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IN THIS ISSUE

American League

National League

ANAHEIM ANGELS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired C-R Martin Maldonado and RHP Drew Gagnon from Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for C-R Jett Bandy. [12/13]

Last season across MLB there were 108 catchers and that group produced median marks of 146 plate appearances, a .237 True Average, and -0.3 Fielding Runs Above Average. By those standards, Maldonado looks like an intriguing gamble for the vacant starting position in Anaheim, thanks to his 3.9 FRAA and .245 TAv marks in Milwaukee.

Maldonado has always stood out as an impressive defensive backstop, but his midseason 2016 power and discipline surge may be the most interesting career development for the 30-year-old. From June 1 on, Maldonado totaled eight homers, six doubles, and 19 non-intentional walks in 210 trips to the plate.

Since the Brewers traded for ex-Giants prospect Andrew Susac to return to The Well of Jonathan Villar Magic, any questions about whether Maldonado can serve as a starting (or relatively heavy workload) backstop were not going to be answered in Cream City. With two remaining arbitration seasons, Maldonado could turn into quite a bargain for Anaheim, but he's a good pickup even if he does what he's always done.

Gagnon found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time in Milwaukee's system. Despite serving as advanced depth, the upper minors featured a surge in right-handed pitching prospects and acquisitions, leaving Gagnon at Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Colorado Springs for each of the past two years. Gagnon improved his strikeout and walk rates during his second chance in Colorado Springs en route to a 3.20 DRA. The question is whether he will face the same righty depth hurdles with the Angels.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS
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Acquired C-R Jett Bandy from Los Angeles Angels in exchange for C-R Martin Maldonado and RHP Drew Gagnon. [12/13]

Imagine you're Brewers general manager David Stearns for a moment: You've turned loose blocked prospect Jonathan Villar to reveal his truest five-win potential, and now you're looking for a potential replacement for star catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Andrew Susac fits the mold of an ex-prospect blocked by organizational circumstances, so you adroitly pick him up in a midseason trade.

Maldonado just substantially improved on his 2015 offensive campaign, but only has two more years of team control via arbitration. So you make a long-term value gamble and seek out a backstop who might eventually fit Maldonado's profile. Enter Bandy, a leatherbound depth catcher with some pop in the bat, and most importantly, with his service-time just barely started.

Bandy flashed a solid FRAA last year in his first season of extended work and his total of eight homers looks nice, too. It's easy to shake this one off as an inconsequential deal at the margins of the roster, and there are some arguments to be made that the Brewers could have maximized their catching value with Susac and Maldonado. However, if Milwaukee consistently makes these types of value plays in each area of the roster they'll maximize the odds of eventually contending.

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tupelodylan
12/14
Ummmmm Nick? You typed out a whole paragraph about David Goforth when the player traded was Drew Gagnon. They share initials but that's about it LOL.