According to a 2011 poll nearly 80% of Americans believe in Angels. I believe in Angels as well. Just a different variety.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have issues. Mainly the luxury tax. That won’t be helped by some arbitration raises that are due. They also have holes. Specifically in the pitching department.
Because of this taxation situation they will likely look to shed some salary while filling holes cheaply. They have multiple options in regards to fixing it but the Pirates can play a role in their plans, regardless of what they are.
The Pirates have surplus pitching. Much of it is the young, cheap variety. Bullpen arms, starting depth, whatever the Angels desire the Pirates have in some manner.
The Pirates also have holes. They aren’t necessarily set at Shortstop, and Firstbase is a disaster.
That matches up perfectly with what the Angels have to move.
Aybar has years of control and he’s much younger than Clint Barmes. He also costs $8.5 million a season through 2016. He brings a much better bat than Barmes and is insurance for Jordy Mercer. The defense? Not as good, but passable, close to average.
An upgrade at short. A professional hitter! On top of the upgrade at short it would allow the Pirates to spell Neil Walker with Jordy Mercer against lefties as they were polar opposites last season.
Aybar is a switch hitter like Walker. This would give the Pirates even more flexibility to mess with pitching matchups.
Not too expensive. Upgrades the offense. Increases positional versatility. Not a bad target.
Kendrick is also rumored to be available. He is expensive at $9.35 million in 2014 and $9.5 million in 2015. He’s also a righty, which isn’t necessarily what the Pirates are looking for at PNC Park. He’d come to play firstbase.
He doesn’t hit for a ton of power, but he hits for a really high average and gets on base at a decent clip.
Howie hasn’t played much first recently due to a logjam at the position but he’s played it enough in his career (78 MLB games) that I don’t think he’d have a problem picking it up. He’s another versatile player. He can play second and has spent time in the outfield.
You might even be able to upgrade second with a guy like Kendrick. I just don’t see the Pittsburgh Kid going anywhere.
He hits lefties and righties, that’s something this team really needs more of. Too often they get men on and just get pitched around. That’s because platoons suck.
He is 30. That magic number where people think it starts to go downhill. On top of that his home/road splits are worrisome.
There are worse options, this one definitely comes with some risk.
Trumbo is a guy that many Pirates fans actually wanted at the deadline. He seems destined to be moved this offseason. The Angels have infield depth and he’s due for an arbitration raise that they probably aren’t going to want to stomach.
In his past three seasons he’s knocked in 87, 95, and 100 RBI respectively.
His average was way down this season but he still knocked in 34 homers. He’s another righty, that might sap a bit of his power but generally guys with his type of pop are more likely to carry it over than those with just moderate pop. He’s a 30 homer guy in basically any park.
He’s also young, just 27, and versatile playing hundreds of innings in both the outfield and at first.
Team control would extend to 2017 and after that he’d likely be the type of player that gets a qualifying offer.
The elephant in the room are his numbers against righties. They stunk last season.
I don’t know what to make of that. It was the first time that happened. Was it a fluke? For comparison’s sake here are his other seasons.
The Pirates face a ton of righties but, at the same time, last year appears to be an outlier.
Trumbo is a really good player. A higher end player. He definitely improves this team and would really put the power potential through the freaking roof. Imagine Andrew McCutchen, Mark Trumbo, Pedro Alvarez, Marlon Byrd in a lineup together. That’s a big league lineup.
I’ve had my eye of Cron for a bit. Cron had a disappointing season in AA. He started off on fire, played well in the Future’s Game but then scuffled in the second half.
Cron is a lot of potential, he was the third ranked prospect in the organization before last season. The problem obviously is his Major League readiness. He’s another righty, and he probably needs some time in AAA to iron out his strikeout issues. Not necessarily great for this season, but if the Pirates decide to go with a platoon again they could probably get him cheaper than the other options on the table and use him next season.
He’s a legit power prospect, but not what a lot of fans want to hear about right now.
I know, I know, he played with the Mariners. My blog, my post, if I want to cheat I will! The guy has played 464 out of 620 games as an Angel. He’s still an Angel to me dammit.
Morales does have power. He also gets on base at a decent clip. He’s had a .273 or greater average for four straight years with a .785 or greater in that span.
He’s a switch hitter. Very valuable in my eyes.
There is some question as to his defensive ability at this point. He might not be the greatest as he’s only spent 109 games there since 2009 (didn’t play in 2011).
He’s also a Free Agent. Signing him might depend on what the Mariners do. If they make a qualifying offer it will cost the Pirates a first round pick.
That might not be so bad considering where they are drafting this year. It might be better than giving up a prospect in a trade.
If he turns down a qualifying offer that likely means the Pirates are going to have to go multiple years and spent some decent change on him.
If that’s the case you better be sure you’re getting a guy that can actually play first.
If you wanna keep the system stocked and/or upgrade other positions with prospects Morales might be the way to go. You just spend cash for him, lose that draft pick and then upgrade somewhere else.
The Pirates and Angels matchup too well to ignore. Both teams have tons of options together and should really work out some sort of deal.
It could greatly benefit both teams in the end.