serve as a decent contingency plan should any number of players fail
    • If La Stella reverts, if Pujols ages, if Upton gets hurt, if Thaiss/Ward fail to hit at the bigs, he's a safety net
  • If all of those scenarios don't occur, he's versatile enough that he on his own could replace basically 2-3 players/roles on our roster
    • Ward/Thaiss as the corner infielder reserve corner infielder we've carried most of the year
    • Brian Goodwin as the 4th OF
    • Justin Bour as the 1B platoon-mate with Albert
    • This frees up a roster spot or two for other needs (extra reliever, extra IF depth, PH) or even roster luxuries (two-way player like Walsh, a pure SB threat 5th OF like Terrance Gore, an elite all-glove, no bat IF for tight games)
    • So while, yes, his contract is awful, he's also sort of three-players-in-one, if used right, as our roster is currently constructed, which alleviates some of the negative impact of his salary 

That said, I think the Angels could also keep Kole Calhoun in 2020 and use him a role not too unlike what I just described for Myers, and for far less commitment - part-time 1B, part-time RF, part-time DH, 4th OF

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1 minute ago, totdprods said:

The only way I'd take Wil Myers would be if they threw in Hedges, Mejia, or Allen, and a young pitcher with some plus-upside. Luis Perdomo would be interesting and is seemingly on the margins there. 

Myers contract isn't good, but of those catchers, any of them still have some potential to become very, very good players, and an arm with some high-upside, even with faded luster such as Perdomo, present enough potential big reward to stomach it. 

Aside from Myers' contract being bad and the down year he's having, he was still a reliable .250/.330/.450/.780 guy with a 110 OPS+ four years running before, and he's only 28. 
That's not the most exciting line, but the thing that I like about him is:

  • he'd serve as a decent contingency plan should any number of players fail
    • If La Stella reverts, if Pujols ages, if Upton gets hurt, if Thaiss/Ward fail to hit at the bigs, he's a safety net
  • If all of those scenarios don't occur, he's versatile enough that he on his own could replace basically 2-3 players/roles on our roster
    • Ward/Thaiss as the corner infielder reserve corner infielder we've carried most of the year
    • Brian Goodwin as the 4th OF
    • Justin Bour as the 1B platoon-mate with Albert
    • This frees up a roster spot or two for other needs (extra reliever, extra IF depth, PH) or even roster luxuries (two-way player like Walsh, a pure SB threat 5th OF like Terrance Gore, an elite all-glove, no bat IF for tight games)
    • So while, yes, his contract is awful, he's also sort of three-players-in-one, if used right, as our roster is currently constructed, which alleviates some of the negative impact of his salary 

That said, I think the Angels could also keep Kole Calhoun in 2020 and use him a role not too unlike what I just described for Myers, and for far less commitment - part-time 1B, part-time RF, part-time DH, 4th OF

I wasnt suggesting the entirety of any deal just a possible part of it as an option that would cost less in trade, perhaps far less.  While everything you say is basically accurate, i dont think his 20M is palpable unless we truly have much more to spend than we have.   Its just something that popped into my head which i probably should have just kept to myself but it is a  way we could keep the top kids, if we were include to blow budget. 

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nice job @Angelsjunky 

I expect the Angels to set themselves up to compete for the division in 2020.  

my order of priority would be as follows:

1. Rotation arm #1 - a top of the rotation guy.  Preferably Cole.  Bumgarner or Wheeler would be acceptable.  
2. Rotation arm #2 - at least a middle of the rotation guy.  Lots of options here.  Could be a 1 or 2 yr deal.  
3. Additional pen depth.  Preferably from the top down but I don't think a high leverage arm is something they'll pay for.  Getting #1 and #2 could solve this problem internally.  
4. A solution at C - Grandal would be great but is likely a luxury and a plan B/C/D if we can't do the first two.  
5. Shore up RF - I think this is already done.  They've got Goodwin and Herm to platoon until Adell gets the call if he doesn't make it out of spring.  As solid as Cahoun has been this year, I think there's not chance they take that option.  The market doesn't pay 14m for him on a 1yr deal.  If they wanted to keep him at around 7-8 m as a nice insurance policy then fine, but I still think that money is better spent in other areas and he'd be smart to get a 2/12-14 deal from someone out there.  

the off season plan will be a lot more focused this year as there are fewer holes to fill.  Potential pivot moves could be to sign Rendon and trade La Stella and Thaiss for pitching.  

