Angels deal for prospects, flexibility with flurry at Deadline

Halos acquire 5 players for Iglesias, Marsh, Syndergaard in trades with Phillies, Braves

August 3rd, 2022

ANAHEIM -- It ended up being a busy Trade Deadline for the Angels, who made two deals with the Phillies before their 3-1 win over the A's on Tuesday, acquiring top catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe, former No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak and outfield prospect Jadiel Sanchez for outfielder Brandon Marsh and right-hander Noah Syndergaard. And then they made a stunner right at the 3 p.m. PT Deadline, unloading closer Raisel Iglesias and his contract to the Braves for pitchers Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson.

Syndergaard, who was scheduled to start in Tuesday's series opener against the A's, was expected to be traded because he's an impending free agent and the Angels are out of contention. But it was a surprise to trade Marsh and Iglesias, especially considering Iglesias signed a four-year deal worth $58 million before the start of this season. Atlanta is set to take on the rest of Iglesias’ contract, which is roughly $51 million and gives the Angels some payroll flexibility going forward, especially with two-way star Shohei Ohtani set to be a free agent after next season.

“It’s tough,” Angels general manager Perry Minasian said. “It’s not fun trading really good players. We just haven’t played well, and looking at where we’re at and where we want to go going forward and looking at our needs, we felt this was the best way to go.”

O’Hoppe, 22, is the headliner of the Angels' return and is considered one of the game’s top catching prospects. He was Philadelphia’s No. 3 ranked prospect and baseball’s No. 86 overall prospect, per MLB Pipeline. He’s now headed to Double-A Rocket City as the Angels’ No. 1 prospect ahead of right-hander Sam Bachman. He's been having an impressive season with Double-A Reading, batting .275/.392/.496 with 15 homers, 11 doubles, six stolen bases and 45 RBIs in 75 games. He's struck out 52 times compared to 41 walks.

He's hit at every level, batting .273/.348/.469 in 258 games over four seasons in the Minors. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder is also considered a strong defender behind the plate, as he receives and blocks well. He also has a strong arm with a quick release, but the Phillies were willing to part with him because they already have All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto under contract through ‘25.

“You have to give to get, and the catching position, to me, is the most important position on a club,” Minasian said. “We really liked what we got back. Logan is an outstanding individual. The makeup is off the charts. I think this was an old-fashioned baseball trade."

Moniak, 24, was once one of the top prospects in baseball, but the outfielder has had a tough time offensively in parts of three seasons in the Majors, slashing .129/.214/.172 with one homer and five RBIs in 47 games. The Carlsbad, Calif., native also is a career .256/.305/.410 hitter in 529 games in the Minors and is expected to join the roster on Wednesday.

Sanchez, 21, was not among Philadelphia's Top 30 prospects and was batting .239/.289/.429 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 38 games with Single-A Clearwater.

Marsh, meanwhile, was the Angels' top prospect just a year ago but has struggled offensively in the Majors, batting .239/.299/.354 with 10 homers and 56 RBIs in 163 games over the last two seasons. He's a plus-defender but his biggest issue is making contact. He has the worst strikeout rate in the Majors this year by a large margin. He's struck out in 36.2 percent of his plate appearances, with the next highest mark registering at 33.2 percent (by the Cubs' Patrick Wisdom).

With Marsh out, it means more opportunities for fellow former top prospect Jo Adell. Adell has shown some power in the Majors but has struggled defensively in the outfield. Moniak also figures to be in the mix as well.

Syndergaard, 29, was signed to a one-year deal worth $21 million last offseason and had been pitching well in his first full season since Tommy John surgery in 2020. He had a 3.83 ERA in 15 starts with 64 strikeouts in 80 innings. The Angels can now see what they have in younger pitchers such as Janson Junk, Chase Silseth and Davidson the rest of the season.

Iglesias, 32, had a 4.04 ERA with 16 saves this season. With the right-hander no longer in the picture, the Angels will now utilize a closer-by-committee approach the rest of the year. Chavez, who was traded for the 10th time in his career, has pitched well this season, posting a 2.11 ERA in 31 appearances.

Davidson, who is now the club’s No. 11 prospect just ahead of Junk, has a career 5.11 ERA in parts of three seasons but has a career 3.06 ERA in the Minors and started Game 5 of the World Series last year with Atlanta.

“Trading [Iglesias] opens things up because his contract was significant,” Minasian said. “And we liked what we got back. We obviously have history together. [Davidson is] left-handed with a strong arm. He wasn’t an easy piece to acquire, but it also opened things up for us financially for the future.”