The Los Angeles Angels went all in on the trade deadline this offseason to try and make the postseason for the first time since 2014. They traded some of the organization's best prospects away in order to get players who can help them in 2023.
The Angels attempt to win now has failed spectacularly as the team has gone 4-12 since the deadline to fall to 60-63 on the season. The AL West is out of reach, and the Wild Card is nearing that same path as the Halos trail the third spot by 7.5 games. They've played attrocious baseball throughout the month of August, and they now have a 0.6% chance at a postseason spot per FanGraphs because of it.
A big reason the Angels have struggled since the deadline passed is because the players they acquired haven't done much. Reynaldo Lopez has been solid out of the bullpen, Dominic Leone has had a couple of good moments, but for the most part, the main players they got have underwhelmed dramatically. C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk are at the center of that.
LA Angels trade for C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk has failed spectacularly
After an all-star year in 2022, C.J. Cron got off to a rough start this season before landing on the IL with a back injury. Cron would miss over a month before returning in late-June. Once returning, he immediately started swinging a hot bat.
In a 20-game stretch, Cron slashed .319/.355/.569 with five home runs and 12 RBI in 72 at-bats. Cron was then traded to the Angels and stopped hitting. He has a .563 OPS, almost 400 points lower than his mark during that stretch with the Rockies. He has just one home run as an Angel, and to make matters worse, he landed back on the IL with more back trouble.
Randal Grichuk is another player who the Angels got to help produce offensively. He had really strong numbers all season for Colorado, only to see them plummet the second he got to Anaheim. Grichuk was slashing .308/.365/.496 with eight home runs and 27 RBI in 64 games before the Angels got him. Since returning to the team that drafted him, he's slashed .167/.194/.350 with three home runs and five RBI.
I understand that a lot of their successes had to do with playing half the time at Coors Field and i did expect a drop-off, but I did not expect both players to have a sub-.600 OPS. To put this into perspective, Andrew Velazquez has a .639 OPS this season. Cron and Grichuk have been invisible.
The Angels gave up two promising pitching prospects in Jake Madden and Mason Albright to acquire Cron and Grichuk, and neither player has done anything noteworthy. To make matters worse, both players are set to hit free agency after the season. It's possible the Angels just traded two pitching prospects for two players to do nothing for two months, watch the Angels miss the playoffs, and then depart in free agency.