The Los Angeles Angels had a historically bad trade deadline this past season. The team was over .500 around deadline day and in their last guaranteed season with Shohei Ohtani understandably bought, eyeing their first playoff appearance since 2014.
Unfortunately, the team collapsed in a big way post-deadline. Injuries to several of the team's best players obviously played a role, but a big reason why this team sunk is because the players they played for were no help. They didn't just live up to expectations, they were abysmal with the exception of Reynaldo Lopez.
Lopez was part of the biggest trade the Angels made around the deadline, heading to Anaheim alongside the biggest piece, Lucas Giolito. We don't need to go over just how bad Giolito was. The other big trade had the Angels acquiring two players who were once in this organization, Randal Grichuk and C.J. Cron. They were both supposed to play big roles down the stretch and failed miserably. The fact that they're getting virtually no attention this offseason proves just how bad they were.
Randal Grichuk and C.J. Cron's Angels performances are being highlighted by lack of offseason activity
The Angels expected Grichuk and Cron to provide a major boost to a lineup that needed it. Grichuk was supposed to be the team's everyday left fielder with Taylor Ward out for the year. Cron was supposed to be the upgrade at first base that the team needed and provide another middle-of-the-order bat. They both failed miserably.
Prior to being placed on waivers at the end of August, Grichuk had slashed .135/.188/.247 with two home runs and six RBI in 25 games with the Angels. The team was 7-18 in those games, and Grichuk looked so bad at the dish that he was the only Angel to go unclaimed. Think about it. Any of the 29 other teams could've had him essentially for free, and they passed because of how badly he was performing. He did better in September, but the Angels were out of it by then.
Cron was a tad better than Grichuk in August, slashing .220/.289/.293 with one home run and four RBI but he spent most of his brief Angels tenure on the IL and the team went 3-10 in the August games he played. He'd return for one random game in September before going right back on the IL. The Angels thought they had their answer at first base, but a player who was just drafted months prior, Nolan Schanuel, looked much better than Cron.
In such a weak free agency class, you'd expect players with solid track records in Grichuk and Cron to get some sort of attention. Even Hunter Renfroe signed a two-year deal with the Royals. Giolito got paid like he was still a frontline starter! The fact that they performed as poorly as they did with the Angels and are now getting absolutely no offseason attention highlights just how bad the trade deadline turned out to be for Perry Minasian and the Angels.