LA Angels News

LA Angels Kole Calhoun is key for a successful 2020 run

By Ryan Falla
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: Mike Trout #27 congratulates Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his solo homerun during the first inning in the home opener against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 04, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: Mike Trout #27 congratulates Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his solo homerun during the first inning in the home opener against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 04, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Trade Value

LA Angels Kole Calhoun showing off the leather in right field.
LA Angels Kole Calhoun showing off the leather in right field. /

Trading Upton wouldn’t bring back the most impressive haul, in fact it might not bring much at all unless the Angels eat most of the contract, which they should just to free up space for Jo Adell. The influence Kole Calhoun would have on Jo Adell with his high energy play and constant source of leadership far outweighs anything Upton could show Adell except how not to play. I’m not going to go out there and say Upton is just playing through his Angels contract, but at the same time he’s not coming anywhere close to offering the value he’s being paid for. Calhoun, in the other hand, provides chemistry and glue to a team and when you’re fielding a team that is as young as what the Angels are putting out now and in the future you need as many positive role models as you can get.

I don’t want to see another situation where a valued and beloved leader is sent away despite the critical leadership he is giving the youth and general value he offers the team, and by that I am referencing Torii Hunter and Mike Trout. Torii was as amazing an influence as the Angels could have asked for and that influence was cut all too short when the Angels chose Josh Hamilton over Hunter, and we saw exactly what kind of leadership Hamilton brought to the table. I’m not stating that Upton provides “negative” leadership, but what he does for the team isn’t even close to what Calhoun can offer.

This isn’t about who you can get the most for in a trade, this is about setting up the best team for the Angels future in 2020 and beyond. The Angels wouldn’t be missing Justin Uptons bat that shrinks when men are on base, they wouldn’t be missing his defense which has created issues for the team time and time again. No one would miss Uptons “power” when Adell is hitting the ball just as hard as he is, but more often and with higher competency. Likewise with Calhoun gone the team will have a distinct leadership void that can’t really be filled through free agency signings or trades, you cannot buy the kind of leadership Calhoun provides.Even when you stretch beyond the intangibles you can see that Calhoun is far better than Upton and it isn’t even close.

The Angels don’t need to start selling pieces for mediocre prospect hauls, especially when it’s someone like Calhoun whom offers more value to the Angels on field than as a trade piece. Selling Upton isn’t even about who come back in the trade, it’s about clearing space for Jo Adell to reign supreme alongside Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun. People may complain that eating the money for Upton is useless and will only hurt the club, but my argument to that is:

A) We’re going to pay him the money whether he is mediocre for us or another club.

B) Just pretend like you’re paying Jo Adell that money and you’ll stop getting twisted up about “money” pretty fast.

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