But if they don't set themselves up to start a run next year I think I'll be disappointed.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, totdprods said:

 

  • And for Ohtani? I'm sure he will be. I like the idea of keeping him as the Sunday SP. Since many Mondays are off-days, it allows him to get his day of rest post-pitching without missing as many games. 

This is an interesting thought, would Ohtani be willing and able to pitch every 7th day, instead of every 6th day in order to maximize the number of days he would be available to DH.

It should also help minimize the number of overlap days with the #2 or #1 Starter.

Edited by Slegnaac

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Slegnaac said:

This is an interesting thought, would Ohtani be willing and able to pitch every 7th day, instead of every 6th day in order to maximize the number of days he would be available to DH.

It should also help minimize the number of overlap days with the #2 or #1 Starter.

That was essentially the plan he was on last year. I think it changed at one point because of an injury or postponed games.

I touched on it another thread but one thing we may need to consider is he may have some unique restrictions still next year - they might not want him hitting and pitching at max capacity the first year back from TJS.

So, keep him pitching on Sundays only, the rest of the rotation follows their own schedule around Ohtani Days, with flexible, optionable AAA arms coming up as needed in order to keep the main SP on a set schedule.

This could be another way Calhoun factors into 2020 - if they want to step Ohtani back at the plate a little bit in addition to his return on the mound, it opens up DH at-bats for others, like Upton and Pujols.

Edited by totdprods

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2 hours ago, Dochalo said:

nice job @Angelsjunky 

I expect the Angels to set themselves up to compete for the division in 2020.  

my order of priority would be as follows:

1. Rotation arm #1 - a top of the rotation guy.  Preferably Cole.  Bumgarner or Wheeler would be acceptable.  
2. Rotation arm #2 - at least a middle of the rotation guy.  Lots of options here.  Could be a 1 or 2 yr deal.  
3. Additional pen depth.  Preferably from the top down but I don't think a high leverage arm is something they'll pay for.  Getting #1 and #2 could solve this problem internally.  
4. A solution at C - Grandal would be great but is likely a luxury and a plan B/C/D if we can't do the first two.  
5. Shore up RF - I think this is already done.  They've got Goodwin and Herm to platoon until Adell gets the call if he doesn't make it out of spring.  As solid as Cahoun has been this year, I think there's not chance they take that option.  The market doesn't pay 14m for him on a 1yr deal.  If they wanted to keep him at around 7-8 m as a nice insurance policy then fine, but I still think that money is better spent in other areas and he'd be smart to get a 2/12-14 deal from someone out there.  

the off season plan will be a lot more focused this year as there are fewer holes to fill.  Potential pivot moves could be to sign Rendon and trade La Stella and Thaiss for pitching.  

But if they don't set themselves up to start a run next year I think I'll be disappointed.  

Agree with Doc here pretty much exactly.

1. Cole is the guy. Expect him to top what the Nationals paid Corbin. Close to $27M per season, probably.

2. I think a trade this season for either Greinke (if the D'backs eat money to get a better prospect) or Bumgarner...trying to bring him in so he makes us his first choice in FA....Either way, they have to spend money. I'd expect Greinke to cost around $20 in Cash, $27 in Luxury Tax (They defer 11M) and $7 in Future payroll per season. He is on the books for $35, so that to me makes sense. D'Backs eat $8 M 4 in Cash per year and $4 in Deferred Cash. Angels defer the other $7. Make sense? Bumgarner also I think costs that, after being chronically underpaid in Sam Francisco.

