The Angels are in desperate need for starting pitching this offseason without many great options behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson in the rotation. And since they're not expected to be big spenders in free agency, a trade could be expected.
And since they have one of the worst farm systems in baseball, a trade of one of their big league hitters is likely. To be more specific, it would make the most sense to trade from an area of strength, and that would be their outfield.
With Josh Hamilton untradeable because of his hefty contract combined with his decline in production and Mike Trout untouchable because he's a superstar making slightly over the minimum salary, all signs point to either Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo being shopped.
So it was no surprise that Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted earlier Tuesday that the Angels have indicated a willingness to trade either player for pitching.
While the 26-year-old Bourjos flashed some offensive ability in his first full big league season in 2011 (.765 OPS, 12 HR, 26 2B, 11 3B, 22 SB) to go along with exceptional defense in center field, he's had trouble staying on the field since due to injuries. And he's struggled at the plate when he has played (.659 OPS in 156 games in 2012-2013).
Bourjos' value is down and the Angels will quickly discover that it's not the ideal time to trade him.
Trumbo, on the other hand, has averaged 32 homers and 94 runs batted in during his first three big league seasons. Even though the 27-year-old has some holes in his game—he strikes out a lot (152 strikeouts per season), doesn't get on base enough (.299 career on-base percentage) and doesn't offer strong defense at a premium position as Bourjos does—plenty of teams would love to add a proven power hitter with three years left of club control to the middle of their lineup.
Not only will the Angels find that trading Trumbo gives them their best shot at acquiring the young and controllable starting pitcher they're reportedly seeking, replacing a first baseman/corner outfielder/designated hitter can be found at a value on the free-agent market.
In the Angels' case, though, they already have a potential replacement for Trumbo in left-handed hitting Kole Calhoun, who posted an .809 OPS with eight homers in only 58 big league games in 2013. He's also versatile, capable of playing every outfield spot and first base.
Now that we've established that Trumbo is a very likely trade candidate, let's take a look at some teams with a need for power and enough pitching depth to potentially strike a deal.