For most of the winter, it was believed that the Angels would deal Howie Kendrick before anyone else. An above-average second baseman, signed to an affordable deal and still in his prime is a promising target. Then the Angels dealt Mark Trumbo and landed Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago in the same deal.
Almost immediately, Alden Gonzalez wrote that Howie was off of the block. But, should we have brushed that aside. It is not like Jerry Dipoto has ever stuck with one thing since becoming the Angels GM.
So of course with a couple of days left in 2013, there is a rumor starting to circulate that involves Howie Kendrick as trade bait. Man, we should’ve seen this one coming. It is not a crazy, outlandish rumor at least, but it does have its crazy, outlandish parts. At least, that’s the vibe that I am getting from the boys at Tomahawk Take.
It would be great to include Dan Uggla in this trade, for the Braves and for Dan. I think a change in atmosphere could do him well.
No, no, no, no, no. I’m sorry, gentleman. Kill this dream, and kill it quick. Uggla doesn’t fit the mold for the kind of player that Dipoto likes for the Angels offense. And, well, he’s been terrible. Atrocious. Awful. Pick a word that is a synonym for “bad” and insert it here. No Uggla. Not now. Not ever.
I have not spent much time sifting through the Atlanta Braves minor league teams, nor have I studied their top prospect lists. But to be fair, Howie Kendrick is not going to net the Angels the Braves top pitching prospect. We might be crazy, but don’t be delusional. They could push for one of their higher-end pitching prospects though if they were to include a safety net with Kendrick. Say, Alex Yarbrough. Yarbrough should be heading to AA this season, and should be major league ready by the time Kendrick’s deal expires.
Most of this is fantasy land-talk though. The Angels dealt an important piece in Trumbo earlier this winter, and I don’t see it being in the team’s best interest to deal another player on the major league roster. But moving Howie Kendrick’s $9.25M a season salary could be the key factor for Dipoto. It could be what helps him maneuver into a position where he can make a more serious run at, oh, I don’t know, Masahiro Tanaka.
This rumor seems like more smoke than fire at this point in time, and is probably just throwing darts to see what makes sense. But, considering the money that would be involved as well as the kind of pitchers that the Angels are eyeing up, this rumor could grow legs.
This smoke may not have any fire as of yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spark or two in the kindling.