Decisions, decisions …

la-sp-billy-eppler-angels-la0031516476-20151005I wrote earlier today about first-year GM Billy Eppler keeping his options open and why he’ll probably rely heavily on a loaded free-agent class.

The Angels enter the offseason with up to six needs for their Major League club: catcher, second base, third base, utility infield, left field and a back-end reliever, ideally a lefty. They could also opt to sign a front-line starter, but that’s more of a luxury than an actual need. They have starting pitching depth. But signing an attractive free-agent starter (David Price, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, etc.) could free Eppler up to trade from that starting-pitching depth and fill other needs.

Below is a look at some of the more attractive free-agent and (potential) trade options at each of the Angels’ positions of need. You’ll probably notice right away that I didn’t include Matt Wieters among catchers. I just don’t expect them to bid so high for him. 

(* indicates they were given a qualifying offer)


Free agents: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Brayan Pena, Dioner Navarro, Alex Avila, Geovany Soto
Trades: Stephen Vogt (OAK), Jonathan Lucroy (MIL), Wilson Ramos (WAS), Gary Sanchez (NYY)


Free agents: Howie Kendrick*, Daniel Murphy*, Ben Zobrist, Chase Utley
Trades: Neil Walker (PIT), Brandon Phillips (CIN), Aaron Hill (ARI), Hanser Alberto (TEX)


Free agents: David Freese, Juan Uribe, Mark Reynolds,Casey McGehee
Trades: Trevor Plouffe (MIN), Yunel Escobar (WAS), Todd Frazier (CIN), Martin Prado (MIA)


Free agents: Sean Rodriguez, Mike Aviles, Asdrubal Cabrera, Cliff Pennington, Kelly Johnson, Stephen Drew
Trades: Jed Lowrie (HOU)


Free agents: Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton*, Jason Heyward*, Alex Gordon*, Gerardo Parra, Colby Rasmus*, Nori Aoki
Trades: Preston Tucker (HOU), Brett Gardner (NYY), Josh Reddick (OAK), Jay Bruce (CIN), Yasiel Puig (LAD), Carl Crawford (LAD), Andre Ethier (LAD), David Peralta (ARI)


Free agents: Tony Sipp, Antonio Bastardo, Matt Thornton, Oliver Perez, Neal Cotts, Rich Hill
Trades: Mike Dunn (MIA)



Do not give up a draft pick – go with:

C = Dioner Navarro
2B = Be Zobrist on a 2 yr deal – Taylor Featherston after that.
3B = Trevor Plouffe – Minnesota needs relievers – we have depth there
LF = Trade for Brett Gardner and get true leadoff hitter – Trade a starting Pitcher other than Richards, Heaney, Newcomb.
SP = Winning Bid For Kenta Maeda from Japan, if posted. Add Weaver and use Santiago as swingman if need be or starter until Newcomb/Skaggs deemed ready.
Trade Wilson to Dodgers and get some prospects – our minors is pretty darn bare! We unload $20 mil and could turn that into Cespedes if we do not get Gardner and or a run at David Price if we do not land Maeda.
RP = Antonio Bastardo or Tony Sipp

This is not an attractive list to pursue. Wouldn’t trade pitching for any of these guys.

Realistically the A angels are 3-5 years away from being able to compete with K.C., or Toronto, or just being relevant. Moreno won’t.spend the money thats needed to bring us a championship. He blew up the bankfor Pujols and Hamilton. It’s. been known for years that we don’t. have a farm systemthats relevant!! Been an Angel fan since 72, seen it all.Go Angels!!!

3-5years? They finished one game out of the playoffs and their starting pitching is better than KC now. They need a couple of legit hitters and to strengthen an already good bullpen. Not sure what you’re looking at. With Trout as their centerpiece they are right there.

Trade for Andrelton Simmons and move Aybar to 2nd base, sign Salty or Navarro, resign Freese or trade for Frazier, bring back Sean Rodriguez as a utility player, sign Bastardo and trade Wilson to the Dodgers for Puig (Having Pujols and Trout to guide him should turn him around.)

This has nothing to do with this post but just the first one I saw with comments so hoping you’ll see this – but do you know anything about Mickey Stubblefield?

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