We know the Angels want another starter. It doesn’t seem at all likely that they’d want to subtract one immediately afterwards, but according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Angels are fielding calls about Ervin Santana from teams thinking they have the inside track on C.J. Wilson.
The Angels would probably prefer to go into next season with a big four of Jered Weaver, Wilson, Dan Haren and Santana in their rotation, but it wouldn’t hurt to listen in case someone wants to offer them a top infielder for Santana. Although he finished 11-12, Santana had one of his best seasons last year. His 3.38 ERA ranked 14th in the AL, and he threw a career-high 228 2/3 innings.
As for his contract, Santana will earn $11.2 million next year. There’s also a $13 million club option for 2013. He’d become a free agent if that’s declined.
In return for Santana, the Angels would likely prefer an established corner infielder capable of hitting in the middle of the order. Boston’s Kevin Youkilis would make sense. Florida’s Gaby Sanchez probably wouldn’t fit the bill, though Logan Morrison might.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.