The LA Angels should keep Patrick Sandoval because replacing him will not be easy
Patrick Sandoval, even with his struggles this season, has been a fine fourth starter. He's not the frontline guy we hoped he'd develop into, but he's been a fine mid-rotation guy with obvious upside.
At just 26 years old with three more years of control, he certainly has trade value, but what can Sandoval realistically bring back in a trade?
The Angels have three avenues they can pursue here. One, they can trade Sandoval for offense. I'm not sure why they'd do that when pitching has been their biggest issue this season, but that's still an option.
Two, the Angels can trade Sandoval for prospects. We saw how much rentals went for on the trade market. Lucas Giolito is better than Sandoval but I wouldn't say he's considerably better, and his contract expires at the end of this season. The Angels gave up a ton to get Giolito, they can get a ton back for Sandoval. The problem with this is prospects are players you hope live up to what Sandoval has done and will do down the line. It's a lot to bank on when this guy is one year removed from having a sub-3.00 ERA.
Third, the Angels can trade Sandoval for a pitcher to help them win now with less control. This wouldn't be the smart thing to do either unless Shohei Ohtani does decide to remain an Angel. If Ohtani leaves, the chances the Angels win in 2024 are virtually non-existent anyway. It's better off just trying to see what they can unlock with Sandoval.
If the Angels trade Sandoval, the only way they upgrade is if they trade for an arm with less control. That might help them win more in the short term, but that doesn't help the Angels in 2026 when Sandoval is still under team control. Realistically, their best path here is to just hope Sandoval rebounds and finishes strongly this year before his breakout in 2024.