The biggest question surrounding the Angels this offseason is not whether or not the team will trade offense for pitching, but rather which hitter they will trade, as a couple of Angels hitters- 1B Mark Trumbo, 2B Howie Kendrick, and SS Erick Aybar – might be the answer to GM Jerry Dipoto’s quest to upgrade his starting pitching.
Kendrick, on the surface, would appear the most likely to go considering his trade value is probably the highest with second basemen being a hot commodity around the league right now. The 30-year old is due only $18.85MM over the next two seasons but he does have limited no-trade protection that allows him to block deals to 12 clubs in 2013 and six in 2014.
Mark Trumbo’s salary, on the other hand, is just starting to trend upwards as he is eligible for arbitration for the first time this season. Trumbo is projected to earn $4.7 million according to Matt Swartz of MLBTradeRumors.com, but the bigger issue for the Angels if they were to trade Trumbo, however, would be replacing the power bat he brings to the middle of their order that has produced more home runs than both Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton the last two seasons.
Finally, there is Erick Aybar, but he seems to be the least likely of the three given that replacing him would not be easy with quality shortstops becoming harder to find in today’s market. Nonetheless, the shortstop is due $17MM over the next seasons and could be a fit for the St. Louis Cardinals who have made it clear they are looking for an upgrade over Pete Kozma this offseason.
Either way, the Angels are going to get pitching, some way, somehow.
Source: Ken Rosenthal Fox Sports