LA Angels need to either buy big or sell heavy at deadline

Alex Cobb, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Alex Cobb, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

We’ve heard that the LA Angels are wasting the best years of Mike Trout’s career countless times, and now the same conversation is being had with Shohei Ohtani.

Since taking over as General Manager, Perry Minasian has been trying to get the Angels set up for the long-term by hiring scouts and replenishing the farm system in this year’s draft by going all out on pitching.

But now another trade deadline is coming up with everyone wondering what direction the Angels will turn towards.

The LA Angels need to go completely all in on buying, or completely all in on selling at the deadline.

Should the LA Angels improve their record at the deadline and somehow leapfrog past the Seattle Mariners, then being buyers could be the play for them. Minasian so far has worked similar to Eppler, the Angels’ former GM, in that he’s had to build a team with not too much to work with in terms of assets. That’s a credit to their lack of depth in the farm system and refusal to tear it all down.

The case remains the same as they have little to work with in terms of overall farm depth, and making a play for an ace of a pitcher or top quality bullpen arm may be hard to pull off.

We’ve seen it done, however, with Minasian going after Raisel Iglesias and not breaking the bank, but if the Angels want an elite starting pitcher, it’s going to cost them. Minasian will more than likely go after someone with years left on a deal if he’s going to sell the farm, like John Means from the Orioles, as he won’t be a free agent until 2025.

If the Angels decide to focus on more rental pitchers, then they could look at Tyler Anderson of the Pirates as they’ve shown that they’re open for trades by just trading Adam Frazier to the Padres. Another rental pitcher could be Jon Gray of the Rockies as both starters are known to eat up innings, which should benefit the bullpen and improve the rotation overall.

Should the Angels falter at the deadline and virtually be out of the postseason once again, it shouldn’t be viewed as an all-for-not season. The team does have pieces they could move at the deadline which could set them up for contention in later years and give the team time to plan for the future.

Alex Cobb is one of those players, as he’s figured it out since being traded to the Angels from the Orioles. He’s been one of the Angels’ best starters in the month of July. He has a 1.09 ERA this month, and has held opponents’ batting averages to .220.

The Angels could also flip their newly acquired closer Raisel Iglesias, who has been good for the team since being acquired by the Reds. In the month of July, Iglesias has pitched to a 2.45 ERA and held opponents’ batting averages to a respectable .175. That would benefit any ball club that’s in contention.

The main question will be, how much do the Angels get in return for him? Minasian was able to not give up much to get him in the first place.

Overall, the Angels need to decide for themselves on whether they want to be buyers or sellers at the deadline. This week should help determine that for many teams. If they don’t make any impactful moves during the trade deadline, they could remain at mediocrity for not only this season, but others as well.

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They’ll have to get creative should they want to buy and make a run at the postseason this season, but if they sell, then they could get themselves in prime position to consistently compete in the future.