“Zack Greinke is going to the [Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim] for some Jean guy…” That was a quote from a “diehard” Angels friend of mine during the trade deadline last season. That trade helped the Brewers acquire one of the best young shortstops in the game with Jean Segura, and gave the Angels… well six wins from the mound for the rest of the season, and a big paycheck to take care of. With the trade deadline, you never know what you’re going to get, and who will truly have the “better deal.”
This season, Angels General Manager Jerry DiPoto has told media that they aren’t going to make a trade like last season involving a superstar. He actually hasn’t said much about any trades potentially happening. Right now, we’re not sure if the Angels will be buyers, sellers, or stick with what they have.
If the Angels were to go after someone, it would more than likely be a pitcher, as this season, pitching has been a serious concern, with starters and the bullpen. Jered Weaver hasn’t been the Cy Young type of pitcher he usually is, Jason Vargas and Jerome Williams have been reasonably decent, Joe Blanton has been… well not very good, and then there’s Tommy Hanson who is pitching like, Tommy Hanson. The bullpen has been decent lately, but still needs that extra “oomf” to help carry the Angels into the postseason. Even with Sean Burnett, Jason Vargas, and Tommy Hanson coming back, there’s a serious need for help in the rotation and bullpen. With that said, here’s some possible targets for the Angels.
1. Phil Hughes, New York Yankees
The Angels believe that a bigger ballpark and some home cooked meals may be a good fix for the Southern California native. A positive for potential buyers is that Michael Pineda and David Phelps are making their way back to the bigs, which means the Yankees need to make some room in the rotation… quick fix? trade Phil.
2. Bud Norris, Houston Astros
If anyone thinks that Norris will be traded at the deadline… it’s him. He is possibly the most desired starter to possibly be dealt at the deadline though, making the Angels probabality of landing him that much less likely. Norris has a 6-8 record with a 3.63 earned run average, which is pretty darn good for being on the worst team in Major League Baseball.
3. Matt Thornton, Chicago White Sox
It always helps to have a nice lefty in the bullpen. Luckily the Angels have Scott Downs, but one more wouldn’t hurt. If the White Sox will make a move this year, Thornton will be on his way out, which is great for buying teams. Thornton hasn’t had the spectacular year he usually does, but he is still a very admired talent in the league. The White Sox are asking for young talent and “high-end prospects” which luckily, the Angels have many. If Sean Burnett is unable to heal quickly, the Angels may be shooting to send prospects to Chicago for Thornton.
4. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies
I feel like we’ve talked about Lee being dealt else where for the past few years, and this might be the year it’s actually done. The Phillies have potential to make the post season which will not happen if Lee is gone. If they feel they’re not in contention, you can only imagine Lee is on his way out. The Angels have the money to take over Lee’s contract, but it could be at the cost of saving contract money for Mike Trout when he is due for a new paycheck in the coming years.
5. Bronson Arroyo, Cincinnati Reds
Yeah, I said it, Bronson Arroyo. Cincinnati has six to seven starting pitchers ready for the rotation and could be ready to part ways with Arroyo. His contract isn’t desired by the Reds Front Office, and that could lead to a big market team finding their way into attaining Arroyo. Arroyo may not be the stud he was, but he’s still a guranteed quality starting pitcher that the Angels could use.
6. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
Free agency is screaming at the Giants. “The Freak” is due for a big paycheck and the Giants are more than welcome to let someone else pay that check. The Giants haven’t said yes or no to a trade involving Lincecum, but they could possibly get something nice for the most recent no-hitter hurler and two time Cy Young Award winner. Once again, the only reason the Angels shouldn’t be interested is money, which is the case for every other team as well.
On the flip side, we have to remember that when you get a new player, you have to let go of some old ones. The Angels don’t necessarily have much “trade bait” in the Majors, but what they do have, could potentially be a severe loss. Here are the players who could be dealt prior to August so the Angels have a prayer for October.
1. Erick Aybar, SS
Aybar has been a special middle infielder with the Halos for a few years. His numbers are good, so it might be quite a bit for the Angels to send him off, but rumors keep constantly flying that he’s going to be sent off prior to August. If they did send Aybar off, they’d have to bring in a shortstop which makes no sense, but when enough people talk about it, you have to at least bring it up. I guess we can only wait and see.
2. C.J. Cron, 1B
Possibly the most desired hitting prospect in baseball right now, Cron could make some teams very, very happy. The University of Utah alumni has been putting up big numbers in the minors for the past two seasons, and is on his way to the top within the coming years. Pujols and Trumbo are holding their own at first base, which is Cron’s natural position, which makes him a possible “go ahead and let him go” kind of guy. Scouts may be the ones who keep him at bay with the Angels though, as like we said, is one of the most desirable hitting prospects in baseball.
3. Scott Downs, LHP
Although he’s the only lefty in the bullpen right now, Burnett is coming back, and Downs is on a contract year. Trading Downs would be similar to a buy and sell kind of trade, where both teams would have to be happy with what they received instead of one settling for the worse off.
4. Randall Grichuk, OF
He was drafted the pick before Mike Trout and just hasn’t been able to perform at the same level due to injuries. He’s currently a Texas League All-Star, but is still a little bit far away from the majors. However, his draft selection and stats this season and last could be something other teams really look into.
5. Kole Kalhoun, OF
I had to bring his name up today at the stadium and all heads turned in the press box. Calhoun is sacred to the California hopefuls as he won the Cal League MVP just a few years back and is potentially an amazing addition to the Angels future. The problem is, when could he play? Shuck, Trout, Hamilton, Cowgill, and Bourjos are all the MLB, and most are having great years. The Angels could deal him off to get rid of an outfielder, but probably will ask for something serious in return.
Truth be told, we can talk about trades happening or not happening all we want, but nothing is true until it actually happens. Hopefully, the Angels are in contention talk when the trade deadline comes up so we can all unload our opinions on who they should pickup or send off. Until then, all we can do is watch game by game, and get ready for October.
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