3. Additional pen depth comes at a cheap price, because they can't spend money if they are committing to $47 M in new starting pitching money.

4. I like the idea of resigning Smith and Lucroy or getting say James McCann. Grandal is a great pick, but he's also gonna ask for $18M a year.

5. I think they may let Calhoun go. Start the season with Goodwin or even Adell.

Like the Rendon pivot, but they have a lot of depth in the infield now.

 

 

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Excellent discussion. 

So many questions and variables. Plus the salary cap and term issues really complicate things. The Angels are in an almost schizoid transitional state.

A really good core nucleus, but with glaring needs too. The objective should be to blend in younger, longer term prospects with this core, but still find two or three proven veterans via trade or free agency to bridge the gap. 

In retrospect, signing Ohtani was a stroke of genius with some luck. He single handedly fills/will fill two key positions very well at a very reasonable cost. For now. I don't even want  to think about the inevitable future contract issues. But if Eppler can find some other unorthodox way to acquire talent it would be a tremendous help. 

We see how a stunning talent like Cole can dominate as an ace starter. Imagine him every fifth day! Unfortunately he is so high on every team's radar that it will take a tremendous offer to lure him. Maybe the hometown factor can become an intangible, but I would go all out for him. Which means Calhoun probably has to be dropped for financial reasons. But Adell on a rookie contract and Goodwin plus whoever else could fill the position adequately. If La Stella is back he could factor into this equation.Calhoun is a proven asset, but to land a top free agent you need to sacrifice in other ways.

Catcher is a longer term need. Smith may develop into a solid regular, but hard to know yet. I always liked Russell Martin. A short reasonable deal would be a useful bridge. Grandal will be in demand and likely too expensive.  Despite his age he is athletically superior and a savvy, seasoned veteran. With two terms on the Dodgers he may find it convenient to stay in the same vicinity. He won't be a big bat, but he is versatile, calls a good game, and would be a good mentor to Smith. 

Assuming Ohtani resumes as a quality starter, he could end up as the ace at some point next year. But he probably will have fewer starts and carefully monitored pitch counts. A real workhorse inning eater starter would be ideal. Improve the starters and you improve the bullpen by default. 

Cole has been so dominant against the Angels that maybe it inflates my opinion, but he could be the difference maker with this team's playoff aspirations. 

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4 hours ago, totdprods said:

Thanks for this @Angelsjunky, great summary and hits the nail on the head, in my mind. 

Snipped for brevity.

Good response, although I want to push back on Grandal, at least for the sake of keeping all options open - and providing an argument for why he makes sense, even using "Eppler logic." 

Here's another way to look at it: You say on one hand Eppler likes to bargain shop for catchers, but on the other that it isn't like him to free up money just to free up money. But that $14M that Kole would be paid if optioned is about what Grandal would make next year, so would you rather have: Calhoun and Casali/Hudson/Maldanado, or Adell and Grandal...for about the same money, at least in 2020. I don't think it is a stretch to assume that Adell will at least come close to Calhoun's production, with the possibility of far exceeding it, while Grandal with have +3-4 WAR on any of those guys. Sure, you have to lock Grandal in for two more years or so, and he could start declining or get injured, but he's a good bet for 10+ fWAR over the next three years, which is easily worth the $45M contract I posited.

Which leads me back to the main point of my original post: The Angels are as little as two elite free agents from being a 90+ win team. Cole and Grandal gets them there, or gets them close. Add in a third solid #3-4 starting pitcher and you're there. Cole and Casali/Hudson isn't quite as sexy. Cole and Grandal is more possible with Calhoun off the books, and the Angels just happen to have the top outfield prospect in all of baseball to replace him.

