The Los Angeles Angels have had a good offseason so far. This can be seen as a surprise as the offseasons they've had in recent memory haven't turned out great. I truly believe this offseason is different.
The Angels have been active and spent their money wisely. Even with Arte Moreno looking to sell the team they have one of the higher payrolls in baseball. They haven't reached the luxury tax and should not be done yet, but they've definitely spent money.
The offseason is not over and there could be some more surprises but for now, let's look into the three biggest surprises of the Angels offseason so far.
3) LA Angels biggest offseason surprises ranked: The Angels gave up virtually nothing for Hunter Renfroe
The Angels came into the offseason with a glaring hole in their corner outfield. Two of the three outfield spots were taken by Taylor Ward and Mike Trout but the third outfield spot was wide open. The Angels could have gone with Jo Adell or Mickey Moniak there, but both have struggled mightily at the big league level and if the Angels wanted to be contenders, they needed a big upgrade.
There were plenty of corner outfielders available in free agency the Angels could have considered. They could've targeted Andrew Benintendi who would've made a lot of sense. They could've gone bargain-hunting for someone like Michael Conforto or even Joey Gallo. Instead, the Angels made a surprising trade acquiring Hunter Renfroe from the Brewers.
Everyone knew Renfroe was on his way out. He's entering the final year of his deal and with the Brewers not interested in paying most of their players it was widely reported that he was being shopped. The Renfroe trade made a lot of sense as he's a corner outfielder who can hit in the middle of the Angels lineup and give them loads of power. What I did not expect was the package to be so light.
The biggest name traded was Janson Junk, a starting pitcher who has made seven career MLB appearances and was the Angels 16th-best prospect in their system according to MLB.com. Junk was not going to be in the plans for 2023 unless they dealt with a ton of injuries or he took a step forward.
Elvis Peguero and Adam Seminaris were the other two pitchers traded to Milwaukee. Peguero has minimal experience and wasn't going to be a part of the plans either unless things went horribly wrong. Seminaris is a prospect with pretty good command. He wasn't in the Angels top 30 prospect rankings.
Overall, the Angels gave up two pitchers who weren't a part of their plans and a low-level prospect in exchange for an outfielder who's hit at least 25 home runs in every full season he's played in. He's a massive upgrade over the likes of Adell and Moniak and the Angels should get tremendous value out of Renfroe for a year. It truly was a slam dunk of a trade made by Perry Minasian.