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totdprods

The Non-SP 2019-2020 Free Agent Class

34 posts in this topic

Probably premature starting this thread, as we still have a month and a half of baseball that will help determine the extent of the Angels' needs, but wanted to bring up some ideas that were not Gerrit Cole/SP focused. 

As Milwaukee proved recently, you can overcome a weaker rotation by doubling down on an impressive, deep bullpen. The lesser commitment in money and years could drive the Angels to pursue a reliever or two in lieu of one SP, should that market maintain lofty prices.

Relievers

  • Dellin Betances has missed all of 2019 with a shoulder impingement, but has been a force in the Yankees pen since 2014.
    He'll be 32, but has posted a 2.22 ERA in 373 innings over the last five years, tallying 607 strikeouts in that time (K/9 of 14.6). 
    Shoulder injuries are concerning of course, but with Eppler's Yankee ties and infatuation with big K numbers, Betances might be a bullpen target.
  • Tony Cingrani is a lefty who can also get righties out. Only 29, he'll hit FA with a career 4.01 ERA, but also 137 strikeouts in 128 IP. 
  • Will Harris has been a under-the-radar dominating force in the Houston bullpen the last five seasons, with a 2.45 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 9.4 K/9.
    At 35, he'll be an age where Houston might prefer to opt for cheaper, internal options rather than a guaranteed contract for Harris.
  • Yoshihisa Hirano will be 36 next year, and has a fairly unsightly 4.60 ERA for the NL West, but his peripherals are strong. 
    He's striking out folks to a 10.6 K9 this year, limiting HRs (only 4 in 54 G/45 IP) and has a decent FIP at 3.62.
  • Brandon Kintzler like Harris will also be 35 next year, but is posting better strikeout numbers than ever in his career (7.8 K/9 vs. 6.1). 
    He's also pretty good at inducing groundballs, which Eppler has favored, and has a sparkling 0.93 WHIP on the season. 
  • Chris Martin is a former teammate of Ohtani's in Japan, and has been a solid, perhaps slightly boring, reliever back in the states. 
    Martin's biggest draw is his control - since returning to the States, Martin has only walked five in 84.1 IP, plus 86 strikeouts. 
  • Collin McHugh is yet another Astros pitcher tabbed to hit free agency. He's having a bit of a down year, allowing more HRs than usual, 12 in 68 IP. 
    McHugh's real value though is his ability to pitch multiple innings, another aspect Eppler values. He has also been a capable regular SP in the past.
  • Hector Rondon is yet another Astro reliever, and pitcher, set for free agency. He's been steady since joining Houston, 3.48 ERA in 103 IP in 109 G.
    His strikeout rate is down this year, which is a little concerning given his walks and home runs allowed have also increased. 
    He'll be 32, still young in relief years,  and has been a steady presence for much of the last decade. Another opportunity to poach from a rival.
  • Craig Stammen, Anthony Swarzak and Pedro Strop are all in a similar position to Rondon.
    Steady, veteran relievers with lengthy track records and recent success, but a step back in 2019. 
    Maybe they're headed the wrong direction, maybe it brings their price down, maybe they return to form.
  • Joe Smith is listed here to emphasize how much of their pitching staff is up for free agency, but has also been steady since dealt from the Angels.
  • Will Smith will hit free agency and give the Angels the opportunity to bring the dominant lefty home.
    Recently used as a closer, he could fill the same role for the Angels, or revert to a versatile high-lev lefty to pair with Robles, Anderson, Bedrosian, Keynan, and Buttrey. 
    Since switching to relief, he has a career 3.00 ERA across 309 innings and 415 strikeouts. 
    In '18-'19, he's gone a step further, boosting his K rate above 12 per 9 innings, cutting walks, and limiting hits and HR to go with a 2.55 ERA.

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Posted (edited)

Additionally, as mentioned, if the mid-tier SP FAs look like they will command too much money in years and dollars, the Angels could also place their faith in the young arms they're developing, and look to strengthen the offense, at least to open 2020.
The July 2020 trade deadline could bring numerous rental SPs into play - they wouldn't come with control, but the Angels might be better suited to trade prospects for rentals next year than they have been before. 