Now I can see why Eppler might not jump on Grandal out the gate and I'm not totally opposed to him bringing in a lesser catcher, especially someone like D'Arnaud - and even more especially if he signs one of the Big Four starters and a second decent one; that gets us most of the way. But Grandal gives us a luxury we've never really had: an elite catcher locked in for a few years.

I know, Angels purists are going to say, "But Bengie!" Well, consider that Bengie's best year according to WAR, 2003, was worse than any of Grandal's full-time seasons. Consider also that Grandal's last four seasons, 2015-18, are better than any Angels catcher season since 1961 except for Brian Downing in 1979 (5.0) and Lance Parrish in 1990 (4.6), but still right along with those two (4.7, 5.5, 4.5, 4.9). And consider where Grandal's fWAR would rank on the Angels over the last few years:

2019: 2nd behind only Trout

2018: 3rd behind Trout, Simmons

2017: 3rd being Trout, Simmons

2016: 2nd behind Trout

2015: 2nd behind Trout

In other words, Grandal would have been the second or third best player in any of the last five years (including 2019). It is not every day that you can add a player who would be one of your top few players for "only" about $15M.

So yeah, I guess I'm kind of big on signing Grandal.

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3 hours ago, Dochalo said:

nice job @Angelsjunky 

I expect the Angels to set themselves up to compete for the division in 2020.  

my order of priority would be as follows:

1. Rotation arm #1 - a top of the rotation guy.  Preferably Cole.  Bumgarner or Wheeler would be acceptable.  
2. Rotation arm #2 - at least a middle of the rotation guy.  Lots of options here.  Could be a 1 or 2 yr deal.  
3. Additional pen depth.  Preferably from the top down but I don't think a high leverage arm is something they'll pay for.  Getting #1 and #2 could solve this problem internally.  
4. A solution at C - Grandal would be great but is likely a luxury and a plan B/C/D if we can't do the first two.  
5. Shore up RF - I think this is already done.  They've got Goodwin and Herm to platoon until Adell gets the call if he doesn't make it out of spring.  As solid as Cahoun has been this year, I think there's not chance they take that option.  The market doesn't pay 14m for him on a 1yr deal.  If they wanted to keep him at around 7-8 m as a nice insurance policy then fine, but I still think that money is better spent in other areas and he'd be smart to get a 2/12-14 deal from someone out there.  

the off season plan will be a lot more focused this year as there are fewer holes to fill.  Potential pivot moves could be to sign Rendon and trade La Stella and Thaiss for pitching.  

But if they don't set themselves up to start a run next year I think I'll be disappointed.  

Good stuff and I agree, although as I said above I see Grandal as a bit more than a luxury: while they don't absolutely need him like they need starting pitching, he would greatly improve the team in a way that few other players can. So I'd put him at 2 on your list, with the first three all as necessary. Pen depth is nice, but can also come from excess arms (Tropeano, Sandoval, Barria, Peters, Madero, Castillo, etc).

I absolutely love Rendon, by the way, but don't think there's much of a chance Eppler pulls off a trade for him - unless Adell, or at least several of the top 10 prospects, are thrown in the mix, and even then the Nationals want to keep him.

As I said in the prospects thread, while the sentimental fan in me wants to keep Calhoun, the more I think about it from a strategic perspective, I think its time to let him go. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Angelsjunky said:

Snipped for brevity.

Good response, although I want to push back on Grandal, at least for the sake of keeping all options open - and providing an argument for why he makes sense, even using "Eppler logic." 

Also snipped for brevity :) I like Grandal, and would not gripe in the slightest if we brought him in.

My nerves aren't specific to him, but rather catchers in general. They're so much more prone to injury, in my opinion, either fluke instances like Lucroy, or nagging things they play through all season which affect performance due to the fact catchers are so few, or the much higher risk of concussions, of which they're at higher risk, and could turn career-ending. That's the inherent risk with ANY catcher - but when you tie potentially tens of millions annually and for several years, it feels like you're playing with fire. And even if they remain healthy, I feel they're simply prone to lessened-production years again, simply due to the demand of the position. 

