ANAHEIM -- Manager Joe Maddon wouldn’t rule out the Angels being buyers before Friday’s 1 p.m. PT Trade Deadline, despite his club entering Thursday five games back of the A’s for the second AL Wild Card spot.
The Angels are in desperate need of pitching and were even linked to Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer on Thursday. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted the Angels were the mystery club interested in Scherzer, who was reportedly close to being traded to the Dodgers, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
It was a bit of a surprise to see the Angels linked to a potential trade for an impending free agent, but general manager Perry Minasian has stated that he’d be open to acquiring a rental player. The Angels would also need to pass the Indians, Blue Jays, Yankees and Mariners before catching the A’s to make the postseason.
Maddon knows the odds are against the Angels making the postseason, but he believes the club is set up well for the stretch run once Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh return.
"We’re running out of time but we still have two months to go,” Maddon said. “The best acquisitions for us would be like when Rendon, Walsh and Trout get back. So you've got to try to keep your head above water until everything becomes right again. And trust the front office to do their job. And they are. They're working very hard to help us right now.”
Maddon said the Angels have to approach every game like it’s the postseason because of their place in the standings, and that he’s liked their attitude thus far in the second half of the season.
"You've got to throw the first punch and be prepared for the counterpunch and just keep fighting,” Maddon said. “That’s all we can do. It's like you're already in playoff season. We all need to be in playoff mode from now on. You actually want to get there. It's difficult when you do that because sometimes you do wear out, but we have no other options or no choices right now."
As for Trout, Maddon said he visited a doctor on Thursday after undergoing another MRI exam on his strained right calf. Trout, who has been out since May 17, was encouraged by the results of the exam but still hasn’t been running on the field, so there’s no timeline for his return.
"I know that his tests went well," Maddon said. "They did another scan on it, everything was good and the scan went well. I keep saying the same things, but he has to feel good. And once he feels good, he can head back out there."