Four Players the Angels Could Trade This Summer

Unfortunately, since we last checked in on the Angels, not much has changed. The team is fourth in the AL West, 13.5 games out of first place, and just two-and-a-half games better than the Oakland A’s. No one expected much from the Halos to begin the season, but at this rate, they’re more likely to be discussed in relation to the MLB Draft order than the Wildcard hunt. So where does LA go from here?

Turning an Eye to the Trade Deadline

In reality, the Angels season is probably over in the most meaningful ways. They won’t make the playoffs, compete for a Wildcard spot, or sport a lineup with one of the game’s best players. Mike Trout is still weeks (or months) away from playing again, and while Kevin Pillar (.330/.381/.578) has been sensational, he’s no Mike Trout. Now that June is halfway over, it’s time to start thinking about who the Angels should be shopping between now and the trade deadline on July 30. 

Taylor Ward

It seems almost inevitable at this point that Ward will be traded this season. He’s a classic midseason, corner outfield trade candidate. He has good power (49 homers since 2022) and has a decent glove in left field. Almost every playoff contender could use another bat like Ward’s in their lineup and he probably won’t be in the Angels long-term plans. After seven seasons in Anaheim, he’s become a fan favorite and people will be sad to see him go. But with the combo of his age, talent, and contract status (free agent in 2027), it makes too much sense for the Angels not to trade him. 

Tyler Anderson

After a remarkably bad debut season for LA in 2023, Anderson has completely turned his performance around this year. He’s currently sporting a 2.48 ERA in 15 starts and leads the team in WAR (4.0) by a wide margin. The 34-year-old has one more year on his deal and can really help bolster a playoff rotation. He probably fits best as a third or fourth starter, but that’s exactly what a lot of teams are looking for as they make playoff pushes. Of his 15 starts, 10 of them have been quality starts and he’s had six outings of seven or more innings allowing less than two runs. Given the way he’s pitched so far, the Halos need to strike while the iron’s hot and ship him out for a prospect or two.

Luis Rengifo

As much as Angels fans have come to love Rengifo, it might be time to bid the Venezuelan infielder goodbye. He’s been one of the more underrated players in baseball over the last three years and he’s still under team control through next year, which will increase the return LA can get for him. But that may be another reason the team wants to hold onto him. He’s leading the team in batting average (.313), on-base percentage (.359), and stolen bases (18), and his second in slugging (.428). He can be a reliable starter for a playoff team and provides great positional versatility with his ability to play second, third, shortstop, and corner outfield positions. To make matters sweeter, he’s still 27 and is a switch hitter. If the Angels do decide to trade him, they should receive a very nice prospect package as they look to rebuild the farm system.

Carlos Estévez

Estévez has pitched much better of late after he blew three saves earlier this year. He was an All-Star last year and has shown the ability to be a very reliable closer. But the Angels don’t really have much use for a good closer right now. He’ll be a free agent at the end of this season, and closers are always a hot commodity come July. Estévez won’t fetch a top prospect, but he’s worth more to the Angels as a trade asset than as their closer.

A few others who could also be traded…

Kevin Pillar has been phenomenal for the Angels after they signed him midseason. He’s slashing .330/.381/.578 and can still play a good center field. He could be a cheap and easy trade target for teams in desperate need of outfield bats.

Brandon Drury is still injured, but when he comes back, he’s a serviceable utility infielder who can hit for good power and is a free agent after this season.

Patrick Sandoval just hasn’t been able to reach his potential in Anaheim. He’s eligible for arbitration until 2026 and won’t turn 28 until October. Other teams may see potential in the lefty and he might benefit from a change of scenery.

Hunter Strickland, Matt Moore, and Luis García are all solid, cheap bullpen options that can prop up the bullpens of some contending teams. 

Main Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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