Wednesday, June 10, 2015

By Robert Cunningham, Staff Writer - 

Author’s Note: Shortly after this was written, Khris Davis suffered a knee injury and is out for probably at least 8 weeks, making his acquisition at the deadline unlikely. If the Angels don’t solve their left field situation, perhaps they will revisit Davis in the offseason.

Milwaukee certainly appears on paper as a strong trade partner for the Angels especially considering they project to end the season in 29th place making a full rebuild very likely.

Of particular interest, as a long-term left fielder, is Khris Davis and in the short-term, at DH, Adam Lind (as suggested by member ‘tdawg’).

Davis, who is 27 ½ years old, is a free agent after the 2019 season giving his controlling team four more seasons after 2015.

He is price-controlled through the 2016 season and enters arbitration in the remaining three years after that. Khris will make approximately $30MM-$40MM through the end of his controllable years via arbitration.

Lind, almost 32 years old, is under contract for this season with a team option for 2016. He has approximately $4.5MM remaining this year and his option is for $8MM in 2016 with a meager $500K buyout, guaranteeing him at least $5MM.

Khris is an attractive target due to his age, decent MLB track record, and length and price of contract.

Over 5 seasons, in the Minors, Davis maintained a .288/.392/.506 slash line. In his first three years in the Majors he has a .247/.312/.466 slash line.

More importantly Davis has maintained relatively close splits against LHP and RHP since 2011.

In the Minors he had a .304/.416/.507 line vs. lefties and a .286/.378/.505 vs. righties. Over the last three years in the Majors, he has a .235/.284/.490 line vs. lefties and a .251/.321/.457 line vs. righties.

Combined with adequate defense, Khris has been good for a wRC+ of 110 vs. lefties and 114 vs. righties.

As with all prospects it has taken time for Davis to make adjustments to the Majors. Not unlike Kole Calhoun, Khris had a strong OBP in the Minors with a 12.2% walk rate since 2011.

Although he strikes out a fair amount it is not unreasonable to believe his walk rate will improve. In fact it currently sits at 11% in 2015.

Adam Lind would provide a veteran left-handed hitter who could play often against right-handed pitching.

This season Lind has crushed RHP to the tune of a .283/.379/.533 slash line. That has been good for a wRC+ of 144!

Of course he has a fairly pitiful .208/.269/.292 vs. LHP, making him strictly a platoon player, very likely hitting out of the DH position or in pinch hitting situations later in games.

Certainly both of these players could provide a lot of offensive firepower to the Angels lineup but there would most certainly be a large price tag attached to either one of these players.

The Brewers are very likely going to blow up their roster. Players like Gomez, Braun, Ramirez, Lind, and possibly Lucroy don’t seem to fit their long-term plans and have contracts that either expire soon or are expensive (Braun). They may consider Davis a long-term piece so he might not even be available!

However I think the opportunity for the Brewers to completely rebuild will be too tempting.

Making all of their players available and getting started ASAP is probably a more palatable path. Finding near-ready MLB prospects or young controllable MLB players is probably how Milwaukee wants to proceed to pair with young starters such as Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta, and Mike Fiers.

Adam Lind would likely cost us C.J. Cron and an outfield prospect such as Natanael Delgado, Bo Way, or possibly Gary Brown.

Davis’ price tag would be more. A package centered around one of Nick Tropeano, Chris Ellis, Hunter Green, Ryan Etsell, or Tyler Deloach would be a starting point.

It would likely not hurt as much if the Angels were able to go quantity over quality in a Khris Davis trade.

A package of 4-6 prospects such as Adam Wilk, Hunter Green, Kody Eaves, Chad Hinshaw, Austin Adams, and Natanael Delgado might work if the Brewers don’t want to put all of their eggs in one basket.

Otherwise it would take something like Chris Ellis, Bo Way, Chad Hinshaw, and an infielder like Grant Green or Alex Yarbrough if they value higher quality.

Adding both Davis and Lind would only increase 2015 payroll by approximately $5MM.

Love to hear what you think!

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