4 former Angels who could be on the move at the MLB trade deadline

Several former Angels seem like top candidates to be on the move by the end of July.
Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels
Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Even the most optimistic of Los Angeles Angels fans have to know that this upcoming trade deadline is going to result in a sell-off. The guys on the roster who are playing on expiring contracts are the most likely to go, but Tyler Anderson, Taylor Ward, and Carlos Estevez are already getting trade buzz that is only going to intensify as the deadline approaches.

While the 2024 season hasn't gone as well as anyone hoped, and seeing more talented players leave LA is not fun at all, Angels fans do like to keep tabs on how their former players are doing. A lot of that is watching Shohei Ohtani's highlights with the Dodgers while crying into our pillows at night, but a lot of fans keep tabs on a number of former Angels even long after they leave the team for one reason or another.

So what's going on out there with former Angels players in the wild?

4 former Angels who could be on the move at the MLB trade deadline

Andrew Heaney

Andrew Heaney's tenure with the Angels from 2015-2021 was largely mediocre. He generally posted around a mid-4 ERA every year, and while he threw a lot of strikes, multiple injuries as well as issues with giving up home runs plagued him during his time in LA. Heaney was traded to the Yankees and bounced around a little bit before settling into a role with the Rangers.

This might be a bit of wishful thinking for the Rangers as Heaney has continued to be very medium with 4.17 ERA and he is making $13 million this year. Texas is also already short on starters and would very much like to make another playoff run. However, Heaney is on an expiring contract, which is the exactly the kind of players that get dealt most often this time of year. Heaney has been good enough to at least generate some interest from pitching-needy teams assuming Texas thinks they may have better options available, and would welcome the payroll savings.

Keynan Middleton

It has been a few years since the end of Middleton's four-year stint with the Angels. Middleton was fine for the most part with a 3.48 ERA in 104 appearances, but Tommy John surgery in 2020 ultimately led to the team non-tendering him. However, Middleton was able to bounce back and put himself in line for a nice payday last offseason when he excelled with the Yankees after getting dealt there at the trade deadline.

After getting a one-year deal with a club option for 2025 from the Cardinals, things took an unfortunate turn for Middleton as it was revealed that he needed surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his pitching elbow and was out for the season. The Cardinals are kind of hanging around this year and Middleton could be an interesting trade piece to a team that has playoff aspirations next year due to his club option or as a way for the Cardinals to potentially shed a bit of 2024 payroll without impacting their current roster. Again, not a likely deal, but an option that could be a fit in the right situation.

Gio Urshela

Many Angels fans were wanting the team to bring back Gio Urshela for the 2024 season after he played his brains out replacing Anthony Rendon before a freak pelvic fracture ended his 2023 prematurely. In his lone season with the team, Urshela posted a .703 OPS while hitting .299 in the 62 games before he got hurt. However, the Angels opted not to re-sign him and he ended up landing with the Tigers on a one-year deal.

While Urshela's numbers have declined this year with Detroit, his ability to play good defense at multiple positions is likely to have value to at least a couple of contenders at the deadline. With the Tigers looking like this is going to be yet another lost season for them, guys like Urshela who are set to become free agents are going to get shopped around.

Lucas Giolito

This one is a bit painful as Giolito's time with the Angels was both short (and bad). The Angels invested significant resources to acquire Giolito at the trade deadline only for him to post a dreadful 6.89 ERA in six starts before getting placed on waivers once the Angels were out of the playoff hunt. Giolito then posted even worse numbers with the Guardians before signing with the Red Sox during the offseason.

This one could be a tough move to pull off, but the fact remains that Boston signed Giolito to bolster their rotation for at least this season and possibly next if he exercised his player option. Instead, he will not throw a single pitch for them in 2024 as he needed elbow surgery in March. For this to make sense, the Red Sox need to be willing to completely cut bait with Giolito (possible, but not a certainty) and find a team that is willing to take on the prospect of him exercising his player option. That could be a team that sees themselves as 2025 contenders or a team that is just willing to take on potentially bad money in exchange for a prospect of value. Would be a weird situation, but Boston's owners have forced weirder moves to happen.

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