3 players the Angels should trade to kickstart the post-Ohtani rebuild

With Shohei Ohtani gone, the Angels are better off rebuilding.

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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3) Carlos Estevez could be a hot name on the trade market if the Angels made him available

Angels closer Carlos Estevez made his first career All-Star game last year, and teams would be lined up around the block to add him to the back of their bullpen if the Angels ever made him available.

Estevez's 2023 was a tale of two seasons. The righthander was one of the best relievers in baseball through the All-Star game, but the wheels came off shortly after, and his blown save against the Mariners on August 3rd (when he gave up a grand slam to Cade Marlowe) was the beginning of the end of the Angels' season.

This was Estevez's first experience as a team's full-time closer, so he can be forgiven for not being able to dominate wire-to-wire. Even with his rough final two months of the season, Estevez is still in the top 50% of closers in baseball, and he would be one of the best setup men in the game for a team that already has an established closer.

The problem is that the Angels don't figure to be closing many games next year. The Halos finished 73-89 last year, and that was with Shohei Ohtani. With him gone, a 100-loss season is very much in play, especially if Perry Minasian follows our advice and bottoms out by trading Mike Trout.

Estevez will have much more value to a team that plans on contending for the playoffs, which is why the Angels should begin shopping him now. In-house options to step up as closer include Ben Joyce or the recently signed Adam Cimber.

Early indications are that the Angels don't plan on tearing things down and starting over, but that would be a mistake. Arte Moreno needs only to look to the division rival Astros to see the proper way to rebuild, as Houston bottomed out for multiple years, collecting top draft picks and young assets, and has since been the most consistently great team in baseball. Trading the three aforementioned players would hurt in the short-term, but it's the right move for a franchise that needs to press the reset button.