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GAME THREAD: 4/28/21 Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians, 12:10 CDT


Fun fact: 

 

Kirilloff's hard hit percentage (63.2%) and average exit velocity (94.2 mph) is higher than Cruz's hard hit percentage (59%) and average exit velocity (93.9mph) and just behind Buxton's at 64.6% and 95 mp, but he's hitting .115. Classic.

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Why is LaTroy Hawkins calling Jim Thome, "Thome"?  It sounds so impersonal.  Hawkins is terrible in the booth.

 

Maybe that's what he calls him? I've always liked Hawkins.

 

Today there seems to be a delay between all of the feeds. Thome, Hawkins, and the play-by-play guy are all basically doing this on a Skype call.

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The Angels front office has generally been ineffective sure, but Mike Trout getting them 10 wins actually has hurt the Angels.  I did the breakdown a couple years ago, but Trout has singlehandedly dragged them into the middle of the draft every year, where they would otherwise be in the top 5-10.  As such, the Angels have missed out on premier talent and draft pool money that could have made the last 2-3 years very different.

That's a really weird way to look at a team when the goal is to win.

 

"You're too good and make us win more than we would without you!"

 

Especially in the case of the Angels who are a high spending team and flush money down the drain with frightening regularity.

 

The Angels ineptitude is 100% on the front office and ownership, as Moreno meddles far more than he should with far less expertise than someone making those decisions should have.

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True story ... went to the grocery store this morning to pick up a few things ... decided to make chicken tonight ... did my shopping, and on my way home realized I forgot the chicken.

Ha!

 

It was as though fate decided that you shouldn't tempt fate!

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That's a really weird way to look at a team when the goal is to win.

 

"You're too good and make us win more than we would without you!"

 

Especially in the case of the Angels who are a high spending team and flush money down the drain with frightening regularity.

 

The Angels ineptitude is 100% on the front office and ownership, as Moreno meddles far more than he should with far less expertise than someone making those decisions should have.

 

That's the exact way to look at team building if your goal is to actually assemble a championship roster.  Mike Trout does you no good if you can't surround him with enough talent to get to the playoffs and make noise there.  Once you get to 2017/2018/2019 and it's clear the minors are bereft of talent, and the payroll is pretty much tapped out, there was nowhere for the Angels to go but down.  Mike Trout acts as a parachute, keeping the Angels from truly bottoming out.  Obviously, the Angels organization is a disaster, and that's not Mike Trout's fault, but for the Angels to truly become a legitimate contender for a world series, getting a haul of prospects in a trade for Trout, plus $35M a year is probably the best way forward.

 

Sure, they clear a lot of salary with Pujols and Fowler going away, but they only have three starter pitchers under contract for 2022--Ohtani, Canning (career 4.73 ERA), and Saurez (career 7.99 ERA).  4 of their top 8 relievers this year by WAR will be UFA, and they'll need to give arb raises to 2 of the remaining 4.  To get a quality pitching staff they'll probably need to sink close to $50M into it, and they still will need starters at first and short.

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Nice win today. If buxton could only stay healthy, there is no telling what kind of season he would have. He is so dialed in this year, it is description defying. This guy was not supposed to be a HR hitter...maybe 10 or so...but his power swing is a thing of beauty.

Good to see Donalson snap his slump...ditto Garver. The turtle contributed. Many here can't stand him, but its a darned good thing the Twins kept him around. Sano might snap out of his slump, but in the meantime Turtle is not hurting the team,.

7 more good innings from Happ. Taking up some slack for Maeda's trainwreck season so far.

 

The test will be can they string a few W's together.

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Obviously, the Angels organization is a disaster, and that's not Mike Trout's fault, but for the Angels to truly become a legitimate contender for a world series, getting a haul of prospects in a trade for Trout, plus $35M a year is probably the best way forward.

We've been down this road before. You are still ignoring key facts:

 

1. It's impossible to get anything remotely like fair value by trading an elite guy like Trout. Prospect returns don't increase on a linear scale, they're basically capped at something like the Chris Sale return which can be good but is still quite a bit of a crapshoot.

 

2. Drafting 5-10 slots higher is nice, but it doesn't move the needle dramatically in MLB drafts either. MLB top 5-10 draft picks are still mostly busts or average players.

