The 2016 MLB trade deadline has come and gone. There were a lot of big deals made at the eleventh hour. After doing a hold out act — making people think they were considering standing pat as opposed to selling — the Angels included themselves in the fun. The club dealt two of their key pieces over the last few seasons. The question was what can they get? Let’s take a look.
Today the #Angels acquired RHP Ricky Nolasco and RHP Alex Meyer from the Twins in exchange for LHP Hector Santiago and RHP Alan Busenitz.
— Angels (@Angels) August 1, 2016
At first glance this deal was puzzling. I raised my eyebrows. Then I walked into Big 5 looking for an electronic dartboard. And when I couldn’t find one that I liked, I refreshed my MLB Trade Rumors app on my iPhone, and finally read the article right there in the store.
When I read about Alex Meyer, it started to hit me.
The only way the Angels could get a young highly regarded prospect of any kind for Hector Santiago is if they took on something else, such as… Ricky Nolasco. After all, they will need to fill in those innings in place of Hector. So the Twins sent cash to off-set Nolasco’s additional salary.
The Angels also sent young arm Alan Busenitz, a non-namer prospect who was actually having a fine season at AA Arkansas.
However, setting all of that that aside for a moment, Meyer is probably the most they can get as far as any prospect that has been highly regarded and/or ranked anywhere. After being drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft, Alex Meyer was ranked in the top 100 until last season. Control problems stung him, and then shoulder injuries ensued. The Twins moved him to the bullpen, and he faired better. But his shoulder caught up to him back in May of this season. He hasn’t pitched since.
So in all likelihood, unless Meyer can bounce back as a young starter, he will be a future key bullpen piece. That’s still a good thing.
Remember, Scott Downs had a great season going for him in 2013 when he was dealt to the Braves for former first round pick Cory Rasmus, who also suffered injuries that had him converted to relief duty. Rasmus finally broke out in 2014, but injuries continued to plague him in 2015 and this season as well.
But who’s to say Meyer will have the same bad luck as he develops?
All I know is that Alex Meyer is probably as good as any organization can get for Hector Santiago. And including Ricky Nolasco is more of an ultimatum to ensure a GM can get the best possible return for a pitcher like Hector Santiago.
Angels fans need to accept the fact that a starting pitcher with an ERA and FIP over 4.00 is not getting a top prospect package at the trade deadline.
This trade is what the front office had to do to get anything young for Santiago.
Moving on now…
Today the #Angels acquired RHP Jesus Castillo from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for RHP Joe Smith.
— Angels (@Angels) August 1, 2016
This one was a lot easier for me to contemplate. Smith has been up and down all season long. Mainly because of injuries. He’s spend that last several weeks getting himself right, and he’s pretty much done that of late. However, the entire sample size of 2016 diminished his value as a top set up man.
Even last season, Smith was dealing with some nagging injuries that made his performance shaky at times. And as things took a sharp turn off the road for Mr. Smith, the back end of the Angels’ bullpen went into a downward spiral.
And with it went Smith’s trade value.
But they got Jesus Castillo, a young pitching prospect who is still in A-Ball, and is pitching quite well with a 3.27 ERA as a starter. This is a kid who could develop into something decent for the future of the Halos’ pitching staff, even he just turns out to be a key reliever, like Alex Meyer may turn out to be.
As of right now, Castillo is projected to be a starter. Not exactly an ace, but maybe a Nick Tropeano; not high-ranking but can possibly turn out to be an effective back end starter under-the-radar.
No matter the case, the Angels are lucky that Joe Smith’s trade value replenished just enough in the past month or so to get a Jesus Castillo. Otherwise, this would be just another deal for cash considerations in August.
Overall, the Angels got what they could get for the trade value they had available at the deadline. You want a major haul? Then they need to trade Mike Trout or Kole Calhoun, neither of which should even be considered.
At least the Halos got something in return for what is league average value at this point.