That's why I like when Eppler finds someone like Maldonado, who brought all of the extremely high-value intangibles a premium catcher like Realmuto or Grandal or a Molina possesses, the stuff that really matters from a catcher regardless of their offensive prowess, and gets it without all the financial risk.

Additionally, he'll be 31 next year. Practically every good catcher hits their first regression slide right at that age. Now, the really good, elite catchers find a way to creep back up as their careers go on...but across the board, most of your good catchers take a noticeable step back around 30-32 - usually a real underwhelming, sub-par, crash of a season, and then they, the really good ones, creep back to league-average numbers as their career wanes.

  • Posey
    • Age 26-30, he was a consistent .800-820ish OPS, 120-130 OPS+, 5 WAR catcher
    • Age 31-32 (this year), he's .730 OPS, 100 OPS+, 1-3 WAR catcher
  • Molina
    • Age 28-30 reaches his peak - .840 OPS, 130 OPS+,  5 WAR catcher
    • Age 31-35 (last year) he's dipped to a .730 OPS, 99 OPS+, 2 WAR catcher 
  • Grandal
    • Age 25-30 (this year) he's at .791 OPS, 114 OPS+ a 2-3 WAR catcher
  • McCann
    • Age 23-29, he was a .810 OPS hitter, 115 OPS+, 3 WAR catcher
    • Since, age 30-35, down to .730 OPS, 98 OPS+, 1 WAR catcher
  • Iannetta
    • Age 25-31, .780 OPS, 108 OPS+, 2-3 WAR catcher
    • Age 32-36 (this year), .719 OPS, 88 OPS+, replacement level catcher
  • Mauer
    • Age 22-30, .872 OPS, 135 OPS+, 5 WAR catcher
    • Didn't catch again (except for his last game) afterwards, and was a .746 OPS, 105 OPS+ guy at 1B

Pretty much every above-average catcher becomes a league-average catcher around 30-32. We'd be really rolling the dice with Grandal, whose bat and peak wasn't as good as some of these examples. If we're gonna wind up with a league-average catcher, we'd just as fine going year to year with Lucroy/Maldonado/James McCann/Avila types until we find an above-average catcher before or entering his peak, and even then it's a risk. Realmuto is back to a below-average bat this year, .750 OPS, 95 OPS+ at age 28. It's one reason I like someone like Austin Hedges. He's at an age where his peak still could be ahead.

Edited by totdprods

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^I totally hear that, and admit that Grandal is partially hopeful thinking. I'm definitely a bit seduced about the possibility of having a 4-5 WAR catcher - something we've never really had.

But I'm not really getting your numbers. Grandal is not a "2-3 WAR catcher." He's on pace for his fifth year in a row of 4.5 or higher. 

Posey really slid, didn't he? He looks like he's doing a Joe Mauer. According to fWAR he was the second best position player from 2012-17, with 43 fWAR - an average of 7.2 per year. In 2018-19 he's 88th.

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@Angelsjunky and @Dochalo I did use bWar but I’d assume you’d see a similar dip with fWar too at those ages.

Much like Moustakas, whose career has had a lot of similarities to Grandal despite being different players, it’s sort of bizarre how the Angels didn’t pursue them despite being a fairly obvious, easy upgrade, and I can see Grandal going the same way. We’d like him, he makes sense, but the Angels pass.

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I dunno...catchers over 30 seem like a bad bet.  They could literally (figuratively) fall off a cliff one week during the season and never recover their abilities.  Guys like Mauer, Posey, and Wieters all faded relatively quickly, no?

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16 minutes ago, totdprods said:

@Angelsjunky and @Dochalo I did use bWar but I’d assume you’d see a similar dip with fWar too at those ages.

