Could The Angels Trade A Starting Pitcher?

Updated: November 17, 2016

After filling left field and adding to the pitching staff, the Angels are now setting their sights on filling second base. According to recent report by Ken Rosenthal, the Angels could potentially deal from a thin and injury-wracked rotation to fill that position. The Angels are apparently drawing interest in starters Tyler Skaggs and Matt Shoemaker.

It doesn’t seem likely that the Angels would deal either one of those players, seeing as they’re cheap, controlled for years, and two of the most productive-when-healthy pitchers the Angels have. Could the Angels potentially build a package around Skaggs to add someone like Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, however?

Dozier is one of the most underrated players in baseball – playing on a bad team in Minnesota will do that to you – as he flew under the radar in spite of hitting forty-two home runs and slashing .268/.340/.442, good for a 6.5 WAR. While that type of production would be more than welcome in our lineup, do the Angels consider trading Skaggs and some of the only prospects we may have to obtain it?

The Angels spent years stockpiling young pitching, and still learned firsthand that you can never have enough. Even after adding Skaggs, Andrew Heaney, Nick Tropeano, and Hector Santiago in trades, the Angels still struggled to compile a competitive rotation when most of their pitchers were injured.

The logic of trading Skaggs for Dozier and adding one of the many cheap but competent pitchers from the free agent market makes some sense, but the Angels have been hesitant to add salary under GM Billy Eppler, so it seems unlikely he will dip into free agency too much more this offseason.

The likelihood of a deal like this being done is ultimately tied to the big question of the offseason; how close do the Angels think they are to truly contending this season? If the Angels think they have a shot at contending then a trade for a player as productive as Dozier makes sense.

The short term, minor moves being made so far this offseason are solid, but they seem to suggest the Angels don’t think they’re all that close and are therefore unwilling to spend big to add impact players, instead going the cheap but competent route. That’s probably the right way to go, given the state of the organizational depth and question marks on the major league roster. If the Angels don’t think they’re close then a trade of a young, controllable pitcher just doesn’t make sense.

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