The Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB), who made the “Winnow trade” a month ago, have abandoned their season. The Angels placed five veterans on waivers today (30th) local time: starter Lucas Giolito (29), reliever Reynaldo Lopez (29), reliever Matt Moore (34), outfielder Hunter Renfroe (31), and outfielder Randall Grichuk (32), all of whom are set to become free agents. This means the team will no longer use them.
If another team picks them up before August, they can be used in the postseason. They don’t have to be traded, just picked up for their remaining salary, so they’re expected to be in high demand by teams with fall baseball possibilities.
From the Angels’ perspective, with a postseason berth virtually eliminated, this seems like an attempt to get rid of players who are likely to leave the team after this season as soon as possible to reduce payroll as much as possible. And while it makes sense on the surface, it’s hard not to feel bad for the Angels because of the sacrifices they made to acquire these players.
Team sacrificed 2-3-8-28th-ranked prospects to get him…waived after one month
Angels general manager Perry Minasian announced late last month that he would not trade superstar Shohei Ohtani, 29, and that he would ride him into fall ball. Since then, he has turned into a “buyer” in the trade market.
The first deal they made was to acquire right-hander Giolito and closer Lopez from the Chicago White Sox. To get them, the Angels had to give up the team’s second-best prospect at the time, catcher Edgar Cuero (20), and third-best lefty Kai Bush (23). Cuero was the 65th-ranked prospect in the league. That was back on the 27th of last month.
The Angels’ trade for the postseason continued: on the 31st of last month, they acquired outfielder Grichuk and first baseman CJ Cron (33) from the Colorado Rockies.
Of course, they weren’t free. In exchange for them, the Angels had to give Colorado right-hander Jake Maddon (21), the team’s eighth-best prospect, and left-hander Mason Albright (20), the 28th-best prospect.
Cron, who was also placed on waivers, was actually destined for the same fate, but was spared waivers because he was placed on the 18-day disabled list (IL) with back inflammation and hasn’t returned.
In other words, the team has effectively “used up” all of the players they acquired a month ago at a cost of their own – the 2-3-8-28 prospects on the team.
Renfroe-Moore ‘goodbye’ in less than a year
The Angels’ losses are even greater if you include Renfroe. The Angels acquired Renfroe in a three-for-one trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on Nov. 23 of last year.
The prospects dealt were the team’s 16th-ranked prospect, right-hander Jansen Junk (27), right-hander Elvis Peguero (26), and left-hander Adam Semeris (24). It wasn’t a huge hit, but it was still a deal that included a top-30 prospect on the team. Peguero, in particular, has been a great addition to the Milwaukee bullpen this season with a 3.48 ERA in 54.1 innings and 18 saves.
In a fortunate twist of fate, Moore was a free agent signing in February, so there was no player outflow.
Paying a luxury tax that can definitely be avoided…monetarily the best option
The local consensus is that the Angels can avoid the luxury tax by waiving these five players. This year’s luxury tax threshold is $233 million, but the Angels’ payroll (total player salaries) is $235.26 million. They are currently over the threshold by about $2.26 million.
The salaries of these five players against the Angels’ payroll are Renfroe ($11.9 million), Grichuk ($10.03 million), Moore ($7.55 million), Giolito ($3.49 million), and Lopez ($1.28 million).
All five are likely to be picked up by other teams, so the Angels would be able to avoid paying the luxury tax if their remaining salaries were eliminated. Financially, it’s a win-win.
Angels fail to make last-ditch deal…may part ways with Ohtani
Ohtani had a lot to do with the fact that the Angels, who were expected to be sellers at the trade deadline, became buyers. By deciding not to let Ohtani go at the trade deadline, the Angels dreamed of fall baseball with Ohtani and Mike Trout (32).
But the Angels, who were 52-49 at the time of the buyout and trailing the third American League (AL) wild-card team by four games, were forced to accept a more depressing 63-70 record despite the bolstered lineup.
Given the weakened offense and Ohtani’s desire to play for a team that can contend for a postseason berth, it appears that the Angels and Ohtani are parting ways after this season.스포츠토토
The blame for this all falls squarely on the shoulders of Angels owner Art Moreno, who has shown a history of focusing on the present rather than the future of the team, and this year he completely botched his “farming” with a series of poor decisions. He also gave away a bunch of the team’s top prospects for virtually nothing, which makes future farming even less certain.
What does the future hold for the Angels with Moreno as owner? I can’t wait to find out, myself.