Grading the Gio Urshela signing
The Angels traded pitching prospect Alejandro Hidalgo to the Twins in exchange for Gio Urshela. Hidalgo is a 19-year-old who's made just 17 appearances in two seasons in the Angels system. He made 10 starts in Single-A this past season.
He was ranked as the 22nd-ranked prospect in the Angels system and is ranked 25th in the Twins system according to MLB.com.
With Hidalgo years away, I'm not so mad about the Angels trading him even though he has posted some high strikeout numbers as a teenager.
What's confusing to me is why the Angels traded for Gio Urshela.
Urshela is a third baseman who does have experience at other positions, but not much. He's played 548 of his 600 career games at third base. He's played 43 at shortstop, eight at DH, five at second base, three at first base, and one in left field.
The Angels have their third baseman in Anthony Rendon signed for another four years at $38 million dollars annually. Can they look to switch Rendon's position? Maybe, but I doubt it. Minasian said the Angels see his best position other than third base being first base, a spot he's played just three big league games at.
I think Urshela's bat will be a valuable piece to the lineup. He had a 121 OPS+ this past season and has had a 119 OPS+ in his last four seasons combined. He's a major upgrade over guys like Matt Duffy and Andrew Velazquez who played in the infield when guys like Anthony Rendon and David Fletcher were out.
I think Urshela is a great backup option at third base if/when Anthony Rendon lands on the injured list. I don't love him at his $9.2 million dollar projected arbitration salary when the Angels could've just signed a quality depth infielder.
I like the player they got, I just don't know where he plays and why they got him other than be very expensive Anthony Rendon insurance. Trading a top-25 organizational prospect in a weak farm system while also having to pay the $9.2 million dollars isn't ideal either.