This Angels outfielder is already a very hot name in early trade deadline chatter

The Angels are heading towards being sellers at the trade deadline this year with one name coming up more than others.
Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels
Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

Given how scary Taylor Ward's injury was after he got hit in the face by a pitch, seeing him bounce back with the Los Angeles Angels this year has been a welcome reprieve from what has otherwise been a trying 2024 season. No one would have blamed him at all if it took some time to get his timing back and to feel confident and safe in the batter's box after taking a hit like that.

Instead, Ward has been one of the Angels' best hitters this season with a .264/.329/.463 line and 11 homers through his first 57 games this season. Ignoring what he had to recover from to get to this point, fans would still take that out of him 10 times out of 10.

In fact, Ward has been so good (and the Angels have been so ... not good) that he is quickly becoming a very popular early trade deadline target, which raises some interesting questions about what the Angels should do with him.

Taylor Ward is a popular trade deadline name, but the Angels probably shouldn't move him

One can certainly understand the appeal to other teams when it comes to Ward. He has a strong track record of actually hitting in the bigs, has some power, is generally a solid outfield defender, and would come with team control that extends through the 2026 season. If the Angels were to make him available in trade, he would probably command a nice package of prospects in return.

However, all of those are reasons for the Angels to NOT trade Ward at the deadline as well. So far, everyone from owner Arte Moreno to general manager Perry Minasian on down has maintained that LA is not looking to go into full rebuild mode. Assuming that is actually true, trading a guy like Ward, who is both cost-controlled for a few years and who is productive, makes little sense.

Now, if the Angels are out of it by the deadline and find suitors for guys that don't fit into the team's long-term plans or who are about to hit free agency, then by all means trade them away. However, Ward has been more than good enough to keep around unless the Angels get blown away by a trade offer or if they do decide to tear everything down and start from scratch.

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