After you read this article, you’ll cry foul and tell me the title is misleading. It probably is, but the Angels as currently constructed look like they’ll be one of the more docile ball clubs in the Winter time and trade deadline. Why? Jerry Dipoto built this team, his team, not just for 2014, but beyond. Consider this…
At catcher, Hank Conger is locked up for another four years and Chris Iannetta for another two, so you won’t see any action on that front this winter. The Angels may explore minor league catching though, as there’s next to nothing in terms of catching prospects.
At first base, the Angels will roll with Albert Pujols for the next seven years. Even if he transitions to DH, you’ll see either C.J. Cron or Efren Navarro man first base. You won’t see the Angels pick up a first baseman for YEARS.
At second base there may SOME entertainment if you’re lucky. Kendrick is under contract for an additional year and the organization has both Grant Green and Alex Yarbrough as potential replacements. Chances are Kendrick will stay put though.
At shortstop, Aybar has it covered for another 2 years after 2014 and even then the Angels are likely to either extend him or go with defensive wizard Eric Stamets. Not too exciting.
The outfield is set for the next four years with Hamilton, Trout and Calhoun. Even the back ups are promising in Navarro and Cowgill.
The Angels currently have six capable starting pitchers in Weaver, Wilson, Richards, Skaggs, Santiago and Shoemaker. They’re also about to add more to that list as Michael Roth and Nate Smith have been outstanding in AA, Kyle McGowin is coming off the DL soon, Michael Clevinger continues to shake off the rust and Austin Wood is finally back into baseball games. The Angels also have newly drafted Top 100 prospect Sean Newcomb set for AA next year as well as the under rated Chris Ellis and a plethora of exciting young arms like Ricardo Sanchez, Hunter Green, Joe Gallo and Alfonso Alcantara. There should be a steady flow of starting pitchers breaking into the majors for the Angels beginning next year.
As far as relievers go, the bullpen is stocked and only Thatcher and Grilli are free agents next year. The Angels have the money to re-sign both, but also have impressive prospects ready for a call up such as Cam Bedrosian, Jairo Diaz and Danny Reynolds.
So where exactly do the Angels improve over the Winter? How about next winter? The truth is, what you see is what you get from the Angels right now, and thankfully for Dipoto’s job security and his fan’s sanity, the Angels are a playoff caliber squad.