The Los Angeles Angels appeared to be adding Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling but for whatever reason, the trade ultimately was not meant to be.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins were able to work out the trades to land Mookie Betts and David Price in LA and Kenta Maeda in Minnesota. And during the trade discussions, the Los Angeles Angels fell out of the picture.
The initial report of the blockbuster trade came last Tuesday. Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol (from Minnesota) were going to Boston, Maeda to Minnesota and Betts and Price to LA. Also in the framework was a deal to send Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Los Angeles Angels for Luis Rengifo and some unnamed prospects.
The initial trade was never made official as the Red Sox, amidst backlash, did not like what they saw out of Graterol’s physical. Trade talks had to reopen and the Dodgers ended up with Graterol but had to send Boston two more prospects — Jeter Downs and Connor Wong.
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This really did not seem to affect the Angels’ side of the trade at all, but it did. It was announced that the Angels portion of the trade was called off, with reasons still completely unclear. The Angels missed out on a power-hitting left-handed bat and former all-star starting pitcher.
The worst part? The speculation is that it is the Angels’ fault, not the Dodgers. This does not seem to be a case of the Dodgers changing their minds, but the Angels getting impatient with the process. The speculation is that Arte Moreno, the Angels’ owner, became impatient and pulled out of the deal.
Billy Eppler said on Monday, “There are a lot of components in deals that need to be satisfied before you get to a point where you are calling players and informing them. We weren’t able to get to that point. And in fairness to our players and players with other organizations, we won’t comment further than that.” (via ESPN).
There does not appear to be any reason why the Dodgers would pull this part of the trade. Sure, the Red Sox are now paying half of David Price’s salary, but it was already reported that the initial trade would see them pay a portion of the contract, it was just unsure how much.
Maybe the Dodgers were able to negotiate it up to half in order to keep Joc, but I doubt that they would even do that unless the Angels pulled out on their side of things.
There is no putting it lightly: this is a massive shame for the Los Angeles Angels organization. This was a trade that the Angels were doing the Dodgers a favor and freeing up some salary-cap space. And by doing so, the Angels were getting a power-hitting bat and an arm they could really use.
It is not like the Angels completely fleeced the Dodgers, as they needed the money freed up and have a surplus both in the outfield and in the starting rotation, but they were obviously getting the better side of the deal from a pure talent standpoint.
Pederson is not a huge loss. He would have just been a one-season rental and the team can rely on Jo Adell to come up to the big leagues if needed. Stripling is a massive loss, as he seemed to be the final arm that was needed to shore up the Angels’ rotation.
Did we mention that the Angels were getting these assets for virtually nothing? And that the team was not waiting for weeks on end, they had to wait just five days?
If the speculation is true, if Arte Moreno pulled out of the deal simply because he could not handle waiting and wanted to prove a point, then every single Angel fan has the right to criticize the franchise.
This is not an owner stepping in and stopping a trade because he does not like the assets. This is an owner not liking that he didn’t get what he wanted as soon as he wanted it and decided to be stubborn and knowingly make his team worse in the process.
It can be hard to root for an organization that has an owner like that, and If I were Arte Moreno and the Los Angeles Angels, I would come out with some answers fast.