The 2023 trade deadline was supposed to be one that catapulted the Los Angeles Angels from a borderline playoff team into their first postseason berth since 2014. The Halos were in the race for much of the first half and even after a late slump, they bounced back by winning eight of nine at one point including sweeps against the Yankees and Tigers.
Unfortunately, the Angels have completely collapsed since the deadline, going a putrid 5-16 in August. The Angels are now 10.5 games outside of the third Wild Card spot and after the injuries to Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, it seems like the Halos won't be playing any meaningful baseball in September.
The Angels traded away many prospects including their top two in Edgar Quero and Ky Bush to land a slew of players to try and help keep them afloat with injuries they've dealt with and/or push them over the top. Most of the acquisitions have been disastrous, but these three have been worthwhile.
1) Reynaldo Lopez has been a worthwhile trade deadline addition for the LA Angels
The big blockbuster the Angels pulled off was trading away their two top prospects in exchange for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the White Sox. Giolito was the main attraction, as he was brought in to be the second frontline starter this rotation was lacking. Giolito was in the midst of a solid year with the White Sox, and was supposed to be a massive upgrade over most of an underperforming Angels rotation.
Unfortunately, Giolito has a 6.67 ERA through his first five starts with the Angels, and the team is 1-4 in games he's pitched. The ERA is bloated from one abysmal start in Atlanta, but Giolito has been an underwhelming addition overall. Thankfully, the Angels got a second player in the deal and Reynaldo Lopez has been a very worthwhile addition.
The right-hander has made ten appearances for the Angels primarily working as the seventh inning man. He's allowed two runs in 10.2 innings pitched, striking out 18 batters and displaying some elite stuff. Lopez has converted both of his save opportunities and has three holds as well.
The Angels haven't had many leads to hold since acquiring Lopez, but when he's been called in from the bullpen, he's been rock solid. He's definitely a player the Angels should look into keeping around for another year or two.