Analyzing latest Los Angeles Angels deal trading Jett Bandy to Brewers for Martin Maldonado.
By David Rice
Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler was just lying in the weeds during the Winter Meetings, shaking the bushes and now he has pounced. Eppler made his second trade in last four days shipping Jett Bandy to Milwaukee.
When the Los Angeles Angels called up catcher Jett Bandy in 2016 it was out of desperation as Carlos Perez was not producing and veteran catcher Geovany Soto could not stay healthy. Bandy started strong hitting .276 with four homers and 17 RBI’s in his first 32 games. However, Bandy hitting tailed off in the final two months of the season as he hit just .199 with four homers and eight RBI’s.
Bandy did stand out defensively sporting a .993 fielding percentage and throwing out 19 of 48 would be base stealers which is a 40% clip. However, the Angels on Tuesday decided that they would go a different direction as they sent Bandy to the Brewers for minor league catching prospect Martin Maldonado and pitching prospect Drew Gagnon.
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Maldonado spent the last five years as the Brewers back-up catcher averaging 71 games per season. Maldonado has a career average of .217 with 28 homers and 111 RBI’s. Defensively Maldonado has a strong arm throwing out 67 of 123 would-be base stealers which is 51%. He also has a .987 fielding percentage. which may explain why the Angels wanted him.
So this leaves the Angels with Carlos Perez and Martin Maldonado as the only catchers with major league experience on their roster. Could this pave the way for someone like Taylor Ward to move up on the depth charts as well as 2016 first round draft pick Matt Thaiss. Only time will tell with that.
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So what about pitching prospect Drew Gagnon. Gagnon is a Long Beach State alumni who has been in the minors since 2011 with the Brewers. Gagnon compiled a 30-38 record with a 4.64 ERA pitching mostly as a starter pitching in 149 games. Gagnon has thrown 631.2 innings and struck out 499 batters with a 1.38 WHIP. Last season Gagnon split time between double and Triple-A going 3-1 with a 4.48 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 36 games. He struck out 63 batters in 68.1 innings mostly in relief.
So what about this deal? Do the Angels and Mike Scioscia value defense so much that they are willing to give up an up and coming catcher like Bandy for a no-hit defensive wonder? I guess the answer is yes. Nothing against Maldanado, but between him and starting catcher Carlos Perez they hit a combined .203 between them with 13 homers and 52 RBI’s. Not great numbers and basically you now have identical catchers in Perez and Maldonado.
Bandy in time I think would have developed into a decent hitter and an even better defender, which he was not bad to begin with. This trade to me was a head scratcher and leaves me asking the question, WHY? Pitching prospect Drew Gagnon may be the missing piece and the reason the Angels made this deal, but that I think is a doubtful scenario unless Billy Eppler knows more about him they we do, which is likely.
Next: Analyzing Espinosa deal for Angels. Does it make sense?
I guess we will have to wait and see how this move pans out for the Angels, for now we wish Jett Bandy good luck with his new team and welcome Martin Maldonado and Drew Gagnon to Halo Nation!!!