Thanks a lot, Angels. Here I am doing a weekly series on which players on your MLB roster you should trade at the deadline since you are so obviously going to be a seller and you have to go and rattle off a winning streak to put yourselves within striking distance of .500 and spitting distance of the Wild Card race.
Now I don't know if the Halos are going to be buyers or sellers. Hell, even GM Jerry Dipoto admitted last week that he didn't know either. You've made life very difficult for me, but I'm not going to fight it. MWAH prides itself on being fair and balanced so I will humor your winning ways and include an entry into the trade candidate series discussing which prospects they could look to trade in the event they decide to become buyers.
This is that piece. You are reading it now. Well, not this specific sentence. This is just explaining why I am writing all the things I'm going to write in the following paragraphs. Quit taking everything so literally. Just read about some prospects, and yes the Angels do actually have some, and be happy about it
C.J. Cron – Say hello to this year's big trade piece. Now sob gently because he really isn't that big of a trade piece. Cron is a solid hitting prospect, but he hasn't lived up to his draft hype. His plate discipline has been lacking and he has yet to translate his "light tower power" into game action this year. There is also the problem where he might be a DH, so his potential suitors are limited. While he could still be useful and have a good career, he is blocked for the next decade in Anaheim, so moving him isn't just a good idea but practically a necessity. One could even argue that the Halos need to move him now before he has another season like this one where his best tool, his power, doesn't show up like it should, killing his value.
Kole Calhoun – Perish the thought, I know. Calhoun has a growing cult following thanks to his productivity in the minors. However, the Angels seem reluctant to call him up and give him playing time. But the fact that he is big league ready could make him very marketable to sellers that think they can get competitive in the near future. That is a factor that could easily make up for his lower ceiling.
Kaleb Cowart – Coming into the season Cowart was the Angels' top prospect and third baseman of the future. Then he forgot how to swing from the left side of the plate. He probably still retains his Top 100 prospect status, but his shine is definitely starting to dull. Given the lack of high upside players in the paper thin farm system, the Halos would be foolish to move Cowart even with his struggles, but if Dipoto pulls off a surprise and goes after a big ticket trade target, Cowart will almost certainly have to be included.
Randal Grichuk – Grichuk is starting to blow up in Double-A even though his numbers don't exactly show it. He certainly has some holes in his game, but his stock is definitely rising. Much like Cron, Grichuk doesn't have anywhere to play for the Halos in the next few years and since his big flaw is a lack of patience at the plate, he may not fit the mold of players Dipoto wants to build around which could well lead to him being a piece that gets shopped hard.
Travis Witherspoon – Witherspoon is having a real rough year in Double-A, but he is also still dripping with athleticism. He won't bring back anything major, but there are organizations out there who love to gamble on toolsy prospects like Travis, so don't be surprised if the Angels pull off a smaller move that includes him.
Taylor Lindsey – There has been a lot of talk this year about the Angels maybe choosing to trade away Howie Kendrick as part of a mini-rebuilding effort. A big reason why that is even plausible is because Lindsey has had a breakout season in Arkansas. He's flashed some real potential with his bat that could have him rating as the best prospect in the Angel system when everyone creates their list this off-season. That is the kind of heat the Halos might want to take advantage of. Lindsey's stock is never going to be higher and the Angels don't exactly need him anytime soon, so they could try and cash in on him at his peak value.
Alex Yarbrough - Yabrough is like a poor man's version of Lindsey in that he is making a good showing this season and boosting his stock, but he is even more blocked than Taylor because he is behind Lindsey on the developmental curve. That makes him a nice expendable complementary piece for any trades the Halos might get into.
Mark Sappington - Finally, we get into the pitching. We all know that the prime currency at the trade deadline is starting pitching prospects which is kind of unfortunate because the Angels don't really have any. Sappington is probably the best they have right now. For that reason I am throwing him in here as a representative of sorts for all the low-level arms they have that could attract teams that feel like they are the right arm to gamble on. That includes Sappington, Austin Wood, Austin Adams, Reid Scoggins and a few others. None are likely to fetch a big return but have enough boom-or-bust potential to be a key component of a larger package.
Nick Maronde – He'll have his name mentioned merely because of where he rated coming into the season, but don't expect him to be moved. Not only has he been converted to relief, but he has been a mess in terms of his command and now reports from the minors are that his velocity is down The Angels would be selling way low with him, so they are better off holding onto him and hoping he rebounds.
A.J. Schugel – This is as close as the Angels have to a big league ready starting pitching prospect. Schugel though has been miserable at Salt Lake this season, so he isn't going to be highly sought after.
Matt Shoemaker – Calling him a fringe prospect might be generous, but the Mets recently asked for him when they were in trade talks with Collin Cowgill, so obviously at least one team likes him and the Halos think enough of him to turn down the inquiry. That has to count for something, right?
So now you see why what little info Dipoto is willing to divulge is that the Angels would only make smaller moves at the deadline if they become buyers. They just don't have a lot that is going to interest other teams besides cash and that can only take you so far.