The trade deadline has come and gone and the LA Angels still sit in a very similar spot as they did prior to July 30th.
The team currently sits at 55-54 which is good for 10 games back of the Astros in the AL West, and 6 behind the A’s in the Wild Card race (all stats in article are as of August 6th). The team just received a major blow as it was recently reported that Anthony Rendon’s season has concluded due to needing surgery in his right hip.
It is clear that the team is looking towards the future as in the past week we have seen Reid Detmers make his major league debut, Chris Rodriguez make his first career start, and Jo Adell finally return to the big leagues. This all goes along with Brandon Marsh being recalled last month, and it is clear that the youth movement is taking place in Anaheim. However, had all this transpired prior to the deadline, there was a chance that GM Perry Minasian would have been keen on moving more players from the roster.
The big names for the Angels going into the deadline were Alex Cobb and most importantly Raisel Iglesias. Cobb has put together a solid bounce back-season, and Iglesias was the second biggest name in the relief market behind Craig Kimbrel who ended up going to the White Sox. However as the deadline came and went, Cobb and Iglesias remain in tow on expiring contracts. While the Angels did receive good compensation for both Andrew Heaney and Tony Watson, seeing the team’s continued struggles while thinking about what could have been brought back in the respective trades is a bit frustrating.
If the LA Angels do miss the playoffs again, signing Alex Cobb and Raisel Iglesias needs to be high on Minasian’s to do list.
I do admit that after his first few appearances, I was a part of the group that quickly called the Raisel Iglesias experiment for the LA Angels a disaster. Boy has he proven me wrong. The Angels bullpen has once again struggled throughout the year, putting up the 9th worst ERA on the season (4.63).
However that group would be a lot worse without Iglesias who has been one of the top relievers in the league this year. With 23 saves and a 3.06 ERA, he has been the solid reliver from the back end that the team has been missing in recent years.
Cobb has also been a welcome addition to the Angels this year. While his numbers at face value were not great at the beginning of the year, his underlying numbers have been consistent with a 2.62 FIP, 0.35 HR/9, and 9.7 K/9. Lets not forget that the Orioles retained most of his salary to pitch for the Angels.
Cobb has arguably been the team’s most consistent starter and if not for injury would have arguably been more valuable than Iglesias.
Now that the trade deadline has passed and the Halos are still employing both Cobb and Iglesias, it is important to keep these two in the fold to help set the direction of the team. Since the 2014 playoffs the team has been stuck in the worst possible situation, perpetual mediocrity.
While the Angels always go into every year expecting to compete with Mike Trout on their roster, they never make the decision to sell once they get to the trade deadline. It haunts them once they miss the playoffs.
Even last year when the team was 12-24 heading into the final month of the year they refused to sell. Rumors of Andrelton Simmons going to Toronto were present up until the deadline, and while no one really knows what happened with the fallout, the team also had Dylan Bundy, who rebuilt his value from a tumultuous time in Baltimore only to falter again this year. Moves like these, well the lack there of, have prevented a non-playoff team from adding on to an improving system year after year.
Looking at a team like Colorado who decided to not trade a guy like Trevor Story or Jon Gray, who will clearly be walking away at years end is almost comical to poor asset management. While the Angels do not have the players to this caliber, losing guys for nothing when you could have brought futures in does look poor on a franchise.
Perry Minasian needs to prove that he has a plan in place as he concludes his first year with the team. Both Iglesias and Cobb can be valuable members for the near future and losing them for nothing at the end of the year would continue the cycle of poor asset management on the Angels’ part. While they have both created larger value for themselves, their respective pay raises should be more than fair. Look for these deals to be on the team’s radar.