December 10, 2011; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto during a press conference at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

What if the Angels Made a Trade Like the Marlins?

Tonight the Marlins made a blockbuster trade with the Toronto Blue Jays sending Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, infielder Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck, along with a reported $4 million cash to the Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar, starter Henderson Alvarez, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, catcher Jeff Mathis, minor league pitchers Justin Nicolino and Anthony Desclafani and minor league outfielder Jake Marisnick.

In the midst of the Twitter frenzy after the trade had been announced and confirmed, Garrett Wilson at Monkey with a Halo proposed the following question:

For an Angels farm system that is depleted and a bloated payroll that has left the Angels out of the playoffs for the last two years, it’s a good question. After all, it wouldn’t be a total rebuild but a rethinking of sorts. Let’s break it down.

So let’s play. The name on the door to the GMs office is yours.

Consider the…


Pujols has $238 million dollars (!) remaining on his contract and is due $16 million next year. CJ Wilson has $65 million owed next year with $16 million owed next year while Howie Kendrick is owed 8.75 million of his $33.5 million dollar contract in 2013.

That would be $40.75 million off the books just for next year. And 336.5 million in the future. Think about what the Halos could do with that money. Maybe sign a one Mike Trout to a long-term extension?

Wins Above Replacement

Here was these three players WAR according to Baseball-Reference in 2012.

Pujols: 4.6
Wilson: -0.9
Howie Kendrick: 2.7

Assuming these players maintain a similar WAR in 2013, then the Angels as a team would lose roughly 6.4 Wins above replacement.


With Pujols and Kendrick gone and assuming that the Halos replace these two with league average players or through in-house choices, the starting team would look something like this.

C- Chris Iannetta
1B – Kendry Morales
2B – ?
3B -Alberto Collaspo
SS – Erick Aybar
LF – Mike Trout
CF – Peter Boujos
RF – Mark Trumbo

This line up was worth 24.4 WAR in 2012.

Pitching Staff

Here there are a lot of question marks. With CJ Wilson gone it would leave Jered Weaver and Garrett Richards as the only sure spots in the rotation. Yet, in many ways, the Angels likelihood of having a better rotation than in 2012 still largely exists. After all Haren’s WAR was -0.6 while Ervin Santana’s was -1.6. Out of all five pitchers in the starting rotation last year, only Weaver’s WAR was had a positive number of wins above replaced player. The only way seems to be up.

And look at the free age market. Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum, Jeremy Guthrie and Brandon McCarthy all had positive WARs in 2012. With 40.75 million off the books just for next year and 336.5 million in total, surely there is cash to sign at least two of these pitchers.

Or is there? With a hole at 2B now, a bullpen that needs to be solidified and a nearly completely gutted rotation, how much of that $40.75 would be left? Not much at all. So if the goal was to shed payroll for 2013, then the Angels would still be hard pressed to keep it under what they paid in 2012.

This becomes even more complicated if the Angels chose to sign Greinke, currently looking for 7 years and a $150 million. If he got that contract, then that’s $21.4 million a year, leaving very little spending room.

Do you make the trade?

Clearly, it’s hard to make a clear and accurate decision without knowing who the Angels would get in return. But knowing what you know now, what decision would you make.

And if you do make the trade, then what do you do with the extra money?

The extra $40+ million would likely go towards a couple of middle of the rotation starters or Zack Greinke and a back of the rotation guy if you goal was to win now but wouldn’t allow you much more spending room if you couldn’t go over the 2012 payroll.

Then again, if you chose to try and save money, then the $365 million you are saving over the long-term could free up time to re-sign Mike Trout while the prospects you received in the blockbuster deal developed.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Which would you choose?

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Tags: Albery Pujols Miami Marlins Trade

  • Clyde Coopersnacky


  • Ben Wenger

    This is a fun exercise, but no team in MLB would take those contracts fully or give up prospects for them. I think the total dollars acquired by the Jays is less than the Pujols contract alone.

  • RallyMonkeyUSA

    no dont do it…it took us a long time to get a major free agent to sign here in Anaheim. Losing pujols would mean more than losing his production. It means losing free agents desire to want to come here and play with pujols. Having him on the team shows other players were committed to winning whether you like him or not. The Angels will get to the playoffs next year and their chances of winning the WS are good if they can get Greinke to stay and fix our bullpen. I agree though that we need to do WHATEVER it takes to get Trout to sign long term. But would Trout really resign here if Pujols wasnt here? I dont think he would.

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  • chambers

    there is a major flaw here…. aybar, kendrick, trout, borjous, trumbo, richards are all very young still and about to enter their prime, except trout who seems to be there already. all of which are either under team control or have a pretty team friendly contract. There is no way I make this trade. In reality this is still a pretty young team. no need to make a “blockbuster trade” to “rebuild” the farm system right now, when the team on the field can produce for another 5 years easily (which will give some time to give depth to the farm system).

    another starter and a few bullpen guys and we win. 22 blown saves last year (even more blown leads) take 8 of those away and we are in first in the west.

    the way I see it we were a winning franchise before we brought in pujols and his giant contract. hes just extra firepower, and any lineup with him there is better.

    • bryanharveysmoustache

      You know, your reasoning could also support making a blockbuster trade like this. Fill up the team with young, cheap studs and make Trout the centerpiece of it all for years to come.