Angels sellers again at trade deadline despite star power
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — While the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers were making moves during Tuesday’s trade deadline to bolster their rosters for a postseason run, Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian was left answering questions after his team went into sell mode.
Despite having two of the top players in the game in AL MVPs Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the Angels are hurtling toward their seventh straight losing season.
“I still think there’s talent here. We have to find a way to stay healthy,” Minsasian said. “We’ve got to find more depth. I’ve got to build a better roster and that’s something that we’re going to attack this offseason.”
The Halos went into Tuesday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics a season-high 16 games under .500 at 43-59. They are in fourth place in the AL West after being tied for the lead with Houston in the middle of May.
While some wondered if Ohtani would be on his way out of Orange County, the Angels did trade starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, closer Raisel Iglesias and outfielder Brandon Marsh.
Syndergaard and Marsh were dealt to the Phillies in separate deals. Iglesias is headed to Atlanta.
“Looking at where we’re currently at and big picture, I felt like this was the best way to go for the organization,” said Minasian, in his second season as general manager.
The Angels received right-hander Jesse Chavez and lefty Tucker Davidson from the Braves, which should help a taxed pitching staff the remaining two months. Los Angeles also got outfielders Mickey Moniak and Jadiel Sanchez for Syndergaard, and catcher Logan O’Hoppe in exchange for Marsh.
Moniak, the top overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft, will get plenty of opportunities the next two months, while O’Hoppe and Sanchez are minor league prospects.
Minasian has had to answer plenty of questions about a roster lacking depth. But now he is fielding concerns about Trout and Ohtani’s futures.
Trout is tied for fifth in the AL with 24 home runs but has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons. He is on the injured list with back issues after being limited to 36 games last season due to a calf injury.
Besides Trout, Anthony Rendon has struggled with injuries. The 32-year-old third baseman has played in 155 of the Angels’ 384 games during the first three seasons of the $245 million, seven-year deal he signed before the 2020 season.
Ohtani is under contract through the end of next season before he is slated to hit free agency. The two-way Japanese phenom hasn’t discussed an extension as he looks to see if the Angels can build a club that can eventually contend for a playoff spot.
When asked if he could do enough this offseason to convince Ohtani to stay beyond next season, Minasian tried his best sales pitch.
“I always feel a sense of urgency. You want to win here,” he said. “There’s obviously established players, superstar players. We’ve got to build a better supporting cast around him. I think this is a great place to play. I think this is a great organization.”
How much that will help the Angels this season remains to be seen. They are 16-30 since firing manager Joe Maddon on June 7. That is the worst record in the AL over that span and third worst in the majors.
Los Angeles was 6-18 in July and batted just .199. Both of those were franchise lows for July in a full season.
Phil Nevin replaced Maddon as the interim manager, but the organization could be looking for its fifth skipper since 2018 during the offseason.
“We still have two months to go,” Minasian said. “Nobody likes where we are in the standings, but it’s two months of major league games with opportunities for a lot of guys that might not have necessarily had opportunities before.”
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