No matter how things turn out by the trade deadline, there’s no scenario in which a position player isn’t removed from the active roster.
The LA Angels roster features several position players with unclear roles moving forward.
Starting with the first two guys on this list, either Rengifo or Mayfield is practically guaranteed to be gone by month’s end.
The struggling infielders have spent most of their time as of late filling in for Rendon at third base, a tell-tale sign that at least one of them will be gone once he returns. Likewise, with no more need for him in the outfield, Phil Gosselin will likely be shifted back into his infield utility role, thus taking one of their spots.
Making the decision even easier here is the fact that both of these guys can be optioned or DFA’d with virtually no risk to the team whatsoever.
For my money, Mayfield is more likely to go due to being older and less defensively versatile than Rengifo.
In a similar vein, Lagares is pretty much the outfield equivalent to Rengifo and Mayfield, albeit with much better offensive and defensive numbers.
There’s simply no way the team will carry six regular outfielders on the 26-man roster going forward, especially with Gosselin being able to fill in during emergencies.
Then there’s Ward. His inclusion may come as a shock to some as he’s easily the best of the position players on this list. That said, his status with the team has also been shaken by the arrival of Eaton and Marsh.
With those two combined with Trout and Upton taking up the top four outfield spots, one has to wonder if this is a sign that the promising 27-year-old might feature into trade talks in the next couple of weeks.
Though his performance this year seemed to indicate that he would be the Angels’ starting right fielder of the future, the front office may be putting more faith in either Jo Adell or Jordyn Adams to develop and take that spot in 2022.
In that case, there’s a chance that Ward, either in a trade package or solo (I have to imagine he’s worth a decent middle reliever straight up), will be gone by the time Trout and Upton come back.
That said, this is just conjecture based on the Angels’ recent moves. Lagares is still the more likely of the two to lose his place on the active roster just on merit alone.