The LA Angels have money to spend this winter, but good front offices make quality player swaps in addition to quality free agent signings.
Trades are important, but we can’t just trade to trade. A recent trade proposal speculation was written about over on Sports Illustrated‘s Kansas City Royals publication that includes Max Stassi, and it wouldn’t be a productive move for the Halos.
Here’s the trade:
There is no reason for the LA Angels to make this trade.
Max Stassi has been playing well overall in his last two years with the LA Angels, so why trade him?
The same article from SI even hits the nail on the head there.
"“In steps Max Stassi, a capable offensive catcher — ranking 12th in OPS among catchers with at least 300 plate appearances last year,” said the Sports Illustrated writer, Jerry Edwards. “He is also quite capable behind the dish as well, ranking in the top five when it comes to defensive runs saved and is an ‘expert’ when it comes to pitch framing.”"
Stassi has been playing his best baseball since he’s gone to LA, hitting .250/.333/.452 (.784) with 20 home runs in 118 games. He came over in the middle of the 2019 season from the Houston Astros. The article acknowledges his productivity, so why suggest for the Angels to trade someone they’ve now found promise in?
The writer suggests that the Angels will surely want to move off of him when he’s a free agent in 2023. He cites many notable catchers that will be available then, to try to back that up. And sure, guys like Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, and Gary Sanchez will be available then.
But if the Angels are already going to be paying Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon lots of money, may have extended Shohei Ohtani by then, and are hoping to sign an expensive, top of the line starter this offseason, how do we know the Angels will have money for one of these big-name catchers?
The returns aren’t fruitful either. Joel Payamps had a 3.40 ERA this year, but finished the season with a 4.43 ERA when he headed to Kansas City. Cam Gallagher has had too many ups-and-downs in this league to count on him, and we’d need him to start with Stassi gone.
In 153 Big League games, Gallagher has hit just seven home runs and driven in just 34 RBI. He’s hit .243/.305/.357.
The Angels need a shortstop, but Lucius Fox isn’t the type of prospect I’d want to trade Stassi for. He’s hit .226/.331/.335 (.666 OPS) with just four home runs in 72 Triple-A games. I like his defense, but it’s not as hard to find good defensive shortstops in this league than it is to find good offensive shortstops.
The Halos need offense from their shortstop to set them apart in the American League.
I don’t want to sound like I’m ripping this writer. That’s not my intention. However, this trade would be a negative move for the Angels, and they shouldn’t pursue anything like this.