Excluding Ohtani, Dylan Bundy’s 4.50 ERA is the lowest among the top five starters. Coincidentally, Ohtani and Bundy are the only two members of the rotation that should be considered safe from any potential trades this season.
Between Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning, Alex Cobb, and Jose Quintana, it would be shocking if at least one of them isn’t gone by the trade deadline.
What the Angels need right now is a true ace. One that can take the pressure off Bundy and Ohtani. Enter Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray. No I don’t mean both of them, just one or the other.
Luis Castillo or Sonny Gray would provide the Angels with a true ace.
Though the Reds currently occupy second place in the NL Central at 9-9, their status as contenders is dubious at best. With the Brewers, Cardinals and Cubs all fielding superior rosters, Cincinnati will likely be sellers at the deadline.
While it’s true that Castillo is severely underperforming and Gray’s debut was delayed by a back ailment, their track records speak for themselves. Gray’s career 3.54 ERA and Castillo’s 3.71 mark would easily be the best on the Angels. Furthermore, both were All-Stars in 2019, with Gray even finishing seventh in NL Cy Young voting.
The Angels can’t go wrong with either option, the real question is what will it take to land one of them. Realistically, it will require a package of three players to get the job done.
One of Cincinnati’s biggest needs right now is in the outfield, particularly in center. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but in all likelihood either Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh or Jordyn Adams will have to go. With Jared Walsh tearing it up right now as the Angels’ right fielder, this leaves only one spot for three highly touted players.
For my money, Adams makes the most sense as the center piece of this trade. The youngest of the three, his combination of raw power and defensive prowess could lead to him being the Reds’ starting center fielder within a year. Plus, his incredible speed could provide a much needed spark to an otherwise slow team.
Another area the Reds are in need of help is shortstop. The Angels have shortstops to spare with eight currently ranking among the team’s top-30 prospects (as per MLB.com). Should the Halos go after Castillo, who still has two years of team control, a higher ranking guy like Kyren Paris would have to go. As for Gray, since he’s in the last year of his contract, a more raw prospect like Werner Blakely could get the job done instead.
Lastly, it would be a big bonus for the Angels if they can kill two birds with one stone and ship off one of their current starters as well. Take your pick, but I believe Griffin Canning would make the most sense as the youngest of the bunch with the most years of team control remaining.