LA Angels News

LA Angels: Three Trades to Make Before Opening Day

By Vincent Page
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 14: Ian Happ #8 of the Chicago Cubs hits a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the seventh inning on September 14, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 14: Ian Happ #8 of the Chicago Cubs hits a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the seventh inning on September 14, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 14: Ian Happ #8 of the Chicago Cubs hits a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the seventh inning on September 14, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 14: Ian Happ #8 of the Chicago Cubs hits a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the seventh inning on September 14, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

There seems to be no room for more position players on the LA Angels lineup card, but Ian Happ is a player worth making room for. The Chicago Cubs former #1 prospect had a down 2018, where he saw his batting average and slugging drop but had an increased on base percentage.

However, there are a handful of reasons trading for Happ makes sense. First is his age, at just 24-years old there is plenty of time for the University of Cincinnati alumni to turn things around. He also has a considerable amount of team control left, and doesn’t hit free agency until after the 2024 season. Lastly, there is the versatility Happ brings to any team.

As the MLB shifts towards an era where versatility becomes more and more vital, a player of Happ’s caliber will become more and more desired. He has the ability to play every position on the field, and to do so at a solid level for most positions.

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The Angels have guys such as Zack Cozart and David Fletcher who can play the infield, but no one on their current roster has the versatility Happ does, even with reports that Fletcher will be working in the outfield this Spring Training.

The cost for Happ wouldn’t be cheap, considering everything. However, with the Chicago Cubs in win-now mode, it also wouldn’t require a great prospect, but a combination of MLB assets and prospects.

It may be a way for the Angels to escape Kole Calhoun’s $10.5 million dollar contract, along with giving up a pitching prospect such as Jose Suarez and another mid-tier position prospect. Happ could immediately take over in right field until Jo Adell’s arrival in Anaheim, and then revert back to his role as a power hitting super utility player.

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