Recent Angels signings could lead to trade of a former first round pick

A Matt Thaiss trade certainly feels possible.
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels made the obvious decision to re-sign Chad Wallach to a minor league deal. Wallach's numbers were nothing to write home about, but he was pretty impactful as a third catcher this past season, and was a no-brainer to bring back in that same role for the 2024 season. Wallach connected well with the staff including Shohei Ohtani, and did display some pop at the plate.

In addition to Wallach, the Halos signed former top prospect Francisco Mejia to a minor league deal. Mejia, another catcher with seven years of MLB experience, adds even more depth behind the players the Angels expect to be on the Opening Day roster in Logan O'Hoppe and Matt Thaiss.

O'Hoppe is fully locked into the starting role for this upcoming season and the future, but could the future of Matt Thaiss in Anaheim be in jeopardy? The additions of these veteran catchers could make that the case.

LA Angels bringing in two veteran catchers could lead to a Matt Thaiss trade

The Angels have reportedly already received interest on the trade market in Thaiss who had himself his best MLB season thus far. Thaiss, a former first-round pick by the Angels, got a chance to play fairly regularly with O'Hoppe on the IL and took advantage of that for a couple of months, getting on base consistently and showing improvements defensively before taking a step back as the year progressed.

What makes Thaiss an attractive trade candidate other than the fact that he's a former first-round pick, is his team control. The Angels have Thaiss for the next four years if they want him, and as a cheap backup catcher with some upside, that has some value. No, Thaiss won't bring Shane Bieber or Corbin Burnes to Anaheim, but he'd help the Angels fill a hole in a potential deal.

The Angels have Logan O'Hoppe who at 23 years old is going to play virtually every day. O'Hoppe appeared in 26 of the Angels 28 games in September and October. While he won't be expected to play that often in 2024, expecting him to appear in 10 games or so in a row doesn't appear to be so far-fetched. The Angels showed no fear playing him in day games after night games, and O'Hoppe didn't slow down at all, launching nine home runs in that span with an .897 OPS.

The Halos can do just fine starting one of Wallach or Mejia three or four times in a month while O'Hoppe gets an overwhelming majority of the at-bats behind the dish.

This isn't something the Angels should be rushing to do, as having the O'Hoppe and Thaiss duo would be very nice. However, if the Angels get a good offer for Thaiss, having Wallach and Mejia there could help them accept the deal.