With the GM Meetings in full swing down in Orlando, FL, the rest of the baseball loving world is forced to watch football. Some of us even have to do with freezing temperatures (side note: 89 days until pitchers and catchers report. Hurry up, baseball).
Fangraphs is still holding chat sessions, and today, Dave Cameron fielded questions from baseball fans, including a couple that involved a few Angels payers that are on the trading block. The screenshots are below.
H/T to fellow HH’r MJ for the screenshots.
Let’s tackle the first one, shall we?
I am not exactly for the trading of Peter Bourjos. I am kind of OK with it so long as Kole Calhoun gets the innings that would have otherwise gone to Bourjos. Trading Erick Aybar is another weird one because the only actual player waiting in the wings should that happen, is Andrew Romine. Andrew Romine, if you’ll recall, excites nobody.
But, for John Jay and Shelby Miller? Yes, please.
Jay posted a slash line of .276/.351/.370. Peter Bourjos has a career line of .250/.310/.397. Lose a little bit of power, gain a lot of on-base ability. This could be an issue since Jay has been strictly a center fielder over the last two seasons, and that would keep Mike Trout in left field. Of course, you negate that problem by either making Jay the fourth outfielder, or flipping him as part of package for something else. You can be creative with this one.
In his rookie season, Shelby Miller pitched his way to a 15-9 record with a 3.06 ERA. His K/9 of 8.78 would have been the best in the Angels rotation. His 2.1 fWAR would have been third behind C.J. Wilson (3.3) and Jered Weaver (2.4). How would you feel if the Angels slotted Miller into the third spot of the rotation in 2014 behind Wilson and Weaver? Pretty good, right? Me too. You would give up some offense by putting Romine at shortstop. But sometimes, sacrifices need to be made.
Now, for the second one.
Howie Kendrick and his affordable contract have been on the block since June, and the rumor back in July was that he almost got shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Zach Lee. Dave Cameron thinks that Kendrick plus “stuff” would net Max Scherzer. Dave Cameron says he wouldn’t do that. I would absolutely do that while giggling uncontrollably during the process.
We all know the story behind Kendrick. He is easily one of the ten best second basemen in baseball, maybe even one of the five best. But the possible replacement, Grant Green, isn’t exactly a terrible fallback option. I’ll put it this way; if the Angels traded Kendrick and handed the keys to second base to Green, I wouldn’t feel icky about it. And if he doesn’t work out, right behind him is Taylor Lindsey. And yesterday, Nathaniel Stoltz of Fangraphs said to me that he expects Lindsey to be, on average, a two-win player. Not too shabby.
Of course, Scherzer is going into his final year of arbitration, and will almost assuredly hit the free agent market. But let’s just live in a world of fantasy for a minute. Let’s say that the Angels pulled off both of these trades. What would the starting rotation and lineup look like if this happened?
Mike Trout (Back to leading off)
Kole Calhoun (81.4% contact-rate and a 9.5% walk-rate)
Albert Pujols (Mike Scioscia can’t help himself)
Josh Hamilton (Ditto)
Mark Trumbo (I like that we keep his big bat)
Hank Conger/Chris Iannetta (Hopefully more Hank than Chris)
Luis Jimenez (Someone has to play third)
Not the best lineup, but a solid one and balanced lineup. Balanced in terms of both production and handedness.
Max Scherzer (Sorry, Jered)
Jered Weaver (Still sorry, Jered)
C.J. Wilson (Probably the best third starter in baseball)
Shelby Miller (Easily the best fourth starter in baseball)
Garrett Richards (No pressure when you are bringing up the rear)
I like that rotation a lot.
Of course, this all fantasy. There is a non-zero chance of this happening, but an almost guaranteed chance that it won’t happen. Still, just imagine, close your eyes and imagine how a team with that lineup and rotation might perform. Not too bad of an alternate reality, is it?