Los Angeles Angels miss out on key offseason additions
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Mets were also in the hunt for Zobrist. They didn’t get Zobrist, but they got another Angels target, second baseman Neil Walker. The Mets acquired Walker through a trade, sending starting pitcher Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Second base isn’t exactly a dire need for the Angels, but many pundits criticize Johnny Giavotella on his defensive ability. Walker owns a .989 fielding percentage compared to Giavotella’s .976. If the Angels truly wanted an upgrade, this deal should have been easy for the Angels.
If the Pirates were searching for starting pitchers, the Angels should have dangled any of their arsenal of pitchers and let the Pirates bite. Any one of the Angels pitchers provides more upside than Niese, so the Pirates would have jumped at the opportunity.
Walker is 30 years old and has one year left on his contract. The Mets likely won’t be able to retain the services of Daniel Murphy, so they went out and got Walker.
Walker is a career .272 hitter and has homered 93 times to go with 418 RBIs through seven seasons with the Pirates. He is one of the few second basemen in the league to have good pop in his bat, something the Angels could use from someone not named Mike Trout or Pujols. Walker won the Silver Slugger award in 2014.
Next: Brett Lawrie