Angels acquire Randal Grichuk, CJ Cron from Rockies in exchange for Jake Madden, Mason Albright

The Los Angeles Angels have acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk, first baseman CJ Cron and cash considerations from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jake Madden and 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 hitting .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 PM ET.

Athletics‘s instant analysis:

What it means for Los Angeles

If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times, 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 that any of the minor league pitchers they traded will stick in the big leagues.

The Angels needed to plug some holes over the last few 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 puts itself in a good position to win. The Angels have a lot of ground to make up. — Bloom


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Grichuk’s story

Grichuk is in the final year of his five-year, $52 million deal. The Angels took him with the 24th pick in the 2009 draft – one spot ahead of their next pick, Trout. Grichuk never caught on with the Angels, but he has been a quality hitter in St. Louis, Toronto and now Colorado.

Grichuk can play all three outfield positions, although he is best suited to 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 harsh environment in Colorado created challenges for the Rockies when they go on the road, but it’s worth noting. – McCullough


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Cron’s scouting report

Cron is also in the final year of his two-year, $14.5 million deal. An All-Star in 2021, Cron is the kind of player you’ve forgotten about unless you’re playing Immaculate Grid every morning. He offers above-average offense at first base, with upside to 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

Assesses Albright

The 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 has a very long arm action, but throws strikes, with a fringy fastball but some promise for the slider and changeup along with an old-school slow curveball.

He posted a 9 ERA in limited time in low A last year as a 19-year-old, but has returned to that level this year and has a 3.62 ERA with improvement 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 solid-average or better control. One odd note – he’s been killed by left-handed hitters this year in limited testing, especially on his fastball, which tells me they’re just seeing the ball too well because of that delivery. — Law

Why Madden is a good return for the Rockies

The right-hander Madden will 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.

However, it’s a great arm and stuff that should play at any height; maybe the Rockies can do something about the delivery, though I’d 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 good return for Colorado. — Law

Required reading

(Photo: Logan Riely/Getty Images)

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