Much like Moustakas, whose career has had a lot of similarities to Grandal despite being different players, it’s sort of bizarre how the Angels didn’t pursue them despite being a fairly obvious, easy upgrade, and I can see Grandal going the same way. We’d like him, he makes sense, but the Angels pass.

I think the draft pick had a lot to do with it.  But I think we actually pursued both regardless and it just didn't work out.  Regardless of the offer/no offer thing with Moustakas, I think the Angels were interested.  Same with Grandal but they didn't want to go to 4 years and Grandal seemed a bit stubborn about his market.  The pivot to Cozart made Moustakas a no go and we've been fortunate to get another level from LaStella and Fletcher.  

I think there's an even greater chance we get Grandal next year than ever before.  He's a S hitter which is great to offset the RHed Smith who is a solid platoon/backup.  He can play 1b without a problem and replace Bour there.  With the extra roster spot next year and Ohtani back on the hill, as well as Albert's continued decline, there is room for him to be more than a C.  

Yes he would be a luxury, but we'd have the best offense in baseball.  

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6 minutes ago, Jason said:

Hopefully our state’s stupid policies aren’t a factor if this is the route the Halos choose to go

Hopefully he doesn't want to live in Long Beach:

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7 minutes ago, Jason said:

Hopefully our state’s stupid policies aren’t a factor if this is the route the Halos choose to go

If they commit to going after him, I think the Angels and Arte will be one of the highest bidders.  They've shown a willingness to do so for others in the past albeit never for a pitcher of this caliber.  

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If we have learned anything over the years. It's free agency is fools gold. Eppler is much better at the small signings and trades. Stay away from big ticket items. This team is good enough as is. Especially with the talent coming up. 

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11 minutes ago, Kevinb said:

If we have learned anything over the years. It's free agency is fools gold. Eppler is much better at the small signings and trades. Stay away from big ticket items. This team is good enough as is. Especially with the talent coming up. 

The Angels don't have a single actual or potential #1-2 caliber starter in the majors or high minors. Canning's upside is around a #3, Suarez a #3-4, Barria, Sandoval, and Madero  #4-5s. Heaney's a #3-4, Pena's a #4-5. The highest upside guys are all A ball or lower: Jose Soriano, Chris Rodriguez, Stiward Aquino, Hector Yan, maybe Jack Kochanowicz. Rodriguez is probably the only one with true top-end potential and he's got a recurring back issue; Soriano probably peaks out more in the Canning/Suarez mold. Aquino missed all of last year and is struggling badly so far this year. Way too soon to say on Koch.

The point being, the current and future rotation is comprised of #3-5 pitchers. It is very difficult to win championships without at least one #1-2, preferrably two. 

Gerrit Cole is still relatively young, 29 next year, and has the third highest fWAR over the last two years, 9.6, behind only Scherzer and deGrom, and just ahead of Verlander, Sale, and Corbin. If you're going to invest big in a starter it doesn't get much better. Plus he's a SoCal native and would probably love to play for the Angels. He's about a year younger than Corbin, of similar caliber pitcher or maybe slightly better, so you have to figure the starting point is Corbin's 6/$140M. I think the best case scenario is 6/$150M, but it might cost more: figure 6-7 years, $24-30M per year.

Is it worth it? Well, the Angels paid $30M for Cahill, Harvey, and Allen this year, for -1.3 WAR so far. Why not pay Gerrit Cole $25-30M to produce ~5 WAR? 

I think it is high time that the Angels invest in a top-end starter. Cole isn't Max Scherzer, but no one is. He's putting together his second Cy Young caliber season in a row, so is pretty damn good.

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To me, putting all our eggs in the Gerrit Cole basket is a bit unwise. I think the Angels need to hedge their bet. 

If it were me, I would use our prospect depth to acquire Stroman. Likely Marsh, Deveaux and a low level pitcher like Hector Yan. Then I'd trade Calhoun and La Stella to cut payroll and restore the prospect capital we spent on Stroman.

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