The Angels’ Trade Candidates.

Updated: March 4, 2017

I know Spring Training just started and the Angels are on a roll, but let’s look into the future for a moment and envision the Angels needing to move some bodies, for whatever reason. Maybe they’re contending and need to add someone for the stretch run. Maybe they’re struggling and need to look to the future. Wherever the Angels are in the standings, these players could be potentially moved sometime this season, and even could be moved this Spring to add to an area that needs help, like catcher or in the rotation.

Yunel Escobar – Rumors have swirled around Yunel for years, wherever he’s gone, and now that he’ll be a free agent at the end of this season, the rumors will only get louder. The Angels signed Luis Valbuena, who can get on base, brings power, and plays solid defense, to a  two year deal and have Kaleb Cowart, C.J. Cron, and Matt Thaiss as young, cheap players who could play the same positions Valbuena can and could be ready to be impact players. If the Angels are out of it, Escobar moving could be a no-brainer. If the Angels are in it, he may still be moved, rather than risk losing him for nothing. Keep an eye on Escobar, the most likely player to be moved.

Huston Street – As long as Street is healthy and producing, he’s another likely trade candidate regardless of the Angels place in the standings, since they have some good, young pitchers like Cam Bedrosian and Keynan Middleton ready to step into major roles in the bullpen and Street has a team option the Angels are not likely to pick up. Given those facts, expect Street to be shopped heavily, as long as he’s, you know, healthy.

Andrew Bailey – Bailey is the type of player that struggling teams sign in hopes they put together solid seasons to be flipped. Signed to a cheap, one year deal, if Bailey is putting together a strong season, he’s another top candidate to be moved regardless of record, and if the Angels could turn Bailey into a young asset, that would be a huge win for this front office.

Jefry Marte – Jefry Marte may have a bright future ahead of him with this Angels club. He also could be dangled to bring in some pitching help if the Angels are contending and need a little more in the staff. It seems more likely that Marte stays with the team and earns a more substantial role next season after infielders Escobar, Danny Espinosa, and Cliff Pennington are presumably gone, but Marte may also be the type of player that doesn’t thrive in a full-time role and doesn’t really have a set position, and with young players like Thaiss coming through the ranks fast, the time might be now to see if some other team is willing to give up assets to see if Marte can put together a full season as a starter. It’s worth seeing how both the player and this situation develops, and either way it should benefit the Halos.

A Young Pitcher!? – Hear me out on this one, as it’s certainly possible, if not likely. The Halos have a few intriguing young pitchers such as Alex Meyer, Nate Smith, Jaime Barria, Vicente Campos, and even Tyler Skaggs. While the Angels may not be in a position to trade away valuable pitching depth they may need, if Bud Norris impresses enough to earn a spot in the rotation and young non-prospects such as Manny Banuelos, John Lamb, and Brooks Pounders get healthy and produce, the Halos could be in a position to move some of that depth for help in the infield, which they’ll need after this season. Don’t forget, both Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney are due back next season after Tommy John surgery, and while you never know how a pitcher may recover from such a surgery, it’s certainly possibly they return fully healthy and push some good young players out. We’ve touched on this subject before, but could a package built around Tyler Skaggs and Vicente Campos bring in a player like Brian Dozier, someone who can be a cornerstone for the Angels during Mike Trout‘s prime? It might be a stretch, but keep an eye on how the Angels handle their pitching staff going forward with Tropeano and Heaney returning and some intriguing young pitchers working their way up.

The Bottom Line – The Halos aren’t thinking of trading anyone right now, so this whole article is basically pointless at this point, much like Spring Training! On a serious note, it’s always fun to look ahead at some possible roster possibilities as the Angels continue to do a solid job of building depth at multiple levels of the organization, and the different way that could pay dividends going forward. It’s an interesting time for the team as they attempt to cash in on Trout’s prime and what’s left of Albert Pujols, and while they may not be desperate, they could definitely begin to feel some pressure as the seasons pile up. The Halos are putting themselves in good positions, though, to remain flexible and make some moves.

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