Late Tuesday night, it was announced that the Los Angeles Angels sent starting third baseman Alberto Callaspo to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for infield prospect Grant Green. Callaspo has hit .250 on the year for the Halos, while Green is hitless in 15 Major League at bats, though he’s posted a .879 OPS in Triple-A play for the A’s this season.
Much like the trade that sent Scott Downs to Atlanta for Cory Rasmus, this trade can’t be fully evaluated until Los Angeles has made all its moves before the deadline at midnight tonight.
Taken on its own merits, the Angels are basically trading a quarter for a dime here. Callaspo, 30, is an everyday player, whereas Green is still years away from reaching his full potential.
What this tells us is that Jerry Dipoto is sick of having the worst farm system in baseball and is determined to make changes. That’s fine, and it ought to be a major focus going forward for the franchise. For all we know, Green could be a cheaper, adequate replacement for Callaspo.
The most pressing concern for the Angels, however, is pitching. Should they be unable to swing a trade that gets them a solid, Ian Kennedy-type pitcher in exchange for Erick Aybar or Howie Kendrick, then this trade deadline will have been a huge disappointment. There’s always the chance of filling this need in the offseason, but the best way to get full value for a player like Kendrick or Aybar is to trade them to a team that has a chance of winning the World Series this year. That is when their selling price will be highest, not in December.
Besides youth, Green also gives the Halos additional flexibility to pull the trigger on the aforementioned trades. He can play third base, shortstop and second base, meaning the Angels can evaluate a variety of offers knowing that they can replace any of the three infielders with Green, Sean Rodriguez or Andrew Romine.
We likely haven’t heard the last from the Angels before tonight’s deadline, meaning that this trade could either be very good or very disappointing when taken in the context of other moves. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.