The Angels are likely to upgrade their starting rotation through trades as opposed to free agency, and they could look to deal Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo to achieve their goal (MLB.com, Oct. 31).
Specifically, the Angels have already shown a willingness to deal both Trumbo and Bourjos to acquire starting pitching (Olney, Oct. 29), although it’s possible they could look to trade Kendrick first before considering deals for their extra outfielders (Heyman, Sept. 6),
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The Mets and Angels have always seemed set up to work together. The Mets have desirable young pitching, which the Angels want, and the Angels have a variety of players at positions the Mets still need to solve (first base, middle infield and outfield).
I don’t believe Sandy Alderson is particularly interested in Trumbo, although that could depend on how he rounds out the rest of the roster and what he can get for Ike Davis, if anything. Aybar and Kendrick, who have been available since last winter, should pique his interest, as well. The buzz from LA is that they’re seeking a young, inexpensive starting pitcher and not prospects, which sounds like Dillon Gee, or maybe even Jon Niese, and I don’t know if the Mets are willing to make this type of move given Matt Harvey‘s surgery.
For Michael Baron's thoughts on Kendrick, Aybar, Bourjos, and Trumbo, click here...
Michael Baron, Contributor
Despite dealing with some injuries in 2013, Bourjos is ultimately a part time player. While he’s an excellent defender, the Mets have a few players like Bourjos already.
Trumbo, too, has holes in his game. Trumbo is a better first baseman than he is an outfielder, and so I wonder if the Mets would be interested in him primarily for first base. He hits for a lot of power and could be one of the Mets most productive hitters. He struck nearly four times as much as he’s walked last season, which is pretty much in line with his career trend. There’s no question his power could be a nice complementary piece for a future Mets lineup, but he should certainly not be considered a centerpiece, by any means.
As for Kendrick, he has always been a solid and consistent offensive player, proving to be a steady top-of-the-order presence for the Angels. He’s an older and more expensive version of Daniel Murphy, except he’s a right-handed hitter and would likely be a moderate defensive upgrade to Murphy at second base, if the Mets acquired him. With that said, I’m not sure how much better Kendrick would make the Mets, unless, of course, they are able to deal Murphy for another need this winter.
Aybar could be a decent fit for the Mets, should they not fill their needs at shortstop via free agency. He is a similar offensive player to Murphy – he doesn’t hit for much power, doesn’t get on-base very much, but hits a lot of doubles and has ok speed. He also has historically struck out less than Murphy. Aybar isn’t a very good defensive player but he can play second and short, can fill in at third and has played some in the outfield during his career.