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How the Angels will win the 2020 World Series

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Existing players + upcoming talent + a few free agents = 2020 World Series or bust!

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

2020 is 3 seasons away. 2020 is also the last contract year for one Michael Nelson Trout. While the Angels have a chance to be a World Series team in 2019 (and maybe 2018 with the right moves), I think all the pieces are set to take home a trophy in 2020 - a parting gift to Mike Trout - or even better, a reason for him to stay.

What’s so great about 2020? Well, some of the Angels better players will still be around including Trout, Simmons, Pujols, and some key pitchers and some of the best talent in the Angels minor league system will be ready to go.

2020 Winning Lineup:

  1. Jahmai Jones, LF
  2. Andrelton Simmons, SS
  3. Mike Trout, CF
  4. Albert Pujols, DH
  5. Manny Machado / Nolan Arenado, 3B
  6. Matt Thaiss, 1B
  7. Brandon Marsh, RF
  8. Taylor Ward, C
  9. David Fletcher, 2B

How does this lineup not get you excited?? Machado is a free agent for the 2019 season and Arenado for the 2020 season. The Angels don’t really have a player in their system to fit the bill so a big free agent signing at 3B would help tremendously. Not a lot of money needs to be spent in other places so it also doesn’t kill the payroll. With position players, 1 & 6-9 in the lineup pretty much come at league minimum so you are paying for the heart of your order at 2-5.

Michael Hermosillo could be a likely 4th outfielder as well and Michael Barash could land as backup catcher to Ward. Some of this depends on how guys develop, but this could be one potent lineup with no rest for opposing pitchers. A big question would be how productive Pujols will be in 2020, but you can shift the lineup up and pull him out with very little effect to it’s potency - especially with a Machado or Arenado signing.

2020 Pitching Rotation

  1. Matt Shoemaker
  2. Tyler Skaggs
  3. Andrew Heaney
  4. Nick Tropeano
  5. JC Ramirez

These guys could still be in the rotation in 2020 barring injuries or trades since they will all still be under contract (or arbitration eligible). A LOT can happen with pitchers, as we know all too well but have no fear - there are others not listed here. If Garrett Richards can get healthy and stick around, you can throw him in the mix as well. Grayson Long and Jaime Barria will be ready by 2020 and are two of the best pitching prospects in the system. We also have Nate Smith, Parker Bridwell, and Troy Scribner - depending on how they all adjust from AAA to the big league pitching. The Angels probably don’t need to look for free agent starters over the next few years - unless they want to take a chance with high earning guys in their early 30’s which I don’t see happening.

2020 Bullpen

  1. Cam Bedrosian, Closer
  2. Keynan Middleton, Setup
  3. Blake Parker
  4. Eduardo Paredes
  5. Some other guys

Bedrock, Middleton, Parker, and Paredes should be the key bullpen pieces in 2020 and they are all good ones. Jose Alvarez and Mike Morin will be arbitration eligible and you can probably take them or leave them depending on the next few years. A few other minor league guys will be ready as well like Adam Hofacket and Abel De Los Santos and could play a role. Like starters, the Angels don’t really need to go out and spend much here either.

What about 2019? Yes, if the Angels go sign Machado, they could be pretty solid then as well. Jones may not be ready until late in 2019 though, and Marsh looks more like 2020, but you still have Calhoun in 2019. Long and Barria may not be ready in 2019 as well, at least not to start the season. BUT you do have mostly the same pitching rotation and bullpen in 2019 with a slight different lineup:

2019 Winning Lineup?

  1. Andrelton Simmons, SS
  2. Kole Calhoun, RF
  3. Mike Trout, CF
  4. Albert Pujols, DH
  5. Manny Machado, 3B
  6. Matt Thaiss, 1B
  7. Michael Hermosillo ??
  8. Taylor Ward, C
  9. David Fletcher, 2B

Even better about the above list? Depending on arbitration salaries and the contract for a 3rd baseman (I used $30 mil), this roster puts the payroll around 150 million.

2020 isn’t all that far away, and that team is shaping up to a great one! Oh - and also barring another 10 year extension, Mike Scioscia should be gone as well - so there is that...