Last season was a whirlwind for the LA Angels and Kole Calhoun. After one of the worst offensive starts in baseball history, he somehow was able to turn it around and be a great hitter in the second half of 2018.
However, for the LA Angels, trading Kole Calhoun may be in their best interest. There are a handful of reasons Calhoun is a strong candidate to be traded. First off, his $10.5 million is a lot of money for a rapidly-declining 31-year old outfielder. That money could best be used elsewhere, especially with the Angels possibly in on big names like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
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On top of the money, Calhoun is a dwindling asset. Sure, he exploded in the summer last year, but if he stalls at the plate again this year, his time in the league may be done. Calhoun struggled over the last month of 2018, so hopes of him being over his early season struggles are just that, hopes. The Angels may still be able to sell him to a contending team with a hole in right field, as he would be a superb platoon option.
Another reason for a Calhoun deal would be the expected debut of top prospect Jo Adell. Adell has superstar talent, and blazed through the minor leagues last season. While he isn’t going to make the Opening Day roster, Adell is expected to debut in 2019. When he does, Calhoun is the obvious one to be replaced. The Angels’ need for Calhoun is evaporating, and with a slew of possible right fielders, Calhoun is expendable if the return is good enough.
Even with no great return, this trade makes sense. If the Angels get an exceptional reliever, gain $10 million dollars for free agency, wouldn’t that be a win? The Angels have shown no signs of wanting to trade Calhoun, but the move might make too much sense for them to avoid. The Cleveland Indians are looking for outfielders and seem to by heavily involved in the trade market, they could be a possible partner.
While the Angels won’t get a Corey Kluber or any other high-level player for Calhoun, trading him away is the best move. While Calhoun is a solid player in his own right, his future with the Angels is likely coming to an end whether they trade him or not. Billy Eppler might as well clear some payroll and get some return for The Red Baron before it’s too late.