The LA Angels Played the Deadline to Perfection

General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

For a second straight season the LA Angels went into the trade deadline as potential buyers and sellers. After adding Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips last year, they turned to selling in 2019.

Going into the trade deadline, the LA Angels sat at 54-53 and fourth in the American League West. They sat 9.5 games out of the Wild Card Game, and barring a 2002-esque miracle, their postseason dreams were shot.

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So they made two trades. First, they traded catcher Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros, which rubbed many Halo fans the wrong way. Then, they traded second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Boston Red Sox. This was viewed more positively by the fan base.

However, both moves were very solid for the Angels moving forward. General manager Billy Eppler was in a tough spot with Mike Trout‘s impending free agency in 2020, and could not sell for an entire reload. Instead, he traded two expiring contracts for three solid pieces moving forward.

In the Maldonado deal, left-handed pitcher Patrick Sandoval was shipped to Anaheim. He made his Halo debut in Single-A Advanced with the Inland Empire 66ers on Monday, and dominated with nine strikeouts in 4.2 innings. He allowed three hits and two walks, but showed once again he’ll be a solid contributor in the majors very soon.

Of course, Francisco Arcia has made everyone forget about Maldonado, so that has been fun.

For Kinsler, the Angels will see their return in the bigs sooner than Sandoval. They received two young bullpen pieces from Boston. 26-year old Williams Jerez is a left-handed pitcher with a 3.63 ERA and 11.9 strikeouts-per-nine innings in 2018 at AAA. The Halos also received a right-handed reliever in Ty Buttrey. The 25-year old has a 2.25 ERA this season at AAA, and strikes out 13.1 batters per nine innings. Both pitchers were sent to AAA Salt Lake City upon their arrival with the Halos.

Next. Analyzing Return in Ian Kinsler Trade

All in all, the Angels were able to add pieces for a rebound in 2019 for two players who were likely to leave in free agency in two short months. They kept players such as Blake Parker and Jose Alvarez, who have club control, so that they can help in a 2019 playoff push.