Scooter Gennett: Future Angel?

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Updated: December 8, 2016

On Monday, the Red Sox traded Travis Shaw to the Brewers for Tyler Thornburg. The move gave Milwaukee a starting third baseman and moves Jonathan Villar to second base next season. So what does this have to do with the Angels? It now opens the door for Scooter Gennett to come to Anaheim.

It is no secret that the Angels need a second baseman, but there are no free agents that really catch the eye. There have been talks of the Halos signing Chase Utley, but he hasn’t really been much more than average since 2013. Now, the Brewers have an extra second baseman on their roster in Gennett thanks to the Thornburg trade. He is now one tick behind Jonathan Villar in their depth chart. Gennett is a quality second baseman and is better than a backup. If the Crew want to unload him for pitching or prospects, then the Angels are the most likely destination.

Gennett isn’t the defensive first second baseman that Billy Eppler said the Angels were looking for, as he had 14 errors at second last season, but Scooter’s numbers at the plate are too good to pass up. His career slash line is .279/.318/.412 with an OPS+ of 99. He has good pop for a middle infielder, as he hit 14 homers last season, but he strikes out a ton, as he collected 114 Ks last season. He is cheap and controllable as well. He will make $2.5M next season and has two years of control left after 2017. According to Baseball Reference, the most similar player to Gennett through age 26 is the guy the Angels wanted in the first place, Neil Walker.

The Angels have lots of cheap minor league pitching to offer to the Brewers, although none of it is clearly major league material. They traded one of their big trade chips in Victor Alcantara for Cameron Maybin. They definitely can still swing a deal, but it is unknown how much the Brewers would want in return for Gennett. It may not be much, as the market for second basemen really only includes the Angels and a few non-contending teams. It has been reported that the Crew are looking for bullpen arms and possibly rotation help, but as a team in rebuilding, they will take any prospects they can get.

Someone that the Angels can afford to trade from the MLB roster is Jose Valdez. Valdez saw some time in the Majors last season and was fairly decent in 25 games. He held an ERA+ of 95 and struck out 22 in 23.1 innings. His ERA was north of four, so those numbers are a little deceiving. He had good numbers in the minors last season, as he collected 44 strikeouts and a 2.36 ERA in 45.2 innings pitched, so he has potential to be a good late-inning reliever. Another player that could be sent to Milwaukee is outfielder Caleb Adams.

The 2014 draft pick has hit well in minors and could be a serviceable player in time. The only problem is there might be a log jam in the outfield come 2019. Jahmai Jones is looking more and more like a future all-star player and 2016 draft pick Brandon Marsh has all the tools to be a great player given time. Adams struggled in AA Arkansas last season, so maybe shipping him off now might be a good idea, as there is no telling if he’ll find his stride again. Both players are young and controllable and might benefit from a rebuilding team.

Scooter Gennett for Jose Valdez and Caleb Adams. Both teams benefit from the move. The Brewers won’t have to focus on how to get Gennett in the lineup and focus instead on the development of Orlando Arcia. The Angels won’t have to focus on signing a second baseman for a few seasons. The only problem is there is no indication that the Crew want to move Gennett. Shaw could be moved to a corner outfield position, but he’s better suited at third. Arcia could be sent back to AAA to get a little more polish on his already incredible tools. The Brewers would definitely benefit from the move though. Milwaukee should consider moving Scooter, even if Arcia isn’t quite ready. Given the MLB reps, Arcia will just get better and better. Also, Mauricio Dubon, one of the other players the Crew got in the Thornburg deal, could be a major league quality infielder. He has hit .306 in the minors with an OPS of .765. Trading Gennett would benefit the already rebuilding Brew Crew. 

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