In continuation of our LA Angels Trade Block series, we continue on from the NL West and move to the Central division, where blockbuster trade possibilities are aplenty.
Last week, we looked at trades the LA Angels could make with every team in the National League West. Most of those trades were to round out the edges of the Halos’ roster. This week, we’re going big time in the National League Central. Three of these five trades would qualify as blockbusters, and the Halos would be wise to consider each as they aim to contend in 2020.
We’re starting off with something Halo fans have been clamoring for for quite some time now: a Justin Upton trade! After a disappointing and injury-plagued 2019 season, Upton is hoping for a bounce back next season. However, being owed more than $20 million is a huge problem for this Angels team. This trade stops that.
Every move the Reds have made in the past year and a half points towards them looking to contend this season. They’re all in on 2020, and have an impressive team surrounding a great rotation.
The one hole they need to fill is outfield. This trade is great for both teams. The Reds need Upton and have the money to pay him. The Angels can get off his contract, and focus that extra money towards their rotation. The Halos don’t need Upton as desperately as the Reds given Jo Adell’s upcoming arrival in the MLB and Brian Godwin’s 2019 breakout.
Joe Kuhnel, the player coming back to the Angels in this trade, is the Reds 23rd ranked prospect. He has been elite in the minor leagues, but struggled some in limited MLB action. The right-handed reliever would be a candidate for the Angels bullpen.
But again, this trade isn’t about Joe Kuhnel. It’s about moving off Upton’s contract to refocus that money on building a winning rotation in Anaheim.