With an 8-4 loss to the Orioles this afternoon, the Angels dropped to 11-20 on the season, ahead of only the lowly Astros in the AL West. What was thought to be a promising season for the win-now Angels has become a nightmare due to injuries, a putrid starting rotation, and an ineffective start to the season for Josh Hamilton.
In a column posted earlier today, Ken Rosenthal suggests this Angels team does not have Scioscia’s brand on it — the slow, poorly-defending, homer-dependent Angels look nothing like the pesky Angels of yesteryear.
Rosenthal also suggests an amicable parting between the Angels and Scioscia could be best for both parties, with Scioscia being traded a la Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Scioscia could take a year off like Francona, but that would require him to renounce his contract. Better Scioscia should sit down with Moreno with the two agreeing to part amicably through a John Farrell-type trade – only with a bigger return.
The Dodgers, Scioscia’s former team, would be the most obvious possibility. Moreno would recoil at the idea, but if he could parlay Scioscia’s reputation into a significant player or two, why not? The Angels could hire a new manager with new energy. And they would be better for it.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”