This could very well be Kole Calhoun’s final week with the LA Angels, and that just doesn’t seem right.
For the LA Angels, Kole Calhoun, and the fans, this needs to not be the end of Calhoun’s tenure with the only franchise he’s ever known.
This has been, without a doubt, Calhoun’s best season of his career. His defense has remained elite even as he’s aged, and the swing he began using last season proved beneficial. He became not just a league average hitter, but one of the most consistent hitters on the Angels.
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So for the Angels, keeping Calhoun makes sense because as an organization, you want good players on your team. However, with Mike Trout and Justin Upton already in the outfield, that leaves only one starting spot for Brian Goodwin and top prospect Jo Adell, when he is called up. Throwing Calhoun into that mix only makes things trickier. Brian Goodwin is the ideal bench outfielder considering he can play all three positions, while Calhoun is strictly a corner outfielder.
However, this club can’t just afford to let good players walk away for nothing. I know what every Angels fan is going to say, “Trade Upton!”. And while that may not be the worst idea, it seems extremely unlikely the Angels do that this offseason. Resigning Calhoun at a lower rate than his opt-in makes sense, Billy Eppler can’t afford to lose someone with as much heart and talent as Calhoun.
For Calhoun, why would he want to leave the only team he’s ever known? He’s grown from Mike Trout’s running mate to one of the leaders of the clubhouse in Anaheim. He’s on record talking about how much he loves playing in Anaheim and how badly he’d like to stay.
For the fans, how could we not want to keep watching this guy? We’ve seen him through his entire career grow as a ball player. Every diving catch, home run, or outfield assist followed by a smile was endearing to our hearts, and honestly one of the best non-Mike Trout things this team has had for the past five years.
I know Adell is the newer, shinier toy, but sometimes Ol’ Reliable is still the right option, at least for now. And for all parties involved, Kole Calhoun staying with the Angels sure would be a beautiful thing.