 

3. With extensions and long terms of team control, $35 mil doesn't usually go very far in MLB free agency. Betts and Tatis Jr will never even hit FA, for example. More than likely, that money will go to players who are worse bets than Trout, potentially much worse.

 

There are certainly cases where it makes sense for a team to trade a star player. This was not one of them.

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We've been down this road before. You are still ignoring key facts:

 

1. It's impossible to get anything remotely like fair value by trading an elite guy like Trout. Prospect returns don't increase on a linear scale, they're basically capped at something like the Chris Sale return which can be good but is still quite a bit of a crapshoot.

 

2. Drafting 5-10 slots higher is nice, but it doesn't move the needle dramatically in MLB drafts either. MLB top 5-10 draft picks are still mostly busts or average players.

 

3. With extensions and long terms of team control, $35 mil doesn't usually go very far in MLB free agency. Betts and Tatis Jr will never even hit FA, for example. More than likely, that money will go to players who are worse bets than Trout, potentially much worse.

 

There are certainly cases where it makes sense for a team to trade a star player. This was not one of them.

 

You're right--we have had this debate, in the 2019 offseason.  Since then, the Angels have gone 109-135 (equivalent to 72-90--their exact record in 2019), and finished 24 games out of the playoffs in 2019, 3 games in 2020 (would have been 9 if not for 3 more teams, equivalent to 24 games in a 162 game season), and are currently less than a 50% chance to make the playoffs this year.  Having Mike Trout has done the Angels no benefit in the grand scheme of winning a championship over the past 2 years, and it's not looking like it's benefitting them much right now either.

 

1. Getting fair value depends on your definition of fair.  The Angels would undeniably be a worse team now if they traded Trout.  Would the 2-5 players the Angels get back be worth more WAR combined than Trout in 2 years?  Probably not--Trout is in all likelihood still a great player as he approaches 32. But if you look at some peripherals, there's reason for some concern.  Trout's babip and hr/fb are at completely unsustainable levels, he's pulling the ball more than he ever has, his contact rates are notably down, and he's swinging and missing at a career-high rate.  His UZR/150 in CF, which had stabilized in 2018, has been negative ever since, meaning he'll likely have to shift to left.  He'll still be above average there, but the shift costs him 10 runs, or one WAR.  Given all that, are the 2-5 players you get for him worth more WAR than Trout in 5 years, when he's about to be 35, and perhaps transitioning to part time DH?

 

2.  You're right it's not the same as the NFL or NBA draft, but moving up in the order gets you a better chance to get a better player.  It also gets you more money to get better players at the bottom of round 1, and in rounds 2-3.  It's a big part of why teams that are bad for 2-4 years generally have the best farm systems (this year, according to MLB, Tampa is #1, but Detroit, Baltimore, Seattle, and Miami round out the top 5, with Pittsburgh and KC also in the top 10).  The Angels are in the mid-20's; do you think picking higher in the draft the last 2-3 years might be a boon to their system?

 

3.  $35M every year is still significant.  It would have gotten you Cole last year, and put you in the conversation for Bauer this year.  Having that available would have allowed you to make a play for Betts, or any other player approaching free agency (like Lindor, or Bogaerts--who can opt out after next year).  Or, you could fill 2-3 holes with solid regulars, which is what has bedeviled the Angels for years; an inability to fill out a roster of quality options.

 

The case for trading Trout is that the ANgels were clearly heading into 2019 nowhere near being able to compete.  That's been true the past 2 seasons (when Trout was 41st in all of baseball in PA's), and doesn't show a ton of signs of being different this year.  Why keep trotting him out there, getting nowhere, rather than admitting that you've mismanaged your team, and hitting reset?  I confidently predicted before the season in 2019 the Angels would not make the playoffs with Trout until 2022 at the earliest, and right now, I'm leaning towards expanding that to 2023 or 2024.

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Thome keeps saying Eddie Rosario is going to be a great player once he gets more experience.  Do we think Jim is aware that Eddie turns 30 at the end of September, and has 2900+ career MLB PA's?

 

That makes him a "pup" compared to where Thome was at the end of his career  (10,300+ PA).

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