Halos have pieces to deal before Deadline

Simmons, Bundy in demand by a slew of contenders

August 30th, 2020

The Angels traded Tommy La Stella to the A’s on Friday night, and they’re likely to make at least one more deal before Monday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline.

The Blue Jays are among the teams showing interest in shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who just returned from the injured list, while sources say the White Sox, Twins, and Braves are among the teams that have engaged with the Angels on right-hander Dylan Bundy.

Simmons, who turns 31 within the week, missed nearly one month after injuring his left ankle in the fourth game of the season. He went 6-for-19 in his first five games since returning, and he’s a four-time Gold Glove Award winner known for his smooth and often spectacular defensive play.

Several factors could contribute to a deal between the Blue Jays and Angels: Simmons will become a free agent after the season; his approximate $2.5 million salary for September is a manageable sum to be worked out between the clubs; Simmons lacks a no-trade clause; and by acquiring pending free agent Taijuan Walker, the Blue Jays have shown they’re willing to trade for rental players.

The Blue Jays have been seeking a veteran hitter for their lineup, particularly with their best player, shortstop Bo Bichette, on the injured list with a sprained knee.

A deal between the Angels and Blue Jays easily could grow to include more players. Angels catcher Jason Castro and outfielder Brian Goodwin are candidates to address Toronto’s needs at their respective positions.

Bundy, meanwhile, is one of the most appealing starting pitchers available on the trade market. He has the fourth lowest hard-hit percentage among pitchers with at least 50 batted-ball events, according to Statcast, and opponents are batting only .075 against his slider this season.

Bundy, 27, is beginning to realize the promise that saw him ranked as a consensus top-10 prospect in the game in the first half of the previous decade. The Angels aren’t under pressure to trade Bundy, since he’s eligible for salary arbitration in 2021 before becoming a free agent. But there’s enough interest in him now that the Angels could receive at least one high-level pitching prospect for him.

Pitchers account for six of the White Sox top 10 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. Twins right-handers Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran — the fourth- and fifth-ranked prospects in the Minnesota system, respectively — may intrigue the Angels.

The Angels have the second-worst record in the American League and are set to miss the playoffs for a sixth straight year. They’ve surrendered more runs this season than every Major League team except the Red Sox and Giants.