There are a number of routes the Angels can take here, and a lot of it will be determined on how well the youth - Thaiss, Rengifo, Hermosillo, Fletcher, Adell, Stassi, Walsh, Rojas, and Ward - perform over the next several weeks. 

Infielders

  • Josh Donaldson is still sound defensively at 3B, but is also approaching an age, 34 in 2020, where playing time at 1B could increase, especially if he inks a multi-year deal. 
    Aside from an injury-shortened '18 campaign, he's consistently posted very strong OBP and SLG numbers, and is as safe a bet for .800-.900 OPS in 2020 as any, without carrying the risk of a massive commitment.
    Donaldson's presence, perhaps coupled with La Stella at 2B, could allow the Angels to utilize Rengifo or Fletcher as trade bait for a young, talented, cost-controlled SP, or to simply give them an exceptionally deep offense. 
  • Scooter Gennett could be an option, but the big question will be if he is Tommy La Stella 2.0 or Zack Cozart 2.0, and would the Angels take the risk either way?
  • Howie Kendriccontinues to do nothing but hit, much as always, and has become quite versatile defensively, although only average at best with the glove. 
    Having just turned 36, there's a real chance  the new free agency climate will not be kind to Howie despite his strong numbers, and 2020 could be an opportunity for Howie to close out his career where it all began. 
    Kendrick could offer the Angels a veteran bench option across the infield and corner outfield to open the year while the youngsters adapt and acclimate, and could find himself midseason trade bait just as easily as he could be DFAed.
  • Anthony Rendon comes with all of the benefits of Donaldson, albeit for a lot more money. Very unlikely to be on the Angels radar, Rendon could offer the Angels the chance to lock in 3B for the long-term, again freeing up young IFs in trade. 
    Rendon's ceiling is high enough that he offsets any struggles the young Angels infielders or Adell might experience, but his enormous contract likely closes the door on any major SP acquisitions, leaving them shopping for bargains. 
    Should the Angels get big results from Canning, Suarez, Sandoval, Barria, and Peters down the stretch, perhaps there is a chance the Angels would feel comfortable opting for cheap SP flyers and Rendon, rather than committing big money to mid-tier SPs.
    Rendon is currently at a 1.004 OPS and brings strong defense to the infield as well, but some of his biggest appeal could be his near .400 OBP over the last three years placed in front of Mike Trout.
  • Jonathan Schoop likely doesn't check enough boxes for Eppler, but a slight resurgence in power and solid defense could lead the Angels to investigate pairing him with fellow countryman Simmons up the middle for 2020, likely no longer than that.
    Much like with Gennett or Donaldson, Schoop would pair with La Stella to give the Angels an intriguing veteran infield, backed by a bevy of capable young talents should anyone falter. 
    And much like Kendrick, Schoop could very well wind-up midseason tradebait just as easily as he could a DFA candidate.
  • Justin Smoak and Jose Abreu are only options if Pujols abruptly decides to retire, and even then? Unlikely, but probably not a zero percent chance.

Outfield is very likely not a focus at all in free agency, but if Adell remains cold to end '19, and the Angels need Calhoun's salary freed up, they might not buy into the idea of a Goodwin/Hermosillo platoon, and could explore some new ideas.

