With FanSided's 15th anniversary coming up on Friday it's worth taking a step back and looking at where the team we cover here at FanSided, the LA Angels, was at during that time. 15 years ago, our team was having its ups and downs. The Angels had just won the AL West, but at the same time ended up getting swept in the ALDS by the eventual World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.
Looking back at the roster 15 years ago, two major future mistakes pop out. That was trading Mike Napoli and Ervin Santana. They weren't traded in the same deal, but both were traded in terrible deals that the Angels never should have made. In fact, one of them was dealt in a HORRIFIC trade--one of the worst in franchise history.
It was a deal that sent Juan Rivera and Napoli away, and receiving Vernon Wells in return before the 2011 season. We had to pick up on where Wells was at in his mega seven-year/$126 million contract. The Angels had to pay for the last four years of that deal for him to play two seasons here while hitting an awful .222/.258/.409 (.667 OPS) and hitting just 36 home runs. He scored just 96 times and drove in just 95 runs. Napoli on the other hand, went on to play seven more years as a full-time catcher, hitting .244/.346/.470 (.816 OPS) and averaging 25 home runs per season. This trade should have never been made.
It's not just Mike Napoli, but also Ervin Santana who the LA Angels should never have traded.
Other than Mike Napoli, Ervin Santana was wrongfully dealt by the LA Angels in a one-sided trade as well. Santana was traded to the Royals along with cash for Brandon Sisk. Sisk ended up never playing Big League ball. Santana on the other hand spent the next five years shoving on the mound.
He was traded in the offseason before 2013, and from 2013 to 2017 he posted a 3.52 ERA to go along with a 116 ERA+. Like Napoli, he was an All-Star away from the Angels (Napoli in 2012, Santana in 2017). Santana recorded a good 53-44 record and solid 1.208 WHIP.
He, like Napoli, played really well after the Halos traded them. If the Halos would have kept these guys around, perhaps they would have been in better shape as a franchise. Perhaps that better franchise would have still been standing today.