Dec. 10, 2016
LA Angels Should Not Trade for Kolten Wong
The Los Angeles Angels will get themselves a new second baseman this offseason whether it's a prized possession like Brian Dozier or a sonic boom coming off one surprisingly productive year like Ryan Schimpf. One guy they're rumored to have interest in right now is St. Louis Cardinals' second baseman Kolten Wong. Now an afterthought in Baseball Heaven, Wong is someone the Cardinals should move on from. The Angels, meanwhile, must set expectations higher.
Why trade for Wong when there are proven guys out there? Or, from a different perspective, younger players with more promise? There is no huge list of second basemen available, but there are plenty better suited for the Angels than Wong.
A veteran like Chase Utley is a good choice if they want to regroup and make another attempt next season or at the trade deadline for someone new. Utley will surely take a one year deal. I don't particularly like Brandon Phillips anymore, but he does seem like a stronger choice than Wong because he has at least gained plenty of experienced in the MLB and could mold into the Angels’ lineup well.
So far in three MLB seasons Wong has slashed only .248/.309/.370 with some okay power and good speed. His career 85 OPS+ is a bit alarming particularly because he has never reached 100 in any of the three years he has played as a regular. Wong is even a slightly below average fielder in some regards so without the bat to back him up, I can’t see why the Angels would have any interest.
At 26-years-old, Wong is a player that I do think needs a change of scenery. However, the bright lights of Los Angeles (or Anaheim if you want to be really specific) may not help. Instead, Wong is a better candidate to head to a bad team rather than one who needs him to step up and hit immediately.