Much was expected of Yunel Escobar when the Angels traded promising young reliever Trevor Gott to the Washington Nationals in December to get the 33 year old, 9 year veteran. The long time shortstop made the transition to third base and put up a near career high .314 average and had a surprising near career low 7 errors in 69 games.
This year, Escobar has been a steady force at the top of the Angels lineup. He’s hit a consistent .310 with 20 RBIs and 33 run scored (3rd on team). One issue he’s had is defense. He’s first in the AL and third in all of MLB with 12 errors already. The only people he’s behind are Eugenio Suarez of the Reds with 13 and Aledmys Diaz of the Cardinals with 14, but they’ve committed more in more games played.
Another issue is that many fans are extremely upset with his energy and desire due to the multiple careless and silly mistakes he’s made. So the question has been raised, should the Angels trade Yunel Escobar?
The Case for: Trading him
It’s been reported a couple teams have interest like the Giants, while teams like the Mets and Royals have lost their third basemen for the season and are fighting to get into the playoffs. All three of these teams are well known through the league for drafting and developing numerous quality prospects, something the Angels desperately lack. The Angels could possibly get a nice return of a couple quality prospects with a trade.
The move would also finally allow some of the younger corner infield talents in the system to shine. Kaleb Cowart will get his shot with Kyle Kubitza being traded, and Jefry Marte can get some quality and consistent playing time without fighting with CJ Cron or Daniel Nava. I’m sure fans everywhere would be happy to see either of these two manning the hot corner
The Case for: Keeping Him
Escobar has been arguably one of the most consistent forces in the lineup. His ability to regularly get on base hasn’t been appreciated much by fans despite the fact that it’s been an extremely long time since the Angels had this reliable presence. Trading him would force someone like Johnny Giavotella to be lead off or push Scioscia to go back to the Calhoun-Trout-Pujols in the first 3 spots, as they’ve done when Escobar has missed games.
The biggest impact would be on next season. The Angels aren’t going to have Mike Trout and Albert Pujols together forever, so they need to find a way to get back to their 2014 winning ways soon. Despite the fact that Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney will likely miss all of 2017, the Angels will still be trying to get into a playoff spot. With Escobar gone, that’ll be a huge blow to an already struggling offense and will most certainly hurt the Halos chances of making a run.
I personally think the Angels should only trade Escobar if they get a couple quality prospects in return. Otherwise his bat is way too valuable to lose, especially if the Halos wish to contend with Trour on the team next year. If the Angels trade the third baseman for next to nothing just to get rid of him, that would be a huge mistake.
With these two sides in mind, what do you think the Angels should do with Yunel Escobar?