The entire 2023 trade deadline was a disaster for the Los Angeles Angels. The team went all in and saw it blow up in their faces immediately, as they lost seven straight to start the month, and the month would up being arguably the most embarrassing in the history of the franchise.
A big reason this deadline will always be remembered as a historic disaster is because the Angels, a team with a weak farm already, traded the few prospects they had in exchange for rentals. The worst deal of all was the one that sent their top two prospects in Edgar Quero and Ky Bush to the White Sox in exchange for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez.
Giolito was one of the best pitchers in the American League from 2019-2021 but was very clearly not that same guy in each of the last two years. Even when the Angels acquired him, his 3.96 ERA was accompanied by a 4.44 FIP, suggesting that he had been getting a little lucky. The Angels still went through with this trade and while Lopez pitched mostly well, Giolito had a 6.89 ERA in his six starts.
The guy added to be a frontline starter led his team to a 1-5 record in his starts. They weren't all his fault, but Giolito for the most part was not good. In all likelihood he will be claimed off of waivers later this morning ending his short and brutal Angels tenure. Here're three players who should be replacing him.
1) Victor Mederos should replace Lucas Giolito on the LA Angels roster if Giolito gets claimed on waivers
Victor Mederos is one of the many young Angels pitchers the team has called up from AA Rocket City this season. Unlike Jose Soriano, Sam Bachman, and Ben Joyce, Mederos didn't find a way to stick around. He's had two brief stints with the Angels and has made three appearances out of the bullpen so far. Now, the Angels have the opportunity to use him as a starting pitcher.
It's unclear what the Angels plan is with their rotation now that Shohei Ohtani is no longer pitching this season. Will they return to a traditional five-man rotation with Ohtani out of the picture or will they remain in a six-man? If they remain in a six-man rotation, Mederos is an option that'd make a lot of sense.
His numbers with AA Rocket City aren't pretty as he's posted a 5.57 ERA there in 20 starts, but it's pretty hard to judge pitchers based off solely numbers in AA with the different baseballs they've been using. Jose Soriano's ERA in the majors is nearly a full run lower than it was in AA this season. Sam Bachman's is well over two runs lower.
Mederos has good stuff and when his command is on, he's got potential. Two of his three MLB outings went well including a scoreless inning in Atlanta against the loaded Braves. This would be a good opportunity for Mederos to show he can be part of the rotation either in 2024 or sometime in the not-too-distant future with a strong showing in September.