For those of you who think the Angels are out of it or for some reason are selling and not buying this trade deadline, think again. The Angels are only two games out of first place and by adding two or three players they can make a run not only for the division, but even the wild card (five games back of New York). The Angels always need a bat or two, but this year they need bullpen depth and even a starting pitcher.
Heath Bell, San Diego Padres
I'll state this now for everyone to read: The Angels are the front-runners for Heath Bell. Jordan Walden isn't cutting it and his seven blown saves has left manager Mike Scioscia scratching his head. The question is, Is Walden a better setup man at this point in his young career than as a closer?
The answer is YES.
The Angels have always been a team with a top-notch veteran closer until this year. Trading for Bell and signing him to a long-term contract makes all the sense for the Angels. It not only gives them the closer they badly want, but takes care of the depth they needed to add in the bullpen. It gives them a tough one-two-three punch with Downs, Walden, and Bell. It even allows Mike Scioscia to use Downs to face lefties in certain tough situations.
The only question is, how much are the Angels willing to give up for Heath Bell and will Mike Trout be on the Padres come August 1?
Leo Nunez, Florida Marlins
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Angels are interested in Leo Nunez, but at what cost? Nunez will be a free agent next year, so he is clearly on the market for a team that is 15.5 games out of the division. The Marlins are on the hunt for a third basemen, starting pitching and prospects. If the Angels can't secure Hearth Bell, look for them to chase Nunez and get him.
Tyler Clippard, Washington Nationals
Ok, this one is a stretch, but worth noting. Clippard has always been a candidate to close out ballgames and he makes one heck of a setup man. He has a 1.73 ERA and 72 Ks in 57 innings for the Washington Nationals. The Nats have been interested in outfielder Peter Bourjos and if that trade has any chance of happening, Clippard would have to be involved.
You never know what the Nationals will do, but they are 16 games out (as expected) and getting great prospects for Clippard might pay off big for 2012 and 2013.
By Todd Farino, www.thecloserreport.com