Joe Smith is the biggest winner of the trade season. He jumps from the 7th worst record to the best record in all of baseball, and from a team not destined to see the playoffs for 2 to 3 years to a team destined to be in a World Series parade in 2 to 3 months.
Meanwhile, if everything pans out as advertised, the Rangers crushed it (although their track record with Big Splash mid-season acquisitions is less than sterling). So did the Yankees. The Brewers and Cubs and Padres and Blue Jays were very strong. The Dodgers are trying hard, as are the Indians. And the Angels? The Angels got to sit at the children's table on Thanskgiving, across from the Twins.
Yesterday the Angels sent away Joe Smith and Hector Santiago off our 25-man plus Alan Busenitz from our farm system. And coming back are Ricky Nolasco and prospects Alex Meyer, Jesus Castillo. That was what Billy Eppler was involved in, while a lot of other players went flying around among a lot of other teams.
Every one of those names are pitchers. Yep, injuries have created a HUGE problem with our rotation and that is something that needs to be shored up for 2017. But if Nolasco is a wash for Santiago, and Castillo is still in Low A ball, neither of those represent any shoring up of the rotation for 2017. That would leave Meyer. Already 26 years old. Tired shoulder (where have I heard stiff like that before?). Baseball America ranked him the #12 prospect in the Twins system, which itself was ranked #7 in baseball by Baseball Prospectus. So he's better than anything we had, but that is saying absolutely nothing. Meyer has been crushed at the MLB level in the few innings he has tasted, so next Spring might be the chance for him to get into any kind of groove. The glass-half-full story here is that we picked up a net gain of a possible back-end starter in 2017, and another upside arm for 2018 and beyond. And we got them, pretty much, for the price of one 8th-inning guy - Joe Smith.
Now, the glass-half-empty observation is that the Giants picked up Will Smith (9.00 ERA since the All-Star Break versus Joe Smith's 0.00 ERA) at the price of the #1 pick in their entire organization - Phil Bickford, who sat at #67 in the MLB Top 100 Prospects List just a few days ago. Oh, and the Giants even threw in an MLB catcher (Andrew Susac) to sweeten the pot, something that makes a Mike Scioscia drool. Now, to be sure, Will is under a lot more control than Joe and that is worth something to the Giants. But, oh, the possibilities. Time will tell, but right now I'd put my money on Phil Bickford over Alan Meyer.
By the way, notice that we didn't manage to do anything about position players, notably left field. And I would have bet all my M&M's that Yunel Escobar had his last PA under the Halo on Sunday. I know most of you see him as on the verge of trouble, but I love that crazy about him. To date, anyway.
Dig yourself some Trade-Deadline-Hangover Links:
ANGELS ON DECK
The Upcoming Series:
Oakland A's @ Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA.
|Day||Game Time||Probable Pitchers||TV|
|TUESDAY||7:05 PM PDT||Sean Manaea (3-5, 4.57 ERA) vs. Matt Shoemaker (5-11, 4.17 ERA)||FS-W|
|WEDNESDAY||7:05 PM PDT||Kendall Graveman (7-7, 4.15 ERA) vs. TBA||FS-W|
|THURSDAY||4:05 PM PDT||TBA vs. TBA||FS-W|
From the official Game Notes: "OAKLAND ON DECK: LAA leads 2016 season series 6-4…Halos dropped three of four in last meeting here…Angels have won 23 of last 34 overall matchups…Halos have won seven of last eight games at Coliseum.
Everywhere In Baseball
Haste Makes Waste: Speaking of Smith, as evidence of how fast things were happening right at the wire, dig this report on the wrong Smith:
Oh, and this one ain't much better:
Yeah. It never makes sense to the Angels when the Angels send Angels to the Angels...........
Dive In: Go beyond the pages of HH and look at how the outside world views our wheeling and dealing. Mostly, it's sellers selling to sellers. It's not real uplifting, by the way............
