Angels’ Best Trade Deadline Deals: Patrick Sandoval
It’s not every day that you can flip a back-up catcher for a solid pitching prospect, but that is exactly what the Angels did when they sent Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros for Patrick Sandoval and international bonus funds.
Originally drafted by the Angels in 2004, Maldonado had returned to the team prior to the 2017 season in a trade that sent catcher Jett Bandy to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Angels gave him the chance to be the team’s starter behind the plate, and while he would hit 12 home runs in 2017, he was ultimately made expendable as part of the team’s unending search for pitching.
In return, the Angels acquired left-hander Patrick Sandoval, who has shown flashes of brilliance during his short MLB tenure but has worked to a 5.16 ERA, a 5.04 FIP, and a 8.5 K/9 over his first 14 appearances (13 starts). Despite being winless thus far as an Angel, Sandoval is well-regarded by the club and manager Joe Maddon, even rising to number eight in the team’s annual prospect rankings in 2019.
With that said, Sandoval has the potential to be a significant producer for the Angels in the future. He’s off to a slow start in 2020, but he’s also behind other pitchers due to a late start after a COVID diagnosis. He’s still expected to round into shape a be a building block for the pitching staff.
For what it’s worth, the Angels used the bonus pool money to sign outfielder Alexander Rodriguez out of the Dominican Republic. Rodriguez is another in a long line of high-ceiling outfield prospects for the Halos, and currently ranks 14th on the team’s list of top prospects. At 17-years-old, he is still a long way away from factoring in for the big club, but he’s a prospect to watch in future years.