Stoneman’s Lair: Angels Acquire David Murphy, David DeJesus, Shane Victorino

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Trade Deadline Tracker

UPDATE, July 31, 5:45PM: According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, the Angels are still looking at making moves, but warned fans not to expect anything to happen today. Waiver deals are likely on the menu now.

  • In addition to this, Fletcher reports that Angels GM Bill Stoneman and his assistants had lots of discussions about different types of players right up until the deadline.
  • Stoneman himself even said, “You don’t do something crazy just to make a headline. That’s not what it’s about.”

UPDATE, July 31, 10:00AM: According to sources, the Angels were one of the last teams reported to be in on the Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes, who in the end was traded to the New York Mets for two prospects. It is not certain how far talks went between the Halos and Tigers, or which players were involved in said discussions. But apparently there was a significant offer, and the Tigers went went the Mets. We will have additional updates if more information about trade talks surface.

UPDATE, July 29, 2:30PM: The Angels have signed left-hander Wesley Wright to a minor league contract.

  • Wright, 30, was designated for assignment immediately after throwing just 1 2/3 innings for the Orioles this year after spending three months on the disabled list for strain and inflammation in his left shoulder.
  • Once a big part of the Cubs’ bullpen, Wright had a 3.17 ERA, with a 6.9 K/9, a 3.5 BB/9 in 2014. Unfortunately, he was non-tendered, and then signed a one-year, $1.7 million contract with the O’s.
  • Should a spot open, Wright could possibly serve as an additional lefty option in the Angels’ bullpen alondside Jose Alvarez and Cesar Ramos. The Halos are, however, searching for more a bullpen arm in a deal that would be similar to what they got out of veteran Jason Grilli last season.

UPDATE, July 28, 6:00PM: The Halos have acquired David DeJesus from the Tampa Bay Rays for right hander Eduar Lopez.

  • The 35-year old DeJesus is the second left bat the Halos have acquired today for the purpose of platooning against right-handed pitching, hitting .263/.331/.384 in that spot. DeJesus has also slashed .285/.362/.441 against righties for his career.
  • Lopez, a 20-year old pitcher from the Dominican, was listed by Baseball America as the Angels’ number 22 prospect coming into the 2015 season. At the Rookie level, Lopez had a 4.32 ERA in 33 1/3 innings.
  • 28-year-old right-hander Jeremy McBryde was DFA’d to make room for DeJesus. At AAA Salt Lake, McBryde posted a 5.63 ERA, with a good 8.5 K/9, but a high 3.7 BB/9 in 46 1/3 innings.
  • DeJesus will most likely platoon at designated hitter with C.J. Cron, as well as any of the three outfield spots when needed. This ensures the Angels a good amount of veteran outfield depth, as the club also added Shane Victorino and David Murphy to improve production at left field and DH.

UPDATE, July 28, 5:45PM: The Angels have acquired David Murphy from the Cleveland Indians for shortstop prospect Eric Stamets and cash.

  • Murphy, 33, is making $6 million this season, with a $7 million club option for 2016, and a $500,000 dollar buyout. Mainly platooning in the corner outfield spots for the Indians’, the lefty hitting Murphy has a .296/.344/.437 line with 5 home runs in 229 plate appearances this season.
  • If Angels don’t pick up Murphy’s 2016 option, Tribe will be on the hook for the $500,000 buyout.
  • Stamets, a 23-year-old glove-first shortstop, was a sixth-round pick of the Halos in 2012. At AA Arkansas this season, Stamets has hit .248/.306/.360 with three homers in 241 plate appearances. Baseball America had him pegged as the Angels’ number 23 prospect in their system.
  • To make room for Murphy, the Angels DFA’d right hander Vinnie Pestano, 30, who had a 5.40 ERA in 11 2/3 innings over 19 appearances. Pestano was once a key piece in the Indians bullpen, but has struggled at times to regain that form. He had good numbers in a small sample size with the Halos in 2014. But has only 30 1/3 MLB innings in the past two seasons.
  • Murphy will serve the same role with the Angels as he had with the Indians, and will mainly platoon in left field with newly acquired Shane Victorino.

UPDATE, July 27, 3:10PM: The Angels have acquired outfielder Shane Victorino from the Red Sox in exchange for minor league infielder Josh Rutledge and cash. Victorino, 34, a right-handed hitter after being a switch hitter until 2013, owns a .245 batting average and a .324 on-base percentage in 106 plate appearances.

