Trading Brandon Marsh for pitcher Kyle Hendricks could help both the Angels and Cubs this season.
After failing in my attempt to predict a trade involving starter Blake Snell, I am once again taking a crack at coming up with another trade opportunity the LA Angels should consider. This time it involves the Chicago Cubs and their starter Kyle Hendricks. Like my previous scenario, Brandon Marsh is at the centerpiece of this trade.
I used a trade simulator to figure out what it would take to get this deal done, and it seemed to agree with Marsh for Hendricks straight up.
There is no doubt that the Angels need a top-tier starting pitcher to help lead the staff and settle out the rest of the rotation, and Hendricks is that guy.
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The Cubs have already shown their cards to other teams, they are in sell-mode after trading Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres. Chicago is looking to reload on young talent with some of their star players entering free agency soon. The Cubs need an impact bat they can plug into their lineup and Marsh could be that guy for Chicago.
Listed as the team’s No.1 prospect on MLB.com, Marsh has an above-average bat and is a plus-defender who can play anywhere in the outfield. The Cubs could also benefit from a current lack of outfield depth.
As for the Angels, they will be getting an ace in Hendricks, who would return home to southern California. ‘The Professor’ as he’s called from his college days at Dartmouth, would also be reunited with former manager Joe Maddon.
In 2020, Hendricks posted a 2.88 ERA in 81.1 innings of work, pitching effectively in 12 starts. Throughout his career, Hendricks has had an ERA+ above league average (100) in six of his seven big league seasons. His best year came in 2016 when he led baseball with 2.13 ERA and led the ERA+ with a monstrous 196. He also placed third in the CY Young voting in 2016, trailing his teammate Jon Lester and Max Scherzer.
One thing that could stand in the way for the Angels is that Hendricks has a club-friendly contract that goes through the 2023 season. That means if the Angels were to trade for him, they would essentially get three full seasons of Hendricks and he wouldn’t be a free agent till the 2024 season. The right-hander will earn $14 million per year from 2021 through 2023 with a $16 million team option for the 2024 season. The Cubs probably want to be blown away by a deal for Hendricks, but if the Angels could offer Marsh and maybe something a little more, it could work.
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This could be difficult for both teams, as it will be up to the Cubs if they are willing to let Hendricks go. It would make sense for the Angels, who need at least two starting pitchers for the 2021 season, and the Cubs need to reload on young talent.
While there’s certainly no clock on when the Angels can get talent, seeing pitchers such as Snell and Darvish being moved means that their window to get starting pitching is growing smaller.