The LA Angels already answered the question mark in left field with Justin Upton‘s long term deal last week. Now, they have a very real chance to find their answer at second with Cesar Hernandez of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The LA Angels could sign Neil Walker in free agency or even trade for Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins this offseason. While both seem to be suitable options as everyday second basemen, they both lack something that Hernandez does not.
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Hernandez is only 27 years old, while Walker is 32 years old and Gordon will be 30 come Opening Day. He is also under club control through the 2020 season, meaning the Angels can keep him in their long-term plans.
Hernandez played great baseball last season, hitting .294 with a .373 on-base percentage. He swiped 15 bases while sending nine balls over the fence as well. There is no reason to believe that Hernandez can’t put together a 25-15 season with stolen bases and home runs in the next few years.
His speed translates to the field as well. He is an above-average second baseman who also has experience at third base and even in the outfield. Bringing Hernandez to Anaheim would give the Angels long-term answers at nearly every position, and would leave third base as the most glaring need.
Hernandez would have to be acquired through a trade, but as Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report pointed out, the Halos would not have to give up much. Two of their top five prospects play the middle infield, giving them a formidable duo for the future.
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The Angels would have to give up two mid-level prospects. Prospects who will eventually come in and give valuable at-bats or starts for the Phillies. These prospects should be a few years down the road however, which makes left-handed pitcher Jose Suarez and outfielder Troy Montgomery perfect for this deal.
Suarez is still 19 years old, and isn’t due until 2021, however, he has flashed potential to be a mid-rotation arm, and could have a few prime years of being a number two option. Next is Montgomery. At 23, he is older and could hit The Show in 2019. However, he will be coming into his prime when the Phillies are contenders again.
The Angels need to pull the trigger on getting a Hernandez trade done. Him and Andrelton Simmons could provide one of the best double play duos in the league for years to come.