  • Victorino will serve to help add bench depth, which the Halos were looking for in addition to possibly a big bat and a reliever. If this, however, is what the Angels are going with in left field, it’s very likely that Victorino will be a platoon partner in left field with Daniel Robertson.
  • This will add speed to the Angels offense, something they need more of. There’s a chance Victorino and Robertson will split time in LF. That is, unless there’s more coming, and then both will serve as the fourth and fifth utility outfielders.
  • With $4.9 million remaining on Victorino’s $13 million dollar salary — he signed a $3-year, #39 million dollar contract in 2013 — the Red Sox will pick up $3.8 million of that, with the Angels only paying $1.1 million. That would be the equivalent of about a $3.3 million dollar salary over a full season. Not bad.
  • Even if the Angels don’t get another bat in LF, a Robertson/Victorino platoon is still a major upgrade over Matt Joyce. Victorian’s .245 BA is almost 60 points higher than Joyce. Imagine where the Angels’ offense would be if Joyce at least had that BA, which is a hair below his career average.
  • This move may have also sealed the fate of Matt Joyce. There’s a good chance he’ll not be on the Angels’ roster on August 1.

To continue our new weekly running post of ‘Stoneman’s Lair’, we are monitoring the trade deadline as it approaches. We have more updates, rumors, opinions, and actual trades. How about we get right to it:

  • The Angels made their first trade on Friday, acquiring third baseman Conor Gillaspie from the White Sox in exchange for cash considerations.Gillaspie, 28,had been designated for assignment by Chicago after struggling with a .237/.276/.364 slash line in 185 plate appearances in 2015.AccordingtoFanGraphs, that and low defensive ratings, has him at a full win below replacement level.
    • Last season was better for Gillaspie, as he posted a .282/.336/.416 line over 506 plate appearances. But he only hit .245/.305/.390 in 2013, his first full season. So it’s hard to tell what Gillaspie is right now as a Major League player.
    • Gillaspie will most likely be a stop-gap option in place of the recently injured David Freese, who is out three weeks with a broken index finger. Upon Freese’s return, the Halos may just DFA Gillaspie since they already have plenty of bench options in Kyle Kubitza (adding LF to his pallet), Daniel Robertson, Grant Green, Efren Navarro, among others.
    • The Angels are, however, looking for bench depth as well, so Gillaspie may stay with the club, especially if the front office deals any of the current bench options as part of a package for a bat, or for a reliever.
    • Pitcher Adam Wilk was designated for assignment following this move.
  • Andre Ethier is having a bounce back .276/.361/.459 season. And in a piece by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Sherman suggests that the Angels’ pitching surplus could spark a deal with the Dodgers. The most obvious scenario involved sending C.J. Wilson up the freeway for Ethier. Wilson has about $28 million remaining on his contract, while Ethier’s deal has approximately $46 million remaining. The question is whether or not it’s worth it to either club.
  • Indians corner outfielder David Murphy is now on the Angels’ radar, according to Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports report. Another lefty bat who can play left field, Murphy, 33, has a .299/.347/.443 slash line in 224 plate appearances, one of his best seasons so far. Murphy also has a smaller contract than some of the big bats on the market. He has a $6 million salary, and a $7 million 2016 team option with a $500,000 buyout. This would be a smart option if the Angels are not willing to deal from the pitching depth they just built in the past two years.
  • Another clever and creative move would be Chris Coghlan of the Cubs. Also a left bat with above average hitting ability, and some pop, Coghlan would fit in as another platoon option with players like Daniel Robertson. The 30-year old lefty bat has a .254/.345/.429 line with 10 homers, and a 115 OPS+, and is on a modest one-year, $2.51 million dollar contract. Not a whole lot has been mentioned about Coghlan, but whispers have popped up here and there.
  • Moves like these would save money, and add flexibility to find a reliever. Since Trevor Gott is going through some growing pains, the Angels’ front office is also looking around to see if there’s a fit for a seventh inning arm.
  • Although the Angels prefer more controllable bats, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tells us that rentals are not out of the question for this trade deadline. With free agency looming at catcher, third base, and left field, the club prefers players they can plug into a spot beyond 2015. This would take care of some of the offseason moves the Halos would have to make. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that players who are controlled beyond this season may cost a little more than players signed through 2015. It’s for this reason that players like Murphy and Coghlan have popped up on their radar after being linked to players like Jay Bruce and Adam Lind. Lind would also be a rental, but would cost a bit more. Yoenis Cespedes has also been rumored as a target for the Halos. But who knows the Tigers’ asking price?