MLB Trade Ideas: 5 Reasons the Yankees and Angels Are Perfect Trade Partners

Nathan TannerContributor IIIApril 28, 2011

MLB Trade Ideas: 5 Reasons the Yankees and Angels Are Perfect Trade Partners

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    The Los Angeles Angels currently have the fourth-highest payroll in Major League Baseball. This is uncharted territory for a team not known to spend big.

    On the other hand, the Yankees have always had a huge payroll. The team generates a tremendous amount of money and they can pay players more than most teams in baseball.

    The Yankees have a phenomenal batting lineup, but many holes in the pitching rotation. With uncertainty surrounding Phil Hughes’ recovery, the need to acquire top pitchers becomes that much more urgent.

    The Angels have a great rotation and several of their top pitchers will be looking for big contract extensions in the next few years. If the Angels do not appear to be World Series contenders by the trade deadline, owner Arte Moreno may make some moves to trim their payroll.

    If he does look to make a deal, the New York Yankees make a perfect trade partner.

    Here are five trade scenarios that could make sense for the Yankees and Angels:

5. Dellin Betances and Eduardo Nunez for Jered Weaver

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Pitcher Jered Weaver #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts after called for a balk against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty I
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Would the Angels really trade a pitcher who is 6-0 and has an ERA less than 1.00?

    I doubt it. But if the Angels aren't contenders by the deadline, and they aren't willing to give Weaver a big extension, they might be open to a trade.

    The New York Yankees desperately need someone like Weaver. He is arguably the best pitcher in the AL and continues to improve. To land Weaver, the Yankees would have to give up top prospects such as Dellin Betances and Eduardo Nunez.

    Betances is a 23 year old right-hander who stands at 6'8". According to Baseball America, he is the Yankees’ top pitching prospect and is currently in Double-A Trenton. His best pitch is his fastball which he consistently throws at 95 mph. He also has a great curveball and an effective changeup.

    Nunez is currently playing in the big leagues as the Yankees’ utility infielder. He has a great arm, decent speed and can hit for contact. The Angels have an unproven infield and could use another shortstop or third baseman.

    Angels fans wouldn’t be too happy about Weaver leaving, but Betances and Nunez would be good replacements.

4. Joba Chamberlain for Fernando Rodney

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    BOSTON, MA - APRIL 10:  Joba Chamberlain #62 of the New York Yankees reacts after giving up two runs against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park April 10, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Is it too early for the Yankees to give up on Joba Chamberlain?

    Once thought to be a franchise pitcher, Joba now finds himself just trying to keep his spot in their bullpen. He reported to spring training overweight (insert "Joba the Hutt" joke here) and has been very inconsistent this season.

    Should the Yankees look to deal Joba and add a proven arm to their bullpen, Francisco Rodney would make a great addition.

    Rodney is in the last year of his contract and the Angels would prefer to make a deal rather than see him leave as a free agent.

    Moving to Anaheim would help Chamberlain escape the pressures of playing in New York and give him a chance to start over.

    Rodney is a great fit in New York and the Yankees have the money to give him an extension should he earn one.

3. Brett Gardner for Vernon Wells

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    If Brett Gardner continues to struggle, the Yankees may get anxious and look to trade him.

    Gardner had an impressive first half in 2010, but has not been the same since. After the All-Star break his batting average was .233 and he’s only hitting .145 this year.

    Should the Angels be out of contention as the trade deadline nears, they will try to dump Vernon Wells’ salary. Heck, they are probably trying to dump his salary right now. The Yankees are one of the few teams that could handle his contract and may be open to a deal if they think he can add value.

    Both Wells and Gardner are corner outfielders who have great gloves. Wells is a former Gold-Glover and Gardner ranked second in left field assists last season.

    Gardner is five years younger and makes about $25 million less, so the Yankees might be hesitant to pull the trigger. But stranger things have happened. Before the Angels traded for Wells, he was thought to be “untradeable.”

    Maybe lightning can strike the same place twice.

2. Gary Sanchez and Andrew Brackman for Dan Haren

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    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 02:  Starting pitcher Dan Haren #24 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Texas Rangers during the spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The great start to Dan Haren’s year has been overshadowed by Jered Weaver’s historic April.

    Haren has flown under the radar since being traded to the Angels in July 2010. He has posted brilliant numbers this season and currently ranks third in wins and ERA.

    Weaver and Haren are both set to be free agents in 2012. Should the Angels decide to keep only one of them, Weaver will get the money and Haren will be dealt.

    The Yankees would love to take Haren off the Angels’ hands and might be able to get him to the Big Apple by giving up two prospects—Gary Sanchez and Andrew Brackman.

    Sanchez is a great defensive catcher, but is very raw. He ranks as the Yankees’ second-best prospect and will take a few years to develop. With Hank Conger playing great, the Angels can take the necessary time to groom Sanchez.

    Brackman is a right-handed pitcher who stands nearly seven feet tall. He has impressed professional clubs for several years and could make an immediate impact for the Angels.

    Brackman is currently at Triple-A Scranton and will probably get called up to the big leagues at some point this season.

1. Jesus Montero for Ervin Santana

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    Of the five trades listed, this one makes the most sense for both the Yankees and Angels.

    The Yankees clearly need another starting pitcher. Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon are filling the void, but they are not long-term solutions. Ervin Santana would suit them well.

    Santana is the third-best pitcher on the Angels but gets paid like he’s the number one option. He is scheduled to earn $8.0 million this year and $11.2 million in 2012. Dealing Santana would save the Angels money and they wouldn’t have to give up Weaver or Haren.

    Montero is the top prospect for the Yankees, but he is a catcher—the Yankees have plenty of catchers. While they would hate to see Montero leave, Santana would have a much bigger impact on the team over the next few seasons.

    Montero is a perfect fit for the Angels. His size and strength make him a great power hitter and he is big league-ready. While Montero is a catcher, he could slide over to play first base if Kendrys Morales doesn’t fully recover from his injury.

    The Montero/Santana trade is a win-win deal.