Both Randal Grichuk and C.J. Cron were Angels at one point. Both were selected in the first round by the club. Cron played four seasons with the Angels from 2014-2017, and Grichuk was traded in the David Freese deal before he debuted.
In this deal the Angels sent two prospects. Jake Madden was the eighth-ranked Angels prospect according to MLB Pipeline while Mason Albright was ranked 28th. Both of these prospects are pitchers.
Grading the latest LA Angels blockbuster trade
The Angels continue to remain all in for 2023. In this deal they acquire two players who can really help them win now in Grichuk and Cron, but now is really it. Both are free agents at the end of the year.
Cron has had a bit of a down year, slashing .260/.304/.476 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 55 games. He has a 93 WRC+ mainly due to playing half of his games at Coors Field. Still, this is an impact bat.
The 33-year-old missed over a month with back spasms but in his 19 games since returning he has a .912 OPS. He joins a struggling Angels offense that desperately needs a spark. He was an all-star for the Rockies last season, hitting 29 home runs with 102 RBI. He might not be a 30-home-run hitter, but he does add a big power presence to a lineup.
Grichuk has also missed time due to injury as he's played only 63 games but has had an outstanding offensive year. He's slashed .308/.365/.496 with eight home runs and 27 RBI this season. His home/road splits are more dramatic than Cron's this season as he has a .965 OPS at home and a .782 OPS on the road, but still, a .782 OPS is more than solid. He has a 117 WRC+ this season.
This trade comes on the day the Angels placed Taylor Ward on the IL after getting hit in the face. Chances are, he's out for a while. Ward joins a slew of Angels including Mike Trout, Brandon Drury, Anthony Rendon, and Logan O'Hoppe to name a few on the IL. This doesn't even include Zach Neto who's hurt but active. The Angels badly needed MLB-caliber hitters after scoring just five runs in three games in Toronto, and that's exactly what Perry Minasian got.
The Angels face an uphill battle for a postseason spot, so trading away prospects for rentals isn't exactly ideal. However, giving up guys like Madden and Albright for players who should be impactful this season doesn't hurt too much. They might be top-ten and top-30 in the Angels system respectively, but it's important to remember that the Angels have one of the worst systems in baseball. Their eighth prospect could be another team's 20th.
The home/road splits aren't ideal, and their rental status' aren't either, but the Angels had a glaring need to add to their lineup and Perry Minasian filled them adequately.