Outfielders

  • Melky Cabrera is basically the Yunel Escobar of outfielders. Cheap, consistent, not great defensively, not a lot of power, not a lot of walks, but consistent batting average. A good stopgap, possibly helping at lead-off.
    He'd be steady bat, although his .700-.750 OPS would be quite hollow, again, much like Escobar's.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall is perpetually injured it seems, but could also work in decently as a RF platoon until Adell is ready.
    In very limited play this season, he's hitting .321/.394/.452/.846, and since breaking out in 2014, has long been a source of decent doubles power and OBP.
  • Corey Dickerson might be one to watch as well, as his production could match that of Kole's, potentially for a cheaper salary.
    He's been a steady .800 OPS bat his last three full seasons, with quite a bit of contact making up for his lack of walks. 
  • Derek Dietrich really doesn't fit the Eppler mold - awful defense - but he does present a similar offensive profile to that of Kole Calhoun, potentially for a dramatically lower price.
    He wouldn't really have one set position with the Angels, but could bring some left-handed pop, OBP, and positional versatility to the bench in place of someone like Justin Bour.
  • Avisail Garcia could bring right-handed thump and a decent offensive profile to RF in a platoon with Goodwin, with both sharing some 4th OF duties. Likely cheap.
  • Adam Jones would draw some comparisons to Howie Kendrick's infield role, or Torii Hunter's prior move to RF. He could platoon with Goodwin, eventually giving way to Adell, bringing some additional veteran wisdom to pass along to the young OFs. 
    Jones has mirrored his '18 production almost to the digit, and his .270/.315/.420/.735 line is likely indicative of his potential 2020 numbers.
  • Cameron Maybin is having a career year in a part-time role for the Yankees. At 32, he's not really in late-bloomer stage anymore, but could make for a great one-year platoon with Goodwin as a stopgap for Adell. 
    Maybin is slashing .312/.390/.526/.916 with the Yankees, bringing good defense, good baserunning, decent contact, and decent pop to the outfield. 
    Could see a bit of a Dexter Fowler-esque revival happen for Maybin, where he posts some solid numbers for a couple seasons before coming back to Earth.
  • Marcell Ozuna is the second least-likeliest potential OF FA the Angels would pursue, as there isn't much need to commit the money or years to the 29-yr old OF, no matter how high his ceiling might be. 
    While he is a capable outfielder with a strong offensive skillset, there just isn't much reason, unless the Angels are forced into dealing Adell or Marsh for top-tier starting pitching, or something unforeseen happens with Pujols or Upton. 
  • Yasiel Puig is the least-likeliest potential OF FA the Angels would pursue for all the reasons listed above with Ozuna, except with make-up issues heavily decreasing any interest.
Edited by totdprods

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A thin class of FA catchers could limit the Angels to keeping internal/bargain options at the forefront here. Grandal has a mutual option and may or may not hit the market. 

Catchers

  • Alex Avila has long made plenty of sense for the Angels, yet there's never been much reason to suspect the Angels have been interested. 
    Good defense, good OBP, bit of power, left-handed bat, usually cheap...maybe this is the year? Injuries have limited him a bit recently.
  • Jason Castro might make the most sense for the Angels to pursue. He's long been noted for his skills behind the plate and will be coming from two organizations that have had recent success rejuvenating pitchers.
    Castro's bat has come around this season as well, as he's slashing .250/.330/.494/.824 with a bit of pop. 
  • Robinson Chirinos is also an option, simply due to the Angels' infatuation with anyone who has crossed paths with Houston's pitching analytics. 
  • Travis d'Arnaud looks to be finally realizing his potential with Tampa at the age of 31, posting strong defensive numbers an OPS north of .800.
    A SoCal native, d'Arnaud could be on the Angels radar as well. 
  • Martin Maldonado simply because of his reputation working with pitchers, his affinity to the Angels org, and his solid defense. 
  • Austin Romine will have some connections due to Eppler and brother Andrew's time with the Angels, but his defense-first skillset makes him a bit redundant paired with Stassi.

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Machete and Stassi could be a decent pairing.    Stassi can't truly be this bad with the bat?

What would Will Smith command in FA?    Would Robles, Buttrey, and Middleton be enough as the main late innings guys? 

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McHugh is interesting i think.

Position wise i dont see much aside from Rendon, which isnt really a need. 

Im not sure im that wild about any of the catchers, i think they have thier mind set to go with what they have. 

Well see who is actually out there i guess.

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29 minutes ago, Make Angels Great Again said:

One thing we should know by now is Eppler does not spend on relievers.

Reportedly he came in second bidding on Britton. So, I don’t know that this is entirely true. 

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33 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

Machete and Stassi could be a decent pairing.    Stassi can't truly be this bad with the bat?

What would Will Smith command in FA?    Would Robles, Buttrey, and Middleton be enough as the main late innings guys? 

