Good News: Atlanta Braves Just Signed 3 Angels Legends…

3 Angels players who gain the most from their latest trade with the Braves.

The Los Angeles Angels made a surprising trade with the Atlanta Braves on Friday, sending David Fletcher and Max Stassi to Atlanta in what can really only be seen as a salary dump. The Angels didn’t get much back at all in return, but they did clear some money.

David Fletcher and Max Stassi are now members of the Atlanta Braves. Fletcher figures to be a backup infielder for them while Stassi appears to be on the trade block. He’d fit in as a solid backup catcher anywhere. While the Angels lost in the trade value-wise, they can now spend the money they saved on players who are better overall and better fits than Fletcher and Stassi were set to be on the 2024 Angels.

With Fletcher and Stassi out of the picture, these three players are set to gain the most.

1) Matt Thaiss

Matt Thaiss to make his Big League Debut for The Angels - Halos Heaven

The easiest one to pick, without a doubt, is Matt Thaiss. Logan O’Hoppe is this team’s starting catcher of the present and future. He had a strong rookie year when healthy, and looks to continue to develop in 2024. He’ll get a bulk of the playing time, but catchers, even young catchers, don’t play every day. Having a reliable backup is paramount, and Thaiss is now expected to fill into that role.

With Stassi here and set to make $7 million in 2024, Thaiss felt like a very real trade candidate. Sure, he’s younger, cheaper, and arguably better, but Stassi’s contract felt very hard to move. Perry Minasian did move it, clearing the way for Thaiss to fill in as O’Hoppe’s backup.

Thaiss began last season as the backup but when O’Hoppe went down in April he was thrust into a starting role. He had a strong first half of the season before really slowing down as the season progressed.

Thaiss is not the player Angels fans hoped he’d be when the team selected him in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft, but he also did show some signs of being a productive player. He put up quality at-bats and improved defensively as the season progressed. Stassi is better defensively, but provides very little with the bat. Thaiss at least isn’t an automatic out.

2) Michael Stefanic

Mike Stefanic ⚾️ (@mjstefi) / X

With how much money David Fletcher was making, he was going to get every opportunity to earn a backup role. The starting infield is solidified, but the bench is far from it. Fletcher had a leg up on Stefanic for the sheer fact that he was owed a lot of money, but now it feels like Stefanic’s role to lose barring a singning.

Stefanic has seen inconsistent at-bats in each of the last two seasons, but showed some good signs in 2023. He slashed .290/.380/.355 with no home runs and six RBI. Everyone remembers the walk-off to beat the Yankees, but Stefanic put up some quality at-bats when given the chance.

Like Stassi, Fletcher is more of a defense-first type of player. He’s really solid all over the infield, particularly at second base. Stefanic’s glove is nowhere near as good as Fletcher’s, but he has more potential offensively. He’s similar to Fletcher offensively as they both lack power, but Stefanic’s ability to draw walks and get on base at a high clip makes him more valuable at the dish.

It’s very possible the Angels sign enough players to make Stefanic a depth infielder once again, but for now, he’d be on their Opening Day roster more likely than not with Fletcher out of the picture.

3) Kyren Paris

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Kyren Paris is another middle infielder who stands to gain from Fletcher’s departure. He didn’t show much of anything at the MLB level when given the chance making him unlikely to play a huge role right away in 2024, but with Fletcher gone he at least has more of a shot.

Paris might not have the MLB numbers Stefanic has, but he happens to be one of the Angels’ top prospects. He’s ranked fifth overall per MLB Pipeline and is considered the team’s best middle infield prospect in the system. Weak system, obviously, but Paris has some potential.

While Fletcher and Stefanic are a bit similar with their offensive profiles, Paris offers a different set of skills. He doesn’t have their hit tool, but hits for more power and has much better speed and athleticism. It’s unclear how well he’ll hit at the MLB level, but he can still provide value off the bench as a potential pinch-runner.

Paris is less likely to make the roster than Stefanic, but again, Fletcher’s departure gives him at least a chance to do so. If it does happen, we might be surprised with how he plays. We know what we’d get from Fletcher, Paris is more unproven.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.