We spend so much time combing through the rumors mill looking for players that the Angels can acquire at the trade deadline, but seldom ever do we fans actually think about what our team has to offer. This is a problem not unique to the Angels, just about every fan base is guilty of it and why we see so many stupid fan trade proposals out there (Castro and Garza for Trout, really?). Let’s be better than those fans and take an in-depth look at the trade assets that the Halos will have at their disposal this trade deadline
Blue Chips (reserved for blockbuster trades only)
Peter Bourjos – We’ve seen his name pop up in rumor speculation from practically the first second that he was called up by the Halos for the first time. This despite Jerry Dipoto stating in no uncertain terms several times that he is not interested in moving Bourjos and me threatening to go on a six-state killing spree if Speedy Petey gets traded. That being said, he isn’t totally untouchable. If Arte and JeDi decide to throw financial caution to the wind and pursue a superstar via trade (not that there really are any available at this deadline), then, and only then, would Bourjos get shipped out.
Jean Segura – He is their de facto best prospect right now, he plays a premium position and he is close to big league ready. That is the holy trinity of trade deadline assets. Teams capable of reading a basic depth chart also know full well that the Angels have no real need for him, which could suppress his value by a marginal amount. But just because he is blocked in the majors doesn’t mean the Halos are going to give him away for nothing. He’s Dipoto’s deadline ace in the hole and he isn’t going to pull him out just to throw down a two-pair hand.
Garrett Richards – Richards faltered recently, but he showed enough at Triple-A and in his first few starts to intrigue other organizations. Any other year, and we’d probably be hearing a lot more of his name in trade rumors but with the Angel rotation so perilously thin, there is no way the Angels move him. Really, teams shouldn’t even bother to ask.
Consolation prizes (Quality pieces with proven skills but also potentially fatal flaws)
Hank Conger – He was once a blue chip prospect, but his inability to stick in the majors has really hurt his stock. That being said, Conger can hit and is nominally a catcher, that is going to intrigue certain organizations even if his defensive work is highly suspect, depending on who you ask. Seeing how John Hester and Bobby Wilson continue to serve as the Angels’ catching tandem despite the presence of Conger, it is pretty safe to say that Hank is someone they won’t mind moving.
Kole Calhoun – Here is an interesting case of performance vs. tools. On paper, Calhoun looks like he is ready to be a very productive regular in the bigs. However, from the scouting persepective, there are questions as Kole just doesn’t show a lot of the flashy tools that make scouts drool. However, more saber-friendly front offices might be higher on him than others since Calhoun has shown good plate discipline and impressive power as he has rocketed up the minor league ladder. Tools be damned, he can play. It is possible though that the Angels keep him as a potential replacement for Torii Hunter, assuming he is shown the door when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
Jordan Walden – Surprised to see him here? You shouldn’t be. Yes, he’s been shakier than an over-caffeinated epileptic during an earthquake, but LOOK AT THAT RADAR GUN! Just because he gives Angels fans ulcers doesn’t mean some GM out there isn’t eager to get his hands on a flamethrower with a wicked slider (when he can get it over the plate) young reliever that has shown he can close games in the majors. More importantly, they will want to try and get him while his value is suppressed like it is right now. Jerry Dipoto is probably too smart to sell low on Waldo and, more importantly, probably not willing to mess with a bullpen that is suddenly one of the best in baseball.
Ariel Pena – With Richards graduating, Pena is the de facto best starting pitcher in the Angel farm system, despite his meltdown at the Futures Game. His stock is peaking right now, but there remain a lot of questions as to whether or not he can stick in the rotation or have to move to the bullpen as he lacks an established third pitch. Still, his results speak for themselves this year and a GM that believes in his stuff playing as a starter will likely value him highly. The problem is that the Angels might value him highly as well since he is one of their few legit pitching prospects that is even sort of close to being ready for the majors.
Kaleb Cowart – Cowart has always had big-time raw tools, but only now is he finally starting to refine those skills. He’s having a big season and likely to crack a few Top 100 prospect lists. The only reason he is in this section is that he is still a long ways from being ready for the Show and let’s just say that slugging Angel third base prospects that tore up the low minors don’t exactly have a great track record of sustaining that same success in the high minors and majors. Of course, with him being labeled as the Angels’ long awaited third baseman of the future, the club might be reluctant to include him in any deals.
Not for the risk averse (players who can be part of a big package, but not necessarily as a centerpiece of said package)
Steve Geltz – The current obsession of Angel prospect geeks everywhere, Geltz is the Angels best relief prospect at the moment. He posted video game numbers in Double-A before getting promoted to Salt Lake where he has hit a bit of a rough patch. The big knock on him is that he is an extreme flyball pitcher, which makes him susceptible to the longball. He could cancel that out with his ability to miss so many bats and could interest a club that plays in a spacious home stadium.
John Hellweg – Hellweg was last year’s Pena. His build and velocity make him a tantalizing prospect, but his lack of control can be downright frightening at times (that statement applies to interested GMs as well as opposing batters). Interest is the tall right-hander has cooled off this season, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have several suitors when Dipoto starts getting into trade negotations. If Jerry strictly adheres to his mantra of controling the strike zone, that probably makes Hellweg a pitching prospect that he’d rather flip for some big league talent rather than hold onto in hopes that he magically finds his command.
Taylor Lindsay – He’s leveled off some after a breakout 2011 campaign, but still hold plenty of value as a second baseman with a potent bat. The problem with him is that “second baseman” part. Reviews are mixed on whether or not he can handle the position defensively, so his trade value will differ from team to team based on the defensive evaluation.
Travis Witherspoon – Teams impressed athletic ability are going to go crazy for Witherspoon. It is really only just this season though that Witherspoon has been able to translate his physical abilities into high quality production. There is a chance though that his success is based on him being a man amongst boys physically in the low minors. His plate discipline has taken a hit since he jumped to Double-A, so the chinks in his armor are starting to show a bit again, but it hasn’t been so bad that opposing front offices couldn’t decide to roll the dice that he can make the adjustments.
C.J. Cron – He was supposed to be an advanced power bat coming out of college who could fly through the minors, but his plate discipline hasn’t been as good as expected. The fact that he doesn’t really have a position doesn’t help either.
Pot sweeteners (prospects that can be added to packages to put them over the top
Nick Maronde/Austin Wood/Michael Clevinger – Draft picks from 2011 that all have very nice potential but simply lack enough of a track record to be a major trade piece.
A.J. Schugel/Max Russell/Matt Shoemaker/Orangel Arenas - Starting pitchers short on actual talent and stuff but who have enough success in the minors to be worth taking a flier on in a more low-profile trade.
Daniel Tillman/Dakota Robinson/Yancarlos Santiago – Relievers with quality stuff but ugly minor league statistics.
Carlos Ramirez/Darwin Perez/Ryan Mount/Andrew Romine – All leather, no wood.