I think I'd prefer at least one catcher to have a bit of offensive upside...Stassi might still come around over the next month, maybe Reed and Wooten work some magic...but two catchers posting a sub .600, or even .500 OPS, would be tough to stomach no matter how good their defense is or how the rest of the offense is performing. I'm refusing to give up on Stassi after a couple weeks too.

I'd wager a guess Smith falls in line with anything ranging from two years and an AAV of $15m-plus, or three or four years and an AAV around $10m-$12m. 
Good closer money, muted a bit by recent FA markets, but still high for a reliever. Sort of like David Robertson's deal. That's high, probably higher than I expect the Angels to be willing to spend, but reasonable enough that I wouldn't count them out. n

This offseason will be interesting because I think Eppler is nearing the line in the sand he drew a long time ago about when "The Plan" would start to elevate to a new level. 
That line was either drawn to begin before 2020, or after 2020, so we'll either see one more season of methodical, typical MO-Eppler, except for maybe one deal (like Allen last winter), or we'll see Eppler snap into a new plan of action we haven't seen. 

I do think by the time the 2021 season starts, this team will be in a radically different place - either by significant internal improvements, or by way of some bold trades and signings. 

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I'd break it down like so.

Starters: At least one, probably two - whether through free agency or trade. They'll go for Cole and/or the best starter they can sign. Wheeler, Odorizzi, Ryu, Hamels, etc.

Relievers: Maybe one. Eppler will probably clean peanut a few to stash in AAA, but I think he's happy with what he has. The bullpen was good the first half of the year but has imploded lately, mainly due to the rotation falling apart. Improve the rotation and the current bullpen will be very good, especially with Middleton coming back. Plus a lot of the starting pitching depth can be used as relievers.

Infielders: Unlikely. The Angels have tons of options, even if most of them have limited upside. I suppose Eppler could surprise us and grab a Rendon, but I just don't see it.

Outfielders: Unlikely. The only question is to Kole or not to Kole. Chances are no Calhoun, but Goodwin holds down the fort until Adell is ready, with Hermosillo as depth.

Catchers: Maybe. I think he'll be spending Arte's money on starters and go with Stassi/Smith, or maybe Srassi and some random free agent or trfade. Grandal is a wildcard, though - and the surprise signing that i woudn't be that surprised about.

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2 hours ago, totdprods said:

I think I'd prefer at least one catcher to have a bit of offensive upside...Stassi might still come around over the next month, maybe Reed and Wooten work some magic...but two catchers posting a sub .600, or even .500 OPS, would be tough to stomach no matter how good their defense is or how the rest of the offense is performing. I'm refusing to give up on Stassi after a couple weeks too.

I'd wager a guess Smith falls in line with anything ranging from two years and an AAV of $15m-plus, or three or four years and an AAV around $10m-$12m. 
Good closer money, muted a bit by recent FA markets, but still high for a reliever. Sort of like David Robertson's deal. That's high, probably higher than I expect the Angels to be willing to spend, but reasonable enough that I wouldn't count them out. n

This offseason will be interesting because I think Eppler is nearing the line in the sand he drew a long time ago about when "The Plan" would start to elevate to a new level. 
That line was either drawn to begin before 2020, or after 2020, so we'll either see one more season of methodical, typical MO-Eppler, except for maybe one deal (like Allen last winter), or we'll see Eppler snap into a new plan of action we haven't seen. 

I do think by the time the 2021 season starts, this team will be in a radically different place - either by significant internal improvements, or by way of some bold trades and signings. 

It just occurred to my why Eppler went after Stassi in addition to his pitch framing.  He's got the same avg. exit velo as Trout and one of the lowest launch angles in baseball.  

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2 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Starters: At least one, probably two - whether through free agency or trade. They'll go for Cole and/or the best starter they can sign. Wheeler, Odorizzi, Ryu, Hamels, etc.

I think Cole will be the hands-down top target, with a couple back-up options, but I don’t think Eppler will go nuts here. He’ll keep some limits and show some restraint still. No doubt they add at least one significant arm.