A Hec of a Deal: From thecomeback.com, a simple summary of why this works for the Angels. "For the Angels, they are essentially paying $13 million(assuming they keep Nolasco under 200 innings next year, which shouldn’t be hard), plus the difference between Santiago and Nolasco’s deals for the rest of this season, for the chance to see if Meyer can return to the level that made him one of the most highly touted prospects in baseball just a year ago. Considering the type of player a #15 prospect in the country is worth, only having to give up Santiago and take on $13 million is a bit of a steal."..........That's a far more palatable take than the official line, which is that by sending away 3 pitchers and getting 3 pitchers back equates to creating more depth in the pitching vertical...........
Taxes Toast: Here is an interesting comment & angle. Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register pops up with the factoid that signing Tim Lincecum pushed the Angels slightly over the luxury tax threshold, but dumping Joe Smith's salary might have brought them just back under. I have enough to do tonight without calculating all the AAV info for everybody coming and going (something that I have been promising, but for which I have been waiting to crank up until after we had passed the trade deadline). For now I will take Fletcher's word for it.That's enough to make a person go "hmmmm"...........
Doyer Vision: The Dodgers went cheap and chose to save some airfare. They told Yasiel Puig to stay behind as the team flew to Colorado. That way, whether they managed to trade him or send him down to AAA, they can save some travel and meal expenses. Remember that time when the Dodgers fans thought that Puig could be their answer to our Mike Trout? Those were fun times...........
2B of Not 2B?: Ouch. You know that other position we need to fix? Yeah, second base. FanGraphs updated their MLB rankings and you will have to scroll far, far down the page to find out where our scrappy infielder shows up. And that's even with Andrelton Simmons helping to upgrade his defense...........
Hill Blues: The Dodgers, starving for starting pitching too, acquired Rich Hill from the A's. (They got Josh Reddick, too.) The upside is that we don't have to face Hill in the AL west anymore, which is important. As FanGraphs notes, Hill might be the best pitcher in the American League. How many of you out there recall that just 2 years ago Rich Hill played under the Halo and was fired by Jerry Dipoto. To make room for Joe Thatcher. You remember Joe Thatcher, don't you??..........
Balancing Acts: FiveThirtyEight loses me. A lot. Smarter dudes over there than me, admittedly. And here they do it again, looking at how contending teams should avoid an old baseball saw at the trade deadline. "One school of thinking about the MLB trade deadline...is that teams should address their weaknesses and become more balanced in preparation for the stretch run. The notion, which we’ve taken as a given around these parts in the past, is that sacrificing in some area of strength...to plug a weakness makes a team less vulnerable in the postseason." My own school of thought is that teams should have a solid defense, 3 dominant starting pitchers. a reliable bullpen, and a super hot offense when the playoffs start. After that it's all a crapshoot, right?..........
Collegiate Collection Plates: Something to think about. We prefer to opt for college ballplayers when drafting because of their advanced development and proven competitive abilities through higher-level forges. But what we don't think about is the economic depths and burdens that those kids go through to get that far in the first place. This ain't like college football, folks.............
The Duffle Bag
Matt Kemp, dumped to the Braves, is promising Atlanta fans that they will see the Matt Kemp of old. I predict that Braves fans will merely get to see an old Matt Kemp.............This fan was probably the best scout in his troop. You can't get more prepared than that glove.............Yup. Ken Rosenthal really stepped into the goo with his ridiculously wrong Yasiel Puig report...........I am just exhausted by the repeated proclamations that the Oakland A's have restocked their farm for the eleventy-seventh time and will be formidable next year. or the year after that...........For the record, people, if anything like what happened to the Iowa Hawkeyes SBN site happens around here, I ain't going. I don't think that highly of my prospects............John McEnroe finally represents all of us non-pro ballplayers, and gets the ceremonial first pitch absolutely right. Awesome............Just because the trade deadline is now past, that doesn't meant that trades are now dead...........
(Finish your peas, people. You are cosing in, but nobody leaves the table until you have cleared your plate. The clue yesterday was that blue dot #1 is Troy Glaus. Today's clue is that blue dot #2 is Tim Salmon.)