Entering a offseason in dire need of offense – let’s take a look at a potential Phillies target – someone very familiar with GM Matt Klentak.
There’s no denying the Phillies need for a proven bat. To keep things as simple as it gets – the team finished last in the NL in walks (424), runs (610), doubles (231), and OPS (.685) – not to mention, second-to-last in average (.240), OBP (.301), and SLG (.385).
This is not going to be an overnight fix. The Phillies still have plenty of top-tier hitting prospects they’re waiting to arrive. GM Matt Klentak is not going to overdo things.
Klentak was the assistant general manager for the Angels from 2011-2015. Calhoun was drafted by the Angels in 2010, and broke through becoming a regular by the end of the 2013 season – keeping hold on the position since. So it’s clear that Klentak knows the left-handed hitting Calhoun well.
Calhoun is a solid player. The 28-year-old is coming off an 18 HR, 75 RBI, .786 OPS season. He slashed a solid .271/.348 /.438.
Over the past three seasons, Calhoun has averaged:
148 games played – 20 HR/72 RBI/.764 OPS – with a .266/.327/.436 slash line.
He’s not an elite player. With a lack of true speed, his range – especially as he ages – is a question. But he has an above average arm, and does make most plays his way.
His value lies in his bat. He can hit both LHP and RHP, shown some pop, but more importantly has an idea at the plate and provides a steady left handed presence. Again, he’s not an elite player, he might not even be a all-star, but for this team, that’s okay.
Why The Angels Do It
The Angels have arguably the worst farm system in baseball, are decimated with horrid contracts, and outside of Mike Trout, the team has no real signs of hope. They need youth, but importantly the team needs depth.
They would be adding a handful of young players/prospects to potentially help build around Mike Trout for the present, and future. Calhoun is not going to come cheap. Any deal for him would have to help the team restock on multiple fronts.
Being an above league average hitter, Calhoun wouldn’t require an elite return via trade. Though, the Angels do have additional value with the fact that he’s under team control through 2020.
The Phils organizational depth provides them some wiggle room to part with some players. Some unproven at the major league level, some still waiting to get there.
With how riddled the Angels are, Klentak wouldn’t have to part with a top-tier prospect. Which is always a plus.
The club would be receiving a steady left-handed hitting outfielder who’s entering his prime years, and fits perfectly in the teams lineup. He has a tradable contract, and on-field value. Him becoming a roadblock is not a question here.
As mentioned, the Phillies have the flexibility to part with two or three of the team’s top 20 prospects – even one or two, young unproven big leaguers – whomever it may be, there is that much depth.