Los Angeles Angels Trade Talk: 4 Big Bats They Could Chase at the Deadline
Time is money, and this year, Orange County is doing what Orange County does best: spend money.
Currently two games back of the AL West leading Rangers, the Angels lack offensively is the blaring flaw that keeps them from the conversations of upper echelon contenders.
Despite the necessity to shore up the brittle middle relief, the Angels priority rests with their inconsistent offense, currently ranked 18th overall.
A team built around struggling Torii Hunter and one-season wonder Vernon Wells needs another veteran bat to, one, create offense by means of high hit for average, or two, hit the ball out of the park.
With Carlos Beltran officially headed to the Bay Area brats, the Angels have to swindle something soon in order to stake their claim in a fast-approaching deadline.
A plethora of hot sale items are on display, yet only four names in particular have the OC swag to shake the organization at its core.
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Chicago Cubs
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Since losing Kendry Morales (again!) for the season, the Angels have lacked pop in the central parts of their lineup.
For weeks, the rumor sending Aramis Ramirez to the Angels has bounced back and forth, and for weeks, Ramirez has reported he will not waive his no-trade clause.
With a Cubs organization trying to rid Ramirez's 15-million dollar salary and the 10-year veteran's pressure to perform now at the ripe age of 33, a deal should legitimize in the coming hours.
Adding power like Ramirez's (.299, 19 home runs) at third answers the issues at the position: a rotating sequence wavering between Maicer Izturis and Alberto Callaspo, who, though fan favorites and hitting a respectable .284 combined, struggle to hit the ball out of the park.
The trade most importantly blurs the largest indifference between the Halos and the Rangers' Herculean lineup. If a showdown were to occur late in September, a bat like Ramirez's is the type of thing to, one, prod their spotty pitching, and two, assure Hunter, Wells and Trout get good pitches to hit.
Michael Cuddyer, 3B, Minnesota Twins
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Third base woes continue. According to Scott Miller of CBSsports.com, third base is where the wandering eye persists.
Owed a sparse $4.5 million the remainder of the season, Cuddyer is a nice buy-low, sell-high prospect. He is a perfect gritty ballplayer for a hard-nosed Scoscia clubhouse, which historically steers clear of headcases (see: Manny Ramirez).
Despite Cuddyer being somewhat of a downgrade comparatively to Aramis Ramirez, he has a history of hitting with power (32 home runs in 2009) and is a low-worry, sure-handed glove at third. He possesses the intangible to play with an organization that values character first, ability second.
With pieces like Izturis or Callaspo to throw the Twins' way, a deal is not only realistic, but the most plausible deal to get done in the Angels camp.
The one-time All-Star sits nice in the fifth or sixth hole between Hunter, Trout or Trumbo. His average bat with light pop causes late inning trouble and allows the Angels to work in either Callaspo or Izturis as a nice utility option off the bench.
B.J Upton, CF, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
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The line on 26-year-old B.J Upton (.229/.310/.399) is not mega, nor is it blockbuster.
But the line on the perennial Gold Glove kid has always been his tremendous potential, the upside we all fell