The last 24 hours for the Los Angeles Angels have been busy ones, and include two moves that put the team in position for a championship run in 2019 and 2029 all at the same time.
The Gerrit Cole Trade
For nearly 6 weeks, Angels GM Mike Lowe had been in talks with Pirates GM Eric Spear about a potential trade involving ace and face of the Pirate’s franchise Gerrit Cole. The answers Lowe received back were usually of the No or Maybe later variety. Persistence evidently paid off, as talks began to take shape on Monday and a deal was struck sending Cole to the Angels for SP Garrett Nuss, SP Darwin Ramos, and OF Juan De Leon .
“Peristence,” said Spear to the media on Monday. “I started this morning not trading Cole, then it happened.”
The deal seemingly solidifies the Angels as the favorite in the American League as they currently have the best record in baseball at 58-32 (.630) heading into the All-Star Break. The deal could even make them the favorites in all of MLB as the defending champion Phillies will be without their all-world-everything MVP 3B Maikel Franco who who went down with a fractured knee on June 25th, and will miss the remainder of the 2019 season.
That’s not to say that other teams are not in the mix–far from it. Even in the same division as the Angels, Seattle has added a blue chip SP themselves acquiring Joe Ross over the weekend from the sell now San Francisco Giants. Interestingly enough, the Angels were also in the mix for Ross, but Lowe kept delaying a final decision on Ross in the hopes of landing Cole.
“We’re thrilled we got (Cole),” said Lowe. “When I started to see this team take shape around May and could see that they seem to be a team that could make a push, we started scouting for a SP we wanted to add to the top of our rotation. We reached out to about 5 teams in order to beat the trade-deadline rush, but Cole was always our top choice. We’re absolutely thrilled he’s now an Angel.”
Interestingly enough, Gerrit Cole and the Angels will face Joe Ross and the Mariners in the first series after the All-Star Break, and in another series later in July. These games will undoubtedly have a playoff-like atmosphere to them, and should start to paint a more vivid picture in the American League as Seattle currently holds the top wildcard position.
The Signing of Jesus Milanes
Jesus Milanes is one of the best game-generated prospect we’ve seen since the league began in 2015. His measurable are truly mind-boggling–6’8″ and 225 lbs–and at 16, he has a long and challenging road ahead of him still. However, if he can live up to what the scouts are saying about him, he’ll be the future cornerstone of the Angels franchise…but for now, that title currently belongs to Mike Trout.