Miley Cyrus used to be Hannah Montana, giggling and singing her way to incredible Disney fame. There were cute songs about how Billy Ray taught her everything (#awww). Now, she’s twerking and hinting at cocaine use. So, when I suggest that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will win the World Series, remember that significantly stranger things have happened.
Before examining a number of trades and moves that this team should make, let’s just acknowledge that they aren’t very good. We’ve seen flashes, and those flashes could be expected. The front office assembled a team with very spotty back-end starters, and took risks on a few bullpen arms that haven’t worked out. Offense is always going to come and go; this team’s biggest issue is its poor pitching.
With that on the table, I’m going to propose a number of moves that the Angels can make that will catapult them to the World Series this year. Enjoy.
1) Trade for Ervin Santana
The Angels need to bolster their rotation. Kansas City has this Santana guy who’s having a good season. He had a crappy year in 2012, so the Royals will probably sell low as everyone expects him to repeat 2012 over the final two months. The Angels should give the Royals minor league reliever Brandon Sisk, who hasn’t allowed a run since the Angels acquired him.
2) Trade for Aroldis Chapman, Joey Votto, and Shin-Soo Choo (throw-in)
The Angels could use the flame-throwing Cuban and Joey Votto’s canadianism. Cincinnati would be reluctant to part with the two studs, so the Angels would have to give up quite a lot. Ryan Madson is a natural fit, having not been able to play in the year that he was under contract with the Reds. Another former Red, Josh Hamilton, could be enough for Cincy to bite, but the Angels probably wouldn’t want to move Hamilton without getting a right fielder back. So the Reds throw in Shin-Soo Choo and we call it a day.
3) Trade Albert Pujols for a 21-year-old SS/3B that hits a lot of doubles
The Angels probably don’t think the Pujols deal is going to work out in their favor. So they should hit the reset button, and trade him for a young player who plays on the opposite side of the infield. He should be 21, as the Angels only have one really good 21-year-old on their roster. Oh, and it’s very important that he hits a lot of doubles, because the Angels could really use more doubles.
There aren’t many obvious choices, but I like Orioles youngster Manny Machado. Baltimore already has a first baseman named Chris Davis, but they could use Pujols as a designated hitter. They’d need to replace Machado at third, so the Angels would probably have to part with Alberto Callaspo. It would be sad to see Callaspo leave, but I think it’d be the right move because of the 21-year-oldness and the doubles that Machado brings to the table.
4) Trade for Jean Segura, Johnny Hellweg, and Ariel Pena
Jean Segura is a good shortstop that can hit a little bit, Hellweg has top-of-the-rotation upside, and Ariel Pena is a solid prospect. Roughly ten starts of a rental pitcher should be enough to acquire all three of them. Jason Vargas would almost be enough on his own, but the Angels would probably have to include Erick Aybar so that the Brewers had a shortstop.
5) Trade for Yu Darvish
The Texas Rangers just lost their top third base prospect to get a starting pitcher, and now they’ll need to shuffle some things around. To replace prospect Mike Olt, the Angels can give them Kaleb Cowart. The Angels can also include Michael Roth and David Carpenter to even out the deal. Yu Darvish is really good, so Cowart alone wouldn’t be enough.
6) Trade for Buster Posey and Matt Cain
With Cain’s down season, escaping his gigantic contract will be huge for the Giants. Posey’s value will never be as high as it is now, so the Angels would have to give up a lot to make it happen, even if they took on all of Cain’s contract.
If the Angels offered Chris Iannetta, Jerome Williams, and prospects R.J. Alvarez, C.J. Cron, Austin Wood, and Wendell Soto, the Giants would probably pull the trigger. That’s a HUGE haul, and there would be a lot of #HUGS to sort through, but Posey and Cain are worth it.
To recap here are the players the Angels should acquire:
- Ervin Santana
- Aroldis Chapman
- Joey Votto
- Shin-Soo Choo
- Manny Machado
- Jean Segura
- Johnny Hellweg
- Ariel Pena
- Yu Darvish
- Buster Posey
- Matt Cain
But they have to give up all these guys:
- Brandon Sisk
- Ryan Madson
- Josh Hamilton
- Albert Pujols
- Alberto Callaspo
- Jason Vargas
- Erick Aybar
- Kaleb Cowart
- Michael Roth
- David Carpenter
- Chris Iannetta
- Jerome Williams
- R.J. Alvarez
- C.J. Cron
- Austin Wood
- Wendell Soto
The Angels give up a lot, but get plenty in return. If the Angels make all of these moves, they should be in line to win the World Series this year.