The Los Angeles Angels took a small step towards rebuilding their lackluster farm system on Thursday when they gave the New York Mets an international trade exception worth $365,500 in exchange for minor leaguers Julio Concepcion and Andres Perez. The Mets can now use the money to sign international free agents, while the Angels hope to resurrect a minor league roster that most experts say is the worst in baseball.
Neither Concepcion nor Perez rank very highly on the Mets’ list of prospects, hence New York’s willingness to part with them in exchange for a relatively paltry sum. Concepcion has played in the outfield for the last seven years on the Mets’ Class-A team, while Perez, a right-handed pitcher, is just 0-2 with a 5.52 ERA in 14 innings of work for the Mets’ rookie team.
Don’t look for either of these players to take the field at Angel Stadium any time soon; the Halos made this move only because they have nothing to lose. With a decimated farm system and a $128 million payroll, $365,500 is a small enough price to pay for the hope that these players might one day become legitimate prospects.
With the trade deadline nearing, the Angels are really hurting for a lack of tradable assets. GM Jerry DiPoto and owner Arte Moreno probably recognized that they do not want to be stuck with a similar situation in future seasons.
These small-fry acquisitions don’t do anything to solve Los Angeles’ current problems, as the team still needs real pitching. However, this move is a step in the right direction for a franchise that hasn’t focused nearly enough on building the organization from the ground up.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.