On Tuesday afternoon Jeff Fletcher, beat writer for the Los Angeles Angels and writer for the Orange County Register, tweeted:
Heard the #Angels have been talking to Padres, who have 4 LH IF’s who can play 2B: Solarte, Schmipf, Spangenberg and Asuaje.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) December 6, 2016
It makes a lot of sense for both sides to be talking as the Angels need a second baseman and also need left-handed bats in their lineup.
Charlie Wilmoth, of MLB TradeRumors, also broke the news of the Padres and Angels discussing a trade for a second baseman and he wrote a small piece indicating the two sides have just begun to speak regarding a possible trade.
For the Angels, trying to get Solarte or Schimpf could be costly and they would need to give up more to make a deal happen. Of the four Padre infielder’s mentioned, Solarte is the most established hitter. He is coming off of his best year as a pro, recording a .286/.341/.467 slash line. He is mostly a third baseman, but can play second and first base if needed. He is not a defensive wizard, but is known more for the stick he swings.
Ryan Schimpf was a big surprise for the Padres in 2016. He played only 68 games and merely batted .217, but he hit 20 home runs and slugged .533 in his 330 plate appearances. Pretty impressive for limited action from a middle infielder. The Padres would have to be blown away to deal him or Solarte at this point.
Spangenberg only played in 14 games in 2016 due to a torn quadriceps. His most productive and healthy season was in 2015, when he played 108 games and recorded a .271/.333/.349 slash line. His fielding was great too as he held a 1.000 fielding percentage all season long. The question with him is … can he can stay healthy?
Carlos Asuaje played for the Triple-A affiliate El Paso Chihuahuas, posting an impressive .321/.378/.473 slash line. His fielding was superb and he, like Spangenberg, has the speed to steal bases. The Padres have the players that could help the Angels, but their farm system is pretty weak. There is talk the team could pursue a veteran second baseman like Chase Utley if they are unable to make a trade.
For the Padres, getting starting pitching is vital. The Angels don’t have the best prospects around, but there are some pitchers that might interest the Padres.
Tyler Skaggs is one. He pitched in limited action last year, posting a 3-4 record with an ERA of 4.17 and a WHIP of 1.49. The 25-year-old lefty has great stuff, but the Angels will not be inclined to deal him. He is under control until 2021 and fits the mold of a young cost-controlling pitcher.
Ricky Nolasco, acquired last season in a trade from the Twins, is another veteran arm that could help the Padres. Playing half a season with the Angels, Nolasco went 8-14 with a 4.42 ERA, 144 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.24. Nolasco is due $12 million for the 2017 season with a $1 million dollar buyout for the 2018 season. The Padres aren’t really looking to add payroll to that extent, but if the Angels pay enough of the salary, it could work.
Alex Myer, who is young at only 26, only started four games last year with a 1-3 record with a 5.68 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.66. He is one to keep an eye on, as is young left-handed pitcher Nate Smith, who is in Triple-A. Smith is a smart pitcher who has multiple pitches and could benefit under the watchful eye of Darren Balsley.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. Keep an eye on this situation. These two teams match up fairly well.