Los Angeles Angels fill one hole … sort of

By Grant Avise

The Los Angeles Angels’ goal this offseason seems to be to disappoint their fans. If that is indeed their goal, then they are indeed achieving it.

When initial reports came out that the Angels had traded for Washington Nationals third baseman Yunel Escobar, all signs pointed that a solid deal had been done. This was because initial reports did not name who the Angels traded to get him.

The Angels received a player who has a career .281/.350/.385 slashline through nine seasons, which is solid production, but the Angels bought high on a guy who has been on the decline for the last several years. Last year, Escobar had a career year by hitting .314/375/.415. The upside to Escobar is that he is only owed $7 million this year and has a team option for next year, much cheaper than a free agent.

Plus, the Angels’ previous third baseman, David Freese, owned a slashline of .276/.344/.417 through seven seasons. The numbers at the plate are comparable until you get to slugging, where Freese clearly is superior. Escobar has only played one season at third, so comparing fielding percentages isn’t exactly fair because of the lack in sample size.

What the Angels received does not seem equal to what they gave up. The Angels gave up hard-throwing right hander Trevor Gott (23) and pitching prospect Michael Brady. Last year was Gott’s first season in the majors, and while he was mostly a seventh inning bridge, he shined in his reliever role.

He appeared in 48 games, pitching 47.2 innings. He had an earned run average of 3.02, striking out 27 and only allowing two home runs. While giving up a seventh inning guy in exchange for an everyday guy is normally a good thing, especially one that is so affordable, there has to be talent behind it to make it a good trade.

The Angels are lacking in farm system talent everywhere. They don’t really have a reliable guy to take Gott’s place, and with teams reportedly clamoring for Gott this offseason, his value is much higher than his return. All in all, this wasn’t a very good trade for the Angels who still have eight viable starting pitchers available.

Overall, this trade is about a C at best.

Let’s hope the team isn’t done and Arte allows a big name outfielder to be signed.