The Los Angeles Angels shocked the baseball world on Tuesday, and not in a good way. ESPN's Jeff Passan is reporting the Angels will place Lucas Giolito, Matt Moore, Reynaldo Lopez, Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk on waivers, effectively releasing them. There's no reason for the team to do this other than just dumping their salaries.
All five players are good enough that they'll likely be claimed by other MLB teams, transferring their contracts to the new teams. None of the players are signed beyond this season, as all of them are set for free agency and the Angels are currently 11.5 games out of the final American League Wild Card spot. I guess there's no reason to pay to keep players on a sinking ship.
The Angels acquired Giolito, Lopez and Grichuk during a flurry of moves at the trade deadline. So they've been with the franchise for about a month. The front office appeared to be going all-in at the time. The team responded by playing horribly in August. After losing the first seven games of the month they're currently 7-18 since August 1.
All five players are likely to be picked up, with teams in the wild card hunt likely in like to grab them. Giolito can be an excellent starter at his best, Lopez and Moore are useful bullpen arms, Renfroe is a starting-caliber outfielder on most MLB teams, though he having a down year, and Grichuk is a decent bench option. Their current numbers on the season are below:
Giolito: 7-11, 4.45 ERA,1.28 WHIP, ERA+ of 100, 165 strikeouts in 153.2 innings
Lopez: 2-7, 3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, ERA+ of 117, 52 strikeouts in 42 innings
Moore: 3-1, 2.30 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, ERA+ of 198, 47 strikeouts in 43 innings
Renfroe: .239, 18 home runs, 52 RBI, OPS of .725, OPS+ of 94
Grichuk: .261, 11 home runs, 34 RBI, OPS of .752, OPS+ of 94
This is a crazy move by the Angels and I'm not sure we've ever seen anything like this. A team having a bad season is flooding the waiver wire with good players just to avoid paying them. Bonkers.