If you haven't realized it already, allow me to declare it. The Los Angeles Angels will be buyers at this season's trade deadline. They've moved three pitching prospects to acquire Eduardo Escobar and Mike Moustakas in separate trades in the last four days alone, and will not be done.
The Angels are currently 43-37, 5 games back in the AL West, but just 0.5 games back of the last Wild Card spot in the AL. The reasons why they want to buy is simple. One, they haven't made the postseason since 2014. Eventually enough is enough. And two, Shohei Ohtani is going to be a free agency at the end of the season. The Angels want to give themselves their best shot at winning with him, but also want their best shot at retaining him.
You can argue all you want about whether the Angels should buy or sell. I honestly see it both ways. Missing the playoffs and then losing Shohei Ohtani for nothing other than a compensatory pick would be a catastrophic failure. However, the Angels are right in the thick of this race and with the right moves, you can easily argue they'd make the postseason. Once you get there, anything can happen.
Robert Murray of FanSided said on The Baseball Insiders podcast that he believes the Angels will be one of the more aggressive teams at the trade deadline, which is both exciting and a little frightening.
LA Angels rumors: MLB insider predicts the Angels will be among the most aggressive teams at MLB Trade Deadline
The Angels have been aggressive all season long. They promoted Zach Neto after just 44 minor league games played. They promoted young arms in Ben Joyce, Jose Soriano, and Sam Bachman to fortify what was a struggling bullpen. They DFA'd Ryan Tepera. From day one the message has been clear to try and win now, and adding both Eduardo Escobar and Mike Moustakas over a month before the deadline only proves that point even further.
Murray said that he expects the Angels to be among the most aggressive teams at the deadline. He cites the Ohtani situation as the reason why.
Being aggressive can be looked at as both good and bad. The Angels absolutely need to pick a direction, and it appears they're set on this season. This means prospects should be available in a trade. If they put their best foot forward and come up short, at least you can look back and say the Angels made an effort to win. This means Moreno has to be willing to go over the luxury tax, something he's refused to do.
On the flip side, the Angels being aggressive almost certainly means top prospects will be gone. It's very possible we see a guy like Edgar Quero traded which would be a tough pill to swallow with how talented he is. A Quero trade would be fine, especially with Logan O'Hoppe looking like the franchise guy, as long as they bring in the right piece(s) for him.
I'd expect the Angels to overpay, but there's a difference between being aggressive and being overly-aggressive. Don't be trading Quero for some reliever on an expiring deal. Trade him for a building block for not only this season, but for the future as well.
This trade deadline should be fascinating. After watching the Angels sell last season it'll be nice to see them buy. There're definite holes they should absolutely be looking to fill.