3 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

RelieversMaybe one. Eppler will probably clean peanut a few to stash in AAA, but I think he's happy with what he has. The bullpen was good the first half of the year but has imploded lately, mainly due to the rotation falling apart. Improve the rotation and the current bullpen will be very good, especially with Middleton coming back. Plus a lot of the starting pitching depth can be used as relievers.

I think this will tie in to the SP they sign. If they land a big target, I agree, they keep the pen acquisitions cheap, but if the best they manager is an Odorizzi or Wheeler, they might turn to someone like McHugh (perhaps even for the rotation) or look into Smith or Betances for some high-lev back-end help. Even with the excess SP depth that *might* slot into pen depth, we’re seeing the Angels use relievers more nebulously this year, and there might be some newfound value investing in these arms that didn’t exist a couple years ago.

6 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

InfieldersUnlikely. The Angels have tons of options, even if most of them have limited upside. I suppose Eppler could surprise us and grab a Rendon, but I just don't see it.

I still think Eppler is going to be in the trade market for pitching help, and our infield will likely lose some depth as a result. To this day, Eppler has yet to enter Opening Day with much reliance on anyone too inexperienced and if guys don’t perform the rest of this year, cheap stopgaps could come back. 

10 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

OutfieldersUnlikely. The only question is to Kole or not to Kole. Chances are no Calhoun, but Goodwin holds down the fort until Adell is ready, with Hermosillo as depth.

At most, a cheap vet platoon option for Goodwin, especially if Adell ends the year cold. Goodwin’s hot streaks this year have been really luck-driven. 

11 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

CatchersMaybe. I think he'll be spending Arte's money on starters and go with Stassi/Smith, or maybe Srassi and some random free agent or trfade. Grandal is a wildcard, though - and the surprise signing that i woudn't be that surprised about.

At this point, I’m more concerned with Eppler finding a catcher that truly helps the pitchers more than the offense they produce. He’s found at least average production for pennies on the dollar so far, so I’m fine if he leaves this to bargain names. If they help the pitching.

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I’ve said a bunch of times that I think the Angels should put away their 3B issue and sign Rendon.  If they’re serious about a World Series any time soon then why not ?  Thaiss and Ward are extremely speculative.  Especially with Pujols apparently entrenched over at 1B.  David Fletcher is not a 3B.  I think that with Ohtani’s bat out of the line up maybe 3 times a week next year.  They could definitely use another bat.  

 

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1 hour ago, UndertheHalo said:

I’ve said a bunch of times that I think the Angels should put away their 3B issue and sign Rendon.  If they’re serious about a World Series any time soon then why not ?  Thaiss and Ward are extremely speculative.  Especially with Pujols apparently entrenched over at 1B.  David Fletcher is not a 3B.  I think that with Ohtani’s bat out of the line up maybe 3 times a week next year.  They could definitely use another bat.  

I don’t think it’s the most far-fetched idea, but it’d take a pretty unique set of circumstances to take root. A trade involving at least one of Simmons, Fletcher, or Rengifo for pitching would have to be part of it (not impossible) or Arte snapping and going ballistic on payroll (less likely). 

It would do for the infield prospect depth what Adell and Trout have done for outfield prospect depth, in that it’d make everyone below them available in trade talks. That sort of flexibility could open some doors for pitching improvements. The Angels would have to also just bank on beating the tar out of teams with the bats. 

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1 hour ago, UndertheHalo said:

I’ve said a bunch of times that I think the Angels should put away their 3B issue and sign Rendon.  If they’re serious about a World Series any time soon then why not ?  Thaiss and Ward are extremely speculative.  Especially with Pujols apparently entrenched over at 1B.  David Fletcher is not a 3B.  I think that with Ohtani’s bat out of the line up maybe 3 times a week next year.  They could definitely use another bat.  

 

In what sense is Fletcher not a 3B? He’s elite defensively there. I can only assume you mean comparatively to other 3B on power. If so, I personally reject that idea completely. 

The lineup should be balanced, but if your CF/LF are your power guys instead of 3B, it’s irrelevant.

