Angels: Potential partners for Justin Upton trade

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Angels, Justin Upton

Justin Upton, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Now that Justin Upton is stuck in a platoon in left field, should the Angels look to trade the outfielder to fill other holes?

The long-awaited debut of top prospect Jo Adell has come to pass, and the Angels are seeing the first two pieces of their outfield of the future fall into place. With Adell and Trout, and the potential arrival of either Brandon Marsh or Jordyn Adams in the next year or two, the Halos should be well served on the grass.

Adell, who made his MLB debut on Tuesday night with a 1-for-4 showing in Seattle, will slot in as the team’s regular right fielder for the remainder of 2020. Unfortunately, that means the Angels had to make some tough decisions to make room for the rookie.

Speaking to the media before Tuesday’s game, manager Joe Maddon addresses what Adell’s call-up meant for both Justin Upton and Brian Goodwin. For now, the two are set to platoon in left field.

“I talked to Justin the other night,” said Maddon. “I wanted to give him the appropriate heads up. I have too much respect for him otherwise. It could change. Don’t get me wrong, things change. But for right now this is what we’re doing. When you bring up an Adell, a player like that, first of all, you have to make sure he’s ready to do this. And second of all, you don’t want him sitting around and trying to be a bench player. It’s not going to help us or him.” – (h/t Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com)

As a right-handed hitter, Upton is slated to start against lefties and Goodwin again right-handers.  That puts Goodwin on the strong-side of the platoon, with the left-handed hitter getting the first start in left with Adell in right. The Angels are not set to face a lefty until Saturday in Texas.

Goodwin is off to a strong start for the Angels in 2020, hitting .303/.395/.606 with a pair of home runs and eight RBI. Upton, on the other hand, has scuffled. While he has two home runs of his own, he has slashed just .135/.195/.297 and struck out 14 times in 37 at-bats.

Unfortunately, Upton is a veteran on a big-money deal. With two years and $51 million remaining on the extension he signed prior to the 2018 season, Upton carries a heavy price tag for a part-time player. As such, the Angels could look to trade some of their outfield depth to free up either salary or playing time.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at a pair of potential trade partners that the Angels could work out a trade with. Given Upton’s salary commitments over the next two seasons, that is going to be a difficult task, one that likely requires matching money with another team to make a deal happen.

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