LA Angels: Why Reloading At The Deadline Was Key For The Angels Future

While the Angels’ flurry of pre-deadline trades don’t inspire a lot of wow factor now, they were mostly about building for next year and beyond.

The trade deadline for Major League Baseball has come and gone, and the Angels made some last second moves that could help them in the future. However, three of those moves will be of the wait and see variety as far as potential impact goes.

The Angels made three trades with as many different teams that saw the departure of Tommy La Stella, Brian Goodwin, and Jason Castro. In return, the Angels got a former top infield prospect in Franklin Barreto, a hard-throwing right-handed reliever in Gerardo Reyes, and former Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Year in Packy Naughton.

All three of the acquired players (and the still to be named PTBNL) can have some impact in helping the Angels compete in the 2021 season as these moves are clearly made for the future investment of the team. In Angels general manager Billy Eppler’s last year on his contract, he  opted to make moves that will try and sustain the future success of the team and may help him see a future still as the Angels general manager.

With a lack of playing time in Oakland, Franklin Barreto looks to have exactly that in Anaheim and will use that opportunity to try and prove he belongs in the Major Leagues. While his current numbers aren’t too impressive, his minor league numbers last year are was much better, as his slash line was .295/.374/.552. Hopefully those numbers can translate to the Major League level. With the loss of La Stella and Andrelton Simmons heading to free agency, then Barreto could look at even more playing time with the Angels.

Gerardo Reyes is a reliever that can throw straight gas as he can light up the radar gun at 100 mph consistently. His numbers don’t seem too appealing at first glance, with a 7.62 ERA in 26 innings pitched, but his 38 strikeouts and late season performance indicate there is more there. What’s unique about him besides throwing as hard as he does is that he also throws with a side-arm slot which if developed right, can be a deadly weapon for the Angels in the future. While it’s been said that he lacks command, he could improve on that in the Angels system with the proper training and should he figure out his command issues and combine that with his hard throwing stuff, then the Angels may have found another diamond in the rough.

The last piece that the Angels acquired in this seasons trade deadline is minor league pitcher Packy Naughton from the Cincinnati Reds. While it’s known that the Angels also received another piece in this trade, it was announced as PTBNL(Player To Be Named Later), so fans will have to wait to find out what the whole package of the deal was. Naughton had only reached Double-A before coming over to Anaheim with a 3.32 ERA in 157 innings pitched with 131 strikeouts last year while bouncing between High-A and Double-A.

According to MLB.com, he is immediately ranked the Angels 13th best prospect in their top 30 for the system. Take with that what you will, but according to the scouting report he has a good 3-pitch mix. We will have to wait and see if he can translate those numbers into the Major Leagues and continue to develop, but the stuff seems there to at least crack the Angels rotation as a number 5 starter.

Overall, these moves ultimately were about reloading for next season and beyond. Considering the players that were given up were rentals in Tommy La Stella and Jason Castro, the Halos got a good haul. While Goodwin still had some control left until 2022, that is why the Angels will be waiting to be getting another piece with Naughton.

Next: Grading the Angels Trade Deadline Moves

The Angels were clearly sellers this season, given their disappointing start to the 60 game season, and these moves will help shape the future of the team. Fans should see these as good moves in a offseason of doubt for Billy Eppler.