Cyber Monday Deals the Angels Might Bite On

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Updated: November 28, 2016

It’s Cyber Monday and everyone is searching for great deals on mediocre products, including Billy Eppler and the Angels. Eppler has been diving in the bargain bin all offseason long, signing five players to contracts no more than $9 million and dishing out eight minor league contracts. The Angels are looking for cheap players to fill holes at second, catcher, and in the rotation. In the spirit of Cyber Week, let’s take a look at some discounted players that Eppler could bring in to plug those holes (although they might not be successful at plugging said holes).

2B- Adam Rosales, Daniel Descalso, Ivan De Jesus

The pool at second is really shallow, as the only quality player in this year’s free agent class who can play second is Justin Turner, but at the deep depths of this shallow pool are Adam Rosales, Daniel Descalso, and Ivan De Jesus.

Rosales spent 2016 with the San Diego Padres and made 52 starts with them, including 22 at second. Rosales is more of a utility guy, as he has played pretty much everywhere over his career and has had success defensively at every position he’s played. The reason why he’s available at a discounted price is because he is a career .227 hitter. To be fair, Rosales has never really been a starter on any team he’s been on. He is only two years removed from hitting .262 on the season and held a  .321 average entering September that same year. In a way, Rosales is a poor man’s Ben Zobrist. He might be worth the risk at second, but if he pans out, he could be a quality bench guy.

Descalso is best known for his years with the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that made the playoffs every season he was their starting shortstop/second baseman, but Descalso has really fallen off from his solid 2011-14 seasons in St. Louis. Descalso has spent the past two seasons as a backup in Colorado and had a slash line of .264/.349/.424 filling in for Trevor Story last season.  

Descalso has never really been a threat at the plate, as shown by his career OPS+ of 80, but he has gotten on base well throughout his career. His career OBP is .315 and has had only two seasons where his OBP dipped below .300. He could sign for cheap and could be a league average second baseman.

De Jesus is the youngest of the three at just 29, but he hasn’t seen much success in the majors. He hit .249 over the past two years with the Cincinnati Reds and had on OPS+ of just 76. The only reason it would be worth the risk to sign De Jesus is because of his age. He could still develop to be a quality big league player in a year’s time, but the clock is ticking. If the Angels sign De Jesus, he would most likely serve in the role Gregorio Petit served in last season.

C- Nick Hundley, AJ Ellis, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Like the second base market, the catching pool is also very shallow. The big fish in this years pond is Wilson Ramos, but the Angels have already said they won’t focus too much on a catcher this offseason. If the Angels do sign a catcher though, it will most likely be a veteran to help mentor Jett Bandy and Carlos Perez.

Hundley was Daniel Descalso’s teammate in Colorado the past two seasons and he is the most likely of the three to land in Anaheim. The 33-year-old hit .263 last season, but he has had three seasons with an OPS+ above 100, including one in 2015. Hundley is not the best defensive catcher around, but he is a good veteran to have around Bandy and Perez. He has most of the same qualities that Geovany Soto had, so there is a possibility that if he signs for cheap, he could start over Bandy.

Ellis was Clayton Kershaw’s personal catcher for years with the Dodgers but he was traded last season to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz. AJ hit .313 in his time with the Phillies, but he has always been known for his defense. Ellis has only made 15 errors throughout his career and has received praise as one of the best pitch-callers in the game today.

The eight-year vet could be a great mentor to Jett and Carlos, the latter being one of the better defenders in the game. Signing Ellis might also help out our already thin pitching staff throw more quality starts. Ellis is 35, so a short contract could be in line for the aging backstop.

Saltalamacchia is the most experienced of the three backstops, spending his ten-year career with six different franchises, yet he is only 31. Salty has never really been a premier defender or hitter, but he has been a quality catcher throughout the years. He could come with a cheap price tag, so snagging this well-rounded backstop could be a steal if Salty returns to his 2012-13 form.

SP- Edinson Volquez, Gavin Floyd, Clayton Richard

The pitching market is fairly shallow as well, but there are more pitchers available via trade. There are talks of the Angels trading Matt Shoemaker or Tyler Skaggs for a second baseman, so signing another starting pitcher is definitely a possibility. There are big names available for trade, but the Angels do not have the talent to get any of them. Instead, there are cheap innings-eaters available for low prices.

Edinson Volquez is pretty much a has been in this years market. The 32-year-old has only had three seasons in which he had a sub-4 ERA, but has thrown over 170 innings in each of the past five seasons. He was the Royals’ ace in 2015, going 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA on their way to a World Series ring. The reason why his price tag is so low is because he had a disastrous 2016 for Kansas City. He posted a 5.37 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP, which is not very good. He’s a cheap innings eater who could reinvent himself under Charles Nagy, just like Ricky Nolasco did last season.

Gavin Floyd is a guy who has a lot of question marks next to him. He spent all of 2016 in the Toronto bullpen, but from 2013 to 2015, he appeared in just 21 games and started just 14. Floyd was a quality starter from 2008 to 2012 with the White Sox when he had a 4.12 ERA and threw 948.1 innings in that span, so if he could regain his form, he could give the Angels 180 innings of sub-4.50 ERA ball. If not, he is also a great long relief option. He spent that last two years in the bullpen and threw to the tune of a 119 ERA+.

Clayton Richard, unlike Volquez and Floyd, was never really considered a front-of-the-line starter, but he has had a solid career. He has a career ERA of 4.23 and went on an impressive stretch from 2010 to 2012, making 33 starts twice in three seasons and had an ERA of 3.88 in that span. He might garner some interest this offseason, but his price tag should be fairly cheap as compared to other starters like Doug Fister and Jason Hammel.

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