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Angels look to retool after injury-plagued 1st half

Los Angeles could move some pieces with eyes on contending in 2019
MLB.com @mi_guardado

The Angels spent the offseason revamping their roster in the hopes of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. After re-signing Justin Upton, landing Shohei Ohtani and adding Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler, many thought they had assembled enough talent around Mike Trout to contend in 2018.

But things have not panned out as expected. A cavalcade of injuries, an inconsistent offense, a stretched and occasionally spotty bullpen and a decimated rotation have all played a role in stunting the club's early season promise. After a franchise-record 13-3 start, the Angels went 36-45 to finish the first half one game over .500 at 49-48.

The Angels spent the offseason revamping their roster in the hopes of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. After re-signing Justin Upton, landing Shohei Ohtani and adding Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler, many thought they had assembled enough talent around Mike Trout to contend in 2018.

But things have not panned out as expected. A cavalcade of injuries, an inconsistent offense, a stretched and occasionally spotty bullpen and a decimated rotation have all played a role in stunting the club's early season promise. After a franchise-record 13-3 start, the Angels went 36-45 to finish the first half one game over .500 at 49-48.

Not only do the Halos trail the first-place Astros by 14 games in the American League West, but they are also nine games behind the Mariners and six games behind the A's for the second Wild Card spot. That's an arduous climb for any team, even with 65 games remaining on the schedule. Here's a look at where things stand for the Angels with two weeks to go until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Video: 2018 ASG: Trout laces a solo home run to left

Current status: Seller
The Angels' playoff odds stand at 2.5 percent, according to FanGraphs, so they could be compelled to part with some of their assets at the Trade Deadline if they receive good returns from other teams. A major sell-off is unlikely, as the Halos don't have a ton of trade chips and will be looking to contend again in 2019.

The Angels also choose to simply keep their roster intact and give themselves a shot to get back in the race in the second half, especially since they still have three more games against the Mariners in Anaheim next week. Their rotation could also receive a boost after the All-Star break, as Nick Tropeano, Matt Shoemaker and Ohtani could return to pitch before the end of the season.

Video: LAA@LAD: Ohtani lines a pinch-hit double in the 9th

What they are seeking
If they sell, the Halos will likely want to add more talent to their improving farm system, particularly on the pitching end.

What they have to offer
The Angels lost their most valuable trade chip after Garrett Richards opted to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, leaving Martin Maldonado and Kinsler as their only healthy impending free agents. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic also reported that Los Angeles has also drawn interest on some of its controllable relievers, such as Blake Parker, Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian and rookie Justin Anderson.

Video: LAA@LAD: Alvarez fans Grandal to earn the win in 10th

Possible scenario
The Angels could move Alvarez, who has a 2.66 ERA over 40 2/3 innings, to a team in search of bullpen help, such as the Indians. The lone move at last year's Trade Deadline also involved a reliever, as the Halos traded David Hernandez to the D-backs in exchange for pitching prospect Luis Madero.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels