That the Angels traded three of their seven best hitters this season by wRC+ — La Stella was third with a 134 wRC+, Goodwin sixth at 114, and Castro seventh at 99 — is a short-term loss, but expected. The Angels have the worst record in the American League at 12-24, so 2020 is done for anyway, and La Stella and Castro were pending free agents. The only surprise was that Andrelton Simmons, another free agent after the season, wasn’t traded.
For the three players that were dealt, the Angels got four players back in return. Franklin Barreto is the most known, a former top-100 prospect who came from the A’s. Also on the 40-man roster is Gerardo Reyes, the right-handed relief pitcher they got from San Diego in the Castro deal. Left-handed pitcher Packy Naughton is half of the return for Goodwin from Cincinnati, who will also send a player to be named later. That likely means it’s a player not currently on the Reds’ 60-man player pool, who can’t be traded until after the season. A source told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register that the PTBNL will be a pitcher.
Barreto was a consensus top-100 prospect for a whopping four straight seasons (2015-18) but hasn’t yet panned out at the big league level. He’s hit just .180/.210/.360 in 219 plate appearances in parts of four big league seasons, including 0-for-10 this season. His main duty for the A’s this year was pinch running, scoring five runs in that capacity.
He can play shortstop and second base, and despite playing parts of four seasons in the majors he will end 2020 with just over two years of service time, meaning Barreto wouldn’t be a free agent until after the 2024 season. If he can last in the majors, that is. Barreto is out of options, so he’ll be on the active roster once he clears intake testing after joining the Angels.
Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs ranked all the MLB prospects traded at the trade deadline, with Barreto ranking sixth out of 32 players. “Barreto has a potent bat control & power combo that has been totally undone by a feckless approach,” Longenhagen wrote. “Opinions are mixed on his glove.”
Naughton was ranked 15th by Longenhagen, and Reyes 25th. He described Naughton as “a high-probability backend starter/bulk relief type.”
The new pitchers
The Reds drafted Naughton out of Virginia Tech in the ninth round in 2017. In 28 starts last year between Class-A Daytona and Double-A Chattanooga, the left-handed posted a 3.32 ERA with 131 strikeouts and 35 walks in 157 innings.
The 24-year-old Naughton is not on the 40-man roster, though he is a candidate to be added this November. He is on the 60-man club player pool, which could mean at least getting reps in at the alternate training site in Long Beach in this lost minor league season.
Baseball America rated Naughton as the Reds’ 20th-best prospect at midseason, noting, “Naughton’s durability, pitch-mix and control give him a chance to stick as a back-of-the rotation starter. His stuff and arm slot give him a fallback as a lefty reliever.”
Naughton slides in as the Angels’ No. 13 prospect, per MLB Pipeline.
But there’s also this wonderful note from Angels communications manager Matt Birch:
If he gets called up, he'd be the first Packy to play in the Majors since INF Packy Rogers appeared in 23 games for the 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers.— Matt Birch (@MattBirch12) August 31, 2020
Reyes pitched in the majors last season with the Padres, striking out 38 and walking 11 in his 26 innings. He had a good 7.62 ERA but a 3.41 FIP to go with it, since his underlying numbers were better. Based on batted ball data, his expected batting average allowed in 2019 was .185 and expected slugging was .323 per Baseball Savant, compared to the actual .240 average and .410 slugging percentage against him.
Reyes’ calling card is his fastball, which averaged 96.9 mph in the majors last season. In his ranking of the prospects traded over the weekend at FanGraphs, Longenhagen wrote, “Reyes is a funky reliever with big arm strength and 35 command.”
San Diego acquired Reyes as part of the Wil Myers trade in 2014. Reyes, now 27, will have one more option year remaining after using them in 2019 and 2020. He’s at the Angels alternate training site for now, like Naughton.
Le quiero dar las gracias a la Organizacion de los Padres de San Diego, al cuerpo tecnico, mis compañeros y a los fanaticos por toda su ayuda y su apoyo incondicional.— Gerardo Reyes (@Gerardo15Reyes) August 31, 2020
Me siento muy contento por la nueva oportunidad de continuar mi carrera con Los Angelinos de @Angels pic.twitter.com/2qZzaP0gtF