Jun 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick (22) crosses home plate after scoring a run against the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Angels 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Angels
Josh Hamilton was supposed to be the answer for the Los Angeles Angels, but he didn’t quite work out. Now, the Angels are need to fill the hole in their outfield, and MLBTradeRumors.com has reported that the Angels are seeking a left-handed outfielder. Why not Reddick? Billy Beane has already shown an unusual ability to work within the division and get trades done, despite how taboo that typically is.
The Return: The Angels’ farm system is fairly low on prospects that are worth the A’s time. However, there are two players the A’s should seek in exchange for Reddick: The Angels’ ninth-best prospect, Julio Garcia, and Danny Reynolds, who is ranked 20th. The Angels have something going for them that the other teams on this list don’t – they can simply buy the players they need if they trade them away. While the Mets and Indians must carefully balance current and future needs, the Angels virtually have a blank check to fix any errors that they may make. Because of this, they may be more willing to part with prospects in an effort to win now.
Garcia is very, very young. He’s not even 18 years old yet, and he’s already ranked highly on the Angels’ organizational rankings. For his Dominican Summer League team, he’s batting just .231/.264/.279 this season, but his defense is rated very highly. Garcia is a huge gamble, for both the A’s and Angels. He could turn into a star, or he could be a dud – it’s difficult to tell when a player is so young and at such a low level. What is certain, however, is that scouts believe he’s got the stuff to become a stellar shortstop, and that’s worth gambling on.
Reynolds is a more tangible player. He’s pitched over 30 innings with Double-A Arkansas this season, going 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA and five saves, after being moved from the rotation to the bullpen last season. Scouts grade his fastball at 70, which is outstanding for someone who isn’t quite the size of a prototypical right-hander. Most impressively, batters are hitting just .171 against him. If he can tone down his walks – 24 in 30 innings is horrifically bad – he could be a high-impact bullpen arm.
The Flaw in the Plan: As mentioned several times, Reddick is valuable because of the time remaining on his contract. The Angels’ don’t have too many prospects that are surefire successes. Would the A’s be willing to part with the player they know in Reddick, in the hopes of obtaining a couple of prospects who may or may not pan out down the road? Unlike with Brandon Moss and the Joey Wendle trade, the A’s are not looking to dump Reddick’s salary. They need to be certain that what they are getting is worth the cost of losing an outfield.
While the team’s uncertain future renders Reddick’s contract almost useless to them, it is hardly useless to another team that intends to compete this year or in 2016. It’s important to keep in mind that although the best thing to do is to move Reddick while he’s hot, there’s no reason to accept subpar prospects in return.