AL Central trade targets
Chicago White Sox trade target: Lucas Giolito
Lucas Giolito is coming off a dreadful 2022 where his ERA was just shy of 5.00 and his H/9 was way up. I'm of the belief that a lot of that came to some dreadful batted ball luck (.340 BAbip), and that he'll be a solid starting pitcher once again in 2023. He was a top 11 Cy Young finisher in each of the last three seasons before his rough 2022.
Giolito is in the final year of team control and is projected to make $10.9 million dollars. It's very possible the White Sox decide they don't want to keep him long-term and trade him away to get value. If they do, the Angels should be all over it. He'd be a tremendous buy-low target.
Cleveland Guardians trade target: Amed Rosario
The Cleveland Guardians are known to trade away most of their talent before hitting free agency and it's possible Amed Rosario is the next one to go. He's in the final year of team control before hitting free agency after the season. He's coming off his best season where he slashed .283/.312/.403 with 11 home runs and 71 RBI. He led the league with nine triples and stole 18 bases.
Rosario doesn't walk a lot but he tallies a lot of hits and has tremendous speed. He's also played in at least 141 games in every 162-game season he's been a part of (excluding the 2020 shortened season). With the Angels needing an upgrade at shortstop, Rosario could be a solid trade target.
Detroit Tigers trade target: Joe Jimenez
Joe Jimenez enjoyed his best season in the bigs by far for Detroit this past season as he had a 3.49 ERA in 62 appearances and 56.2 innings pitched. He had a 12.2 K/9 while walking just 2.1/9. His 5.92 K/BB ratio was unbelievable. He only allowed four home runs (0.6 HR/9). A 3.49 ERA isn't too crazy but he had a 2.00 FIP suggesting he got incredibly unlucky.
He's entering the final year of team control in 2023 and with Detroit likely not competing for anything, it's possible they ship him off now while his value is high. Jimenez looks very legit and would slot in very nicely at the back end of this Angels bullpen.
Kansas City Royals trade target: Scott Barlow
Scott Barlow has some of the nastiest off-speed stuff in the game. Opponents hit just .189 with a 33.1% whiff rate against his slider and .138 with a 43% whiff rate against his curveball. He was in the 89th percentile in whiff rate and the 97th percentile in chase rate according to baseball savant.
He went 7-4 with a 2.18 ERA for Kansas City this past season. He converted 24 saves in 28 opportunities and added six holds as well. He was used in all of the Royals' highest-leverage spots. He even displayed an impressive ability to record more than three outs in an outing, doing so 16 times including six appearances recording six outs.
Barlow has been underrated for awhile now and if he's available, should be a pitcher the Angels try hard to acquire. He has two years of team control left so he won't be easy to acquire, but with the Royals likely not being competitive once again in 2023, maybe they'll trade Barlow while his value is high.
Minnesota Twins trade target: Jorge Polanco
The Twins have a bit of an infield logjam. They traded away Gio Urshela to the Angels but traded for Kyle Farmer the same day. They have Jose Miranda at third, Luis Arraez who can play first or second, Nick Gordon, Edouard Julien, and Royce Lewis. They're also trying to bring back Carlos Correa. All of these infielders could make Jorge Polanco expendable.
Polanco is coming off a down year where he hit just .235 with 17 home runs in 104 games but he's been one of the better offensive middle infielders for a while now.
While Polanco has played more second base recently, and is definitely better suited there, he did come up as a shortstop and has extensive experience there. He'd be a massive upgrade offensively over Fletcher at shortstop and if the Angels don't want to play him there he'd be a massive upgrade at second base also.
He's slashed .270/.338/.459 with 19 home runs and 63 RBI over his last four seasons and that includes the shortened 2020 season where he struggled. He's making $7.5 million dollars this season, has a $10.5 million dollar vesting option for 2024 which vests if he has 550 plate appearances this season, and a $12 million dollar club option for 2025. This is a bargain for the 29-year-old.