Assuming La Stella comes back consistent with pre-injury form, I’m not concerned about the lineup. 

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1 hour ago, UndertheHalo said:

I’ve said a bunch of times that I think the Angels should put away their 3B issue and sign Rendon.  If they’re serious about a World Series any time soon then why not ?  Thaiss and Ward are extremely speculative.  Especially with Pujols apparently entrenched over at 1B.  David Fletcher is not a 3B.  I think that with Ohtani’s bat out of the line up maybe 3 times a week next year.  They could definitely use another bat.  

 

I would love to see Rendon in an Angels uniform but he’s going to get a big contract. Maybe 4/120 or 5/150?

Don’t think we can sign a #1 SP like Cole and also sign Rendon. 

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9 minutes ago, RBM said:

I would love to see Rendon in an Angels uniform but he’s going to get a big contract. Maybe 4/120 or 5/150?

Don’t think we can sign a #1 SP like Cole and also sign Rendon. 

We might be able to, but unless Arte goes big, we wouldn’t be able to spend anything else. Unless we had good luck with our young starters developing and staying healthy, the rotation would again be a disaster. 

People need to quit dreaming that Arte is going to just say, “Screw the budget”. Lineup and bullpen aren’t serious issues at present. The rotation is. Realistically, we need two impact arms if we intend to compete. Maybe you can trade someone in this scenario for an impact arm, but I just don’t see the need. That’s just me, though. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, RBM said:

I would love to see Rendon in an Angels uniform but he’s going to get a big contract. Maybe 4/120 or 5/150?

Don’t think we can sign a #1 SP like Cole and also sign Rendon. 

It’s not totally insane when you consider the money coming off the books the next several years, IF the Angels are fully content making a big splash on Rendon and Cole and basically counting on the current team and farm to do pull all the remaining weight. For many years. Including guys yet to be drafted.

Also means Simmons is gone after 2020.

  • After 2019: $49m freed up from cutting Calhoun, Cahill, Harvey, Allen, Bour, Lucroy, Garcia, JC, and Tropeano
  • After 2020: another $32m freed up from Simmons, La Stella, and Cozart, maybe a few mil more if they move on from Pena, Bedrosian, or Robles
  • After 2021: $30m freed up from Pujols, with Bedrosian, Robles, and Pena still possibilities to free up a few mil more. Heaney a slight chance too if other kid arms are working out alright.
  • After 2022: $28m freed up from Upton, and not counting whatever Heaney is up to by now. Bedrosian and Robles also hit FA.

Obviously there will be other needs, extensions, raises, but the Angels are in a nice position (thanks Eppler) where they’ll see substantial money come off the books the next several subsequent years, which is different from recent years, and almost always  with internal replacements already lined up. Adell for Calhoun in ‘19, Rengifo and Fletcher for Simmons and Cozart in ‘20, ideally Thaiss (maybe Maitan?) for Pujols by ‘21, Marsh or Adams, even Knowles, for Upton by ‘22...

Ohtani’s extension looms, but he’s also not a FA until after 2023 so they have some time.

The Angels could probably make two mega-contracts work but they’d be putting a lot of eggs into the farm basket and counting on the youth and farm to really make a difference 2020-2027. If it backfires, they’re kinda fucked for a bulk of the Trout years and possibly all of Ohtani’s years too, if he tests FA. Would Rendon and Cole be worth that gamble?

Edited by totdprods

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The certainly want starting pitching as the highest priority but the post above is fun to read to fantasize about ALSO being able to add Rendon.  He is one of my favorite players and when you write his name into this lineup my head about explodes with excitement.

To have all of Trout, Upton, Rendon, Adell, Ohtani, and Simmons. . .

Wow.

 

 

 

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Good post.

I honestly think Eppler is going to need to find a trade partner for mid-rotation pitching using some of the young, cost-controlled IF prospect capital we currently have.  I don't think Cole's signing impacts this need one way or the other.  If this happens and we lose some combination of those players, I can see where an established available veteran on a reasonable contract could come into play.  Otherwise, I don't see the value in using the available dollars we have on a large-price IF'er.  We need pitching.

