With Brett Phillips being Designated for Assignment, the Los Angeles Angels officially have four outfielders who are deserving of playing every day at the Major League level. Yes, that even includes Taylor Ward despite his struggles.
Ward is here along with Mike Trout, Hunter Renfroe, and the resurgent Mickey Moniak. Trout and Renfroe will be in there virtually every day, this we know. What we don't know is who will play left field. Moniak should be getting most of the starts there, and I'd rather see Taylor Ward try to find his swing in AAA, but that's just me.
The quartet of outfielders at the MLB level isn't all the Angels have in their organization. Jo Adell deserves a shot with how he's played. He's swinging the bat as well as he ever has in the Angels organization, and it's a shame that he's completely (justifiably) buried on the depth chart. With this all being said, one thing is clear. This issue of too many outfielders has to be solved.
LA Angels must address their outfield logjam at the trade deadline
I have no idea whether the Angels will be buyers or sellers. That will obviously dictate who they decide to trade, but at least one of these outfielders has to go.
If the Angels are trying to win right now and buy at the deadline, they need to trade Jo Adell. In AAA this season, he's slashing .291/.383/.646 with 15 home runs and 37 RBI. It's the PCL, but Adell has never swung the bat this well in the minors before.
While strikeouts are still a big concern, Adell has been walking more than he ever has. He's walked 20 times in 184 plate appearances this season. His career high for walks in a season was 32 back in 2018 in 440 plate appearances. He's obviously on pace to shatter that this season. We all know the tools are there, so if he can actually draw walks, that makes him much more valuable.
Adell's value obviously isn't anything crazy right now considering his struggles at the MLB level, but he deserves a shot. If the Angels are trying to win right now, trading Adell to a rebuilding team for a piece that can help them do that should happen.
On the flip side, if the Angels do entertain selling, someone like Hunter Renfroe should be on the block. I like Renfroe a lot but he's on an expiring contract and there's a very good chance he won't be here next season. Getting an asset or two for him would be smart, and running an outfield that consists of Trout, and two of Ward, Adell, and Moniak would be wise.
Holding on to five outfielders who should all be playing every day would be very bad business. Either trade a young guy if you're trying to compete, or trade a veteran if you're not.