After undergoing Tommy John surgery in late September, Angels ace Shohei Ohtani is set to miss the entire 2019 season, at least on the mound. The Angels will likely look to get Ohtani some time at the plate, but he won’t pitch next year.
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Right now, the rotation in Los Angeles is shaping up to consist of Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, Jaime Barria, Nick Tropeano, and Felix Pena. The Angels have the best player in baseball on their roster and they have a limited window to compete with him before he likely leaves in free agency after the 2020 season. The Angels desperately need good starting pitchers, and Cobb can help them.
The Angels do have just over $119 million committed to their 2019 payroll, but given their window, they shouldn’t be holding back. Maybe they don’t think Cobb is the guy for them but relying on those five guys listed above feels like a good way to find yourself selling at the trade deadline.
One of the biggest issues with listing the Angels as a potential trade partner here is that they don’t have nearly the talent that several other teams do to offer in return for Cobb, which could make Los Angeles an unrealistic trade partner. But if the Angels are serious about contending in 2019, they could do worse than trying to acquire Cobb.
Dealing Cobb to the Angels would either return a small package of prospects or bullpen help to Baltimore, either of which would help the Orioles.
There are other potential destinations for Cobb, including Minnesota and South Chicago, but I’m not sold that either of those two teams are serious about competing in 2019. Philly and Colorado could be potential suitors for Cobb, but his no-trade clause is bound to contain at least one of these teams.
Would he consider waiving the no-trade clause to get out of Baltimore and help a team compete? We might find out before spring training starts.