Angels remain hopeful of adding bat in deal
With non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, club will consider rental if price is right
ANAHEIM -- The Angels are still "casting a wide net" in their ongoing search for offense, a source familiar with the team's thinking told MLB.com Monday.
The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is only 11 days away, and the Angels are still hopeful of acquiring a bat before then, though nothing is close. Among the names they've considered are Jay Bruce of the Reds, Ben Zobrist and Josh Reddick of the A's, Adam Lind and Gerardo Parra of the Brewers, Ben Revere of the Phillies, Andre Ethier of the Dodgers and Nick Markakis of the Braves.
The Angels would prefer a left-handed hitter who can play left field, but are open to right-handed options at other positions as well. More important to the Angels is that the player be controllable past this season, considering the team projects to have to fill as many as five everyday spots -- catcher, third base, second base, left field, designated hitter -- over the offseason.
The Angels will also consider rentals if they make sense, but Padres left fielder Justin Upton, who will be one of the most highly sought after free agents this offseason, doesn't figure to be a fit.The Padres' asking price is said to be too high for a player who would only be controllable for a couple more months, especially with Upton ineligible for a qualifying offer once he's traded.
The Angels would ideally get a big bat by parting ways with veteran starter C.J. Wilson, who's 50-34 with a 3.82 ERA in 117 starts since signing a five-year, $77.5 million contract in December 2011. Wilson, who can block trades to only eight teams this year, is owed $38 million from 2015-16.
Trading Wilson would give the Angels extra room below the luxury-tax threshold, allowing them to plug some of the holes in their lineup over the winter. The emergence of fellow lefties Andrew Heaney and Hector Santiago this season, not to mention the return of lefty Tyler Skaggs from Tommy John surgery in 2016, has made the 34-year-old Wilson somewhat expendable.
As of now, though, the Angels haven't come across a bat that would make trading Wilson worthwhile.
And their recent surge -- 65 runs in a nine-game road trip before the All-Star break, seven runs in the second inning of Monday's doubleheader opener -- has made them less desperate.
"We will continue to survey the trade market for possible upgrades that we feel make sense, but we don't feel pressure to make a move just for the sake of making a move," said assistant general manager Matt Klentak, who is expected to have major say in who the Angels acquire this month. "We believe in the group we have."
• The Angels called up right-hander Cory Rasmus to be their extra pitcher for the second game of Monday's doubleheader, then optioned him back to Triple-A after not using him. Rules now allow teams to deploy a 26th man for doubleheaders. Rasmus has a 3.18 ERA in 11 1/3 innings since returning from surgery for a core injury, but hasn't thrown more than 40 or so pitches. The Angels want to stretch him out to about 60.
• Angels manager Mike Scioscia acknowledged Nick Tropeano as a candidate to start Friday, when a sixth starter is needed. Tropeano pitched seven innings of two-run ball for Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday. His next turn is Tuesday, but he can be held back. Top prospect Sean Newcomb, pitching for Class A Inland Empire, is not an option. Jered Weaver, who will throw a simulated game on Tuesday, is "a long shot," Scioscia said.