Maybe there’s a chance Judge’s price tag drops a bit for the Angels given his injury history over the last few seasons. He played just 28 games last summer, and 214 games from 2018-2019.
Since Judge’s 52 home runs and 114 RBI in 2017, his numbers have been a little underwhelming after he created the high standards for himself and looked poise to be the next face of baseball.
Aaron Judge Last Five Seasons:
- 2017 (155 games): 678 PA (.284/.422/.627) 52 HR 114 RBI
- 2018 (112 games): 498 PA (.278/.392/.528) 27 HR 67 RBI
- 2019 (102 games): 447 PA (.272/.381/.540) 27 HR 55 RBI
- 2020 (28 games): 114 PA (.257/.336/.554) 9 HR 22 RBI
- 2021 (18 games): 77 PA (.250/.377/.469) 4 HR 8 RBI
Judge is a natural-born slugger, there’s no doubt about that. That’s why, if it comes at the cost of losing Detmers or Rodriguez, I don’t think it’s worth the risk he fits on this current group of Angels who are already made up of power hitters.
The Halos currently have MLB’s third-most home runs (29), third-highest slugging percentage (.431), and fourth-highest OPS (.750). Where they struggle is the small-ball aspects of the game: getting runners on, moving them over, etc.
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At his price tag and injury history, the Angels might be better off without Aaron Judge.
The Angels have MLB’s second-fewest walks (51) and the seventh-worst team batting average with runners in scoring position (.248). Those numbers should improve a bit once Anthony Rendon comes back from injury, but I think the Angels would benefit more with a different type of hitter as opposed to Judge (career 31.2 K%).
Someone like a Whit Merrifield (career 16 K%) on the Royals comes to mind as a player who could help the Angels more than another power hitter.
That’s not to say Judge wouldn’t improve this Angels team on paper. A middle of the order featuring Ohtani-Trout-Judge-Rendon would easily make for one of the most feared lineups in baseball. However, given what he’s likely going to cost, his injury history, and no guarantee of a contract extension after 2022, I think the Halos need to consider getting aggressive with other alternatives rather than a fantasy lineup with the addition of Judge.
Another pitcher or two wouldn’t hurt.
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This trade scenario all comes down to how the Yankees and Angels are each doing in July. The only way this comes to fruition is if Bronx Bombers are still struggling and the Halos are one right fielder away from becoming legitimate World Series contenders.
Even then if Minasian and Moreno were feeling risky, there’s no guarantees their current farm system is intriguing enough compared to other teams in the league to make a deal happen.