Three Backup Plans for the LA Angels If They Can’t Land Gerrit Cole
Option 2: Push All of the Chips In
For fans who love the idea of going all in on a two-year window (a la Boston Red Sox), this is the route that might work best for the Angels. However, like the Red Sox are now, it’ll leave them in an awkward state a few years down the line. Financially restricted and overpaying aging/bad players, Dave Dombroski was released by the Red Sox just one year after they won the World Series. He left them in a bad, bad state without many ways to get better.
However, the plan worked. The Boston Red Sox won the World Series thanks to this plan. So if this is the route the Angels take, how do they do it? I’ll keep this simple and try breaking it into three simple steps.
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1.) Trade Jo Adell for Mookie Betts
The Boston Red Sox are expected to, at the very least, entertain offers for Mookie Betts this offseason. No team that is expected to be in the hunt has a prospect ranked higher than outfielder Jo Adell. This July, during the trade deadline, Billy Eppler stated the Angels had every prospect available in trade discussions… except for Mr. Adell.
However, Betts has been the second best player in the MLB for years now. His timeline coincides perfectly with Mike Trout‘s, and it is hard to find a better player to deal Adell for. Obviously trading for him means big money to extend him, but it’s a move that would be worth it for the Angels.
2.) Trade Brandon Marsh, Jahmai Jones, Jose Suarez, and Luis Madero for Noah Syndergaard
This is where I feel most Angels fans will hop off this idea. This is an overwhelming package for Syndergaard given his injury history. However, he has legitimate Cy Young potential when he’s healthy and has taken his pitching to a new level in the second half of 2019. He would be a frontline starter for the Angels, right alongside Shohei Ohtani and…
3.) Sign Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu
Madison Bumgarner is about as steady as you can hope for in a pitcher. While he may not be the elite ace he once was, he’s about as good of a #2 pitcher as it gets anywhere outside of Houston.
Ryu is where this gets interesting. He was slated for a massive payday, but has declined rapidly over the second half of the season. This could lower his next deal substantially, giving the Angels enough room to afford both he and Bumgarner. The workload for Ryu is the obvious reason for his lackluster final stretch, so the Angels monitoring his workload would help keep him effective throughout the season.
This option was fun to write and imagine. However, this is not who Billy Eppler is, so unless he does a complete 180, this is just fantasy.