The Los Angeles Angels have acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk, first baseman C.J. Cron and cash considerations from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jake Madden, left-handed pitcher Mason Albright, the teams announced Sunday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Grichuk has eight home runs, 27 RBIs and a career-high .308 batting average through 63 games played for the Rockies.
- Through 55 games for Colorado, Cron is batting .260 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs.
- The Angels drafted Madden in the fourth round of the 2022 MLB Draft and Albright in the 12th round of the 2021 draft.
- Both Grichuk and Cron are expected to be with Los Angeles for Monday’s game against the Atlanta Braves at 7:20 p.m. ET.
OFFICIAL: The Angels have acquired INF C.J. Cron, OF Randal Grichuk, and cash considerations from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for minor league LHP Mason Albright and RHP Jake Madden. pic.twitter.com/ru01rhhQxY
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 31, 2023
We have acquired RHP Jake Madden and LHP Mason Albright from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for OF Randal Grichuk and 1B/DH C.J. Cron along with cash considerations.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) July 31, 2023
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
What this means for Los Angeles
If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times, the Angels are all in. They already had a very weak minor-league system, and this only makes it weaker. But hey, I don’t think they care at all. And there’s no guarantee any of the minor-league pitchers they have traded will stick in the big leagues.
The Angels needed to plug some holes over the last couple days leading up to the trade deadline. Taylor Ward is expected to miss a lot of time, and Grichuk (famously drafted by the Angels one pick ahead of Mike Trout) will fill that hole.
Cron, also a former Angel, should slide in to play first base regularly, with Mike Moustakas getting a good look at third base. Los Angeles is putting themselves in a good position to win. They have a lot of ground to make up. — Blum
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Grichuk is on the final year of his five-year, $52 million deal. The Angels took him with the 24th pick in the 2009 draft — one slot ahead of their next pick, Trout. Grichuk never caught on with the Angels, but he’s been a quality hitter in St. Louis, Toronto and now Colorado.
Grichuk can play all three outfield positions, though he is best suited for a corner. He can help a team looking to improve against left-handed pitching.
Through 55 games, Grichuk had a .914 OPS at Coors Field and a .758 OPS everywhere else. The hitting environment in Colorado created challenges for the Rockies when they go on the road, but it is worth noting. — McCullough
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Cron’s scouting report
Cron is also on the final year of his two-year, $14.5 million deal. An All-Star in 2021, Cron is the sort of player you have forgotten about unless you play Immaculate Grid every morning. He offers above-average offense at first base, with the upside for a bit more, especially against left-handed pitchers.
Cron averaged 28 homers in 2021 and 2022, and is on a similar pace in 2023. His power will play. — McCullough
Left-hander Albright was the one high schooler the Angels took in their all-pitching 2021 draft class, which featured 19 college arms and this oddball. He’s got a very long arm action but throws strikes, with a fringy fastball but some promise to the slider and change along with an old-fashioned slow curveball.
He posted a 9 ERA in limited time in low A last year as a 19-year-old, but he’s returned to the level this year and has a 3.62 ERA with improvements across the board. I have a hard time envisioning him as a starter with this delivery, but if his fastball trends upward, the Rockies have to let him stay in the job given his two secondaries and the solid-average or better control. One odd note — he’s gotten killed by left-handed batters this year in a limited sample, especially on his fastball, which tells me they’re just seeing the ball too well because of that delivery. — Law
Why Madden is a great return for the Rockies
Right-hander Madden needs to go to the bullpen, stat, but he has three pitches that project to 55 or 60, with a mid-90s fastball, slider, and change. It’s a very long arm action (yes, again), and he doesn’t throw anything for strikes consistently enough to start, which is also why he has a 5+ ERA in low A as a 21-year-old.
It’s a great arm, though, and stuff that should play at any altitude; maybe the Rockies can do something with the delivery, although I would just move him to a relief role and see if he hits 100. For an extra outfielder and a DH who might not have much left in the tank, this is a great return for Colorado. — Law
(Photo: Logan Riely / Getty Images)