The Los Angeles Angels are coming off another season without a playoff appearance. The team has one of the best players in the game in outfielder Mike Trout, who most likely would have been MVP if he had not been injured, but can’t seem to find success year in and year out. One of their needs that they will hope to satisfy in free agency, however, is second base. Last season, the Angels were one of the worst teams in the league offensively at the position with a -0.3 WAR and hitting .203/.273/.318 with only 60 wRC+. Their second basemen also had a relatively high strikeout percentage of 27.3%. The Angels as a team struggled to score last season and had one of the worst performing offenses, but a substantial upgrade at second base would definitely be one of the biggest pieces that could push this team into playoff contention.
There isn’t a ton of talent available on the free agent market when it comes to second basemen. The guy the Angels could potentially look at is Neil Walker as he seems to be one of the best available besides Brandon Phillips who simply wasn’t able to produce for the team and only had the ability to flash the leather. Walker played in only 111 games last season, but he produced a 0.342 OBP and a 114 wRC+, both of which are improvements from how the rest of Angel’s second basemen performed.
The next way the Angels could improve their second base situation is to try and go for a trade in the upcoming Winter Meetings. With the Miami Marlins under the new ownership of Derek Jeter, there is the possibility of the team shopping around Dee Gordon. The Angels could give up some of their prospects, which seems to be what the Marlins are looking for, in an attempt to get Gordon. Gordon had an OBP of .341 and 60 stolen bases. Gordon would be perfect at the top of the order and his speed could definitely be something the team could utilize with baseball star Mike Trout batting behind him.
Another player the Angels have been rumored to be looking at is Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez would probably be the more favorable option as he is three years younger than Gordon and is owed significantly less money with team control for the next three years. Hernandez also has had an OBP of about .370 the past two years and a wRC+ of 111 last season which is above league average.
Definitely expect the Angels to make some sort of move this upcoming offseason to solve their issues at second base. Overall, their offense was not the best performing but they are hopeful Trout can put in a complete season and with upgrades at some of their other positions, they can be much improved. The Angels will have to give up prospects most likely and trade for a second baseman because the free agent market simply is not strong enough. The Angels have the ability to compete next season as long as they make smart moves in the winter.