No need for anything significant in the OF.  I suspect they like where they are at with C.  Smith is serviceable and I have to believe Sassi is better defensively than we've seen and they feel they can work with his bat.

So the larger, initial point (if we miss out on elite SP's, what about a paradigm shift to establishing a really strong pen ala Milwaukee), I love it.  If we miss on Cole and Ryu and are unable to trade for a 1-2 SP, then I would be all for exploring the idea of building a really nasty pen.  As weird as it may sound, I really like the core we have.  Buttrey, Robles, Key, etc.  Hell, even Bedrock (this board's modern-day version of Mathis) is solid when used appropriately (I realize I lost a few of you there!).  If we could pull a couple of multiple-inning arms from the list you included and were willing to move our guys with options up and down like we do with our starters, I can envision a formula that could work.  Though I do think it would go against Eppler's nature (i.e. spending on relievers).

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Wisconsin27 said:

So the larger, initial point (if we miss out on elite SP's, what about a paradigm shift to establishing a really strong pen ala Milwaukee), I love it.  If we miss on Cole and Ryu and are unable to trade for a 1-2 SP, then I would be all for exploring the idea of building a really nasty pen.  As weird as it may sound, I really like the core we have.  Buttrey, Robles, Key, etc.  Hell, even Bedrock (this board's modern-day version of Mathis) is solid when used appropriately (I realize I lost a few of you there!).  If we could pull a couple of multiple-inning arms from the list you included and were willing to move our guys with options up and down like we do with our starters, I can envision a formula that could work.  Though I do think it would go against Eppler's nature (i.e. spending on relievers).

Seeing the number of Houston pitchers set to hit free agency - Cole, Miley, McHugh, Rondon, Harris, Smith - makes me want the Angels to at least kick the tires on virtually all of them. That’s a huge chunk of their pitching staff. Do anything we can to strain that part of their team.

I’m really starting to get drawn to the idea of nabbing McHugh. His versatility would work really well for the Angels needs and he’s long been a sort of Swiss Army knife for the Astros. Losing him just adds more pressure to the rest of their staff. Harris and Rondon are interesting too. If the Angels can get Cole, one of those guys, and swing a trade for another SP, things look good.

McHugh opened the season in the rotation, but moved to the pen and has since posted a 3.29 ERA and .190 BAA, in a lot of low or mid lev situations. So he’s not a high-lev guy, more of a souped up Noe Ramírez, but shouldn’t command much money or years for those same reasons. 

I also have to think there’s a reason the Angels poach coaches, catchers, and pitchers from Houston as often as they do. They’re obviously trying to learn something from them. The more personnel we can lure away, the likelier we get enough bits and pieces of data to apply here.

Edited by totdprods

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Another viable option for the outfield is Brett Gardner. With the emergence of Tauchman, and the depth in their farm system, the Yanks are unlikely to bring him back.

Despite his diminishing playing time, he is on pace for career highs with his power numbers. He is still an above average fielder as well.

Might be a good pick-up to keep Adell's seat warm for a year.

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Just now, NJHalo said:

Another viable option for the outfield is Brett Gardner. With the emergence of Tauchman, and the depth in their farm system, the Yanks are unlikely to bring him back.

Despite his diminishing playing time, he is on pace for career highs with his power numbers. He is still an above average fielder as well.

Might be a good pick-up to keep Adell's seat warm for a year.

I can’t really see them committing to someone seeking and deserving full-time play...Gardner also has a whopping 8 innings of experience in RF. Upton doesn’t have the arm for RF. Trout ain’t moving...

If Gardner drops into 4th OF offers maybe, but I think that’s extremely unlikely.

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7 minutes ago, totdprods said:

I can’t really see them committing to someone seeking and deserving full-time play...Gardner also has a whopping 8 innings of experience in RF. Upton doesn’t have the arm for RF. Trout ain’t moving...

I thought he had more RF time than that. Regardless, he is a strong enough fielder , and has a good enough arm to make the move. 

He is an upgrade from Goodwin, and could be had for a fraction of Calhoun's $14 million option. 

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