Angels Make Another Cheap Advised Trade

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Updated: November 5, 2016

The Angels made the first move of their offseason today, trading pitching prospect Victor Alcantara to the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Cameron Maybin, who figures to step into left field. Sure,  Maybin is coming off of a decent season – he slashed .315/.383/.418 with fifteen stolen bases, but it was in only 94 games, marking the seventh time out of ten seasons he’s failed to reach 100 games.

Maybin has shown flashes of talent over his career, and when he’s healthy he can be a decent contributor. Those times are few and far between for Maybin, however, and at nine million a year and a top prospect, you would hope for more than ninety games of league average production, something you just can’t expect from Maybin at this point.

Speaking of that top prospect, Alcantara is also not a sure thing; he may be a top prospect but in the Angels’ barren system that doesn’t mean very much. He’s been erratic in the minors, putting up a 4.60 ERA at various levels of the organization. Alcantara is not a big loss for this team, but the Angels are once again sending away young talent for old, inconsistent players, and one who will be a free agent at season’s end.

It’s a strange move considering the depth of talent on the free agent market in the outfield and the cap space the Angels have now, and you would think they would have moved past experimenting with unsure things in that position after abject failures for years, now.

Considering the Angels once again traded from a thin farm system to acquire that unsure thing, it’s a move that makes little sense. Maybe the Angels will still look to add an outfielder like Carlos Gomez or Colby Rasmus to pair with Maybin, but it seems unlikely at this point. Even the best case scenario type of season from Maybin doesn’t really compare to what the Angels could have added on the free agent market for around the same price.

It seems as though the Angels are once again going cheap for a short-term replacement, which makes sense if the context is that the Angels don’t think they’ll truly contend this season. This is going to be an interesting offseason to see where the Angels’ brass believes they’re at as far as contending, and if this move is any indication, it appears they don’t think they’re all that close.

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