Los Angeles Angels
The Brewers are reportedly willing to trade from their pitching surplus to get offense. The Angels have some offense. They also have absolutely no pitching.
A large chunk of the Angels’ payroll is tied up in Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Anthony Rendon, and Justin Upton. Each one of them is making at least $23MM next season. Those pieces aren’t going to be trade targets for the Brewers, but the other members of their offense might.
Fletcher can play pretty much all over the place, but spent most of 2019 as the third baseman for the Angels. After the addition of Anthony Rendon, Fletcher mostly played middle infield in 2020. He can hit for a high average and although he lacks home run power, he had 30 doubles in 2019 and 13 doubles in 2020. He improved to a .801 OPS and 121 OPS+ this season.
Jared Walsh is a first baseman with big time power. In Triple-A in 2019, he hit .305 with 30 doubles, 36 home runs, and a 1.109 OPS in just 98 games. Then in 2020, he played in just over half the games for the Angels (32) and posted a .293/.324/.646 slash line with nine homers in 99 at-bats.
What’s interesting about Walsh is that he came almost out of nowhere. He was a 39th round pick out of the University of Georgia and never really showcased much power, only hitting six total home runs over three seasons. But he also spent time as a pitcher, starting eight games for the Bulldogs his junior season, going 5-2 with a 2.60 ERA.
The Angels have continued to use him as a two-way player, having him also pitch in the minors and he even made five appearances out of the bullpen in 2019. He continues to walk too many guys when he’s on the mound, and his long term future is likely as a hitter, especially given how his power has shown up in recent years.
Walsh and Fletcher both have numerous years of control remaining, are young, and have a lot of potential. Acquiring either one of them is going to have a high cost.
Another potential offensive option is catcher Max Stassi. Stassi has two years of team control remaining, both through arbitration. Unlike Omar Narvaez, Stassi had a good offensive season in 2020. However, Narvaez has a track record of success as a starting catcher while Stassi has been a backup most of his career and 2020 was by far the best season of his career.
The Angels are going to search far and wide for some additional pitching. The Brewers have some they can spare, and even though the Angels aren’t super deep on offense at the moment, they have some pieces that would intrigue the Brewers.