The Los Angeles Angels have been running a "reverse Marlins" lately, acquiring infielders Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart in the last two days.
For the second day in a row, the Angels have acquired a middle infielder. Yesterday, they traded for veteran Tigers second baseman, Ian Kinsler. This morning, they signed Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, although they plan to move him over to third to allow Andrelton Simmons to keep his position.
Kinsler is coming off the worst year of his career in which he hit just .236. He's racked up 3 All-Star appearances and a Gold Glove in his 12-year MLB career. The Angels will be hoping the veteran 2B still has some gas left in the tank to help propel them into playoff position in 2018.
Cozart is trending in the opposite direction of Kinsler. After averaging just .246 through 2016, Cozart hit a career high .297 and raised his OPS two full points from .732 in 2016 to .933 in 2017. It looks like the Angels bought in on Cozart at the right time if he can sustain that level of performance
Kinsler will be reunited with former teammate, Justin Upton, who was traded from Detroit to Los Angeles at the trade deadline last season. Keeping Upton long-term was the first priority of the Angels' offseason plans. They signed the 30-year-old outfielder to a 5-year, $106 million deal. Upton has shown flashes of brilliance, but has been inconsistent over the course of his career. The 4x All-Star has never earned a selection in back to back seasons. His trade to Los Angeles made the angels his fourth baseball team in as many years. I'm sure the team is hoping by locking him in long term, Upton can lock in deliver consistently.
Are the Angels in win-now mode? With Shohei Ohtani's reported injury and the reigning World Series champions in their own division, they'll have a significant hurdle in they pursuit of the playoffs. With the best player in baseball on their team and several new acquisitions, the new-look Angels are ready to rumble in 2018.
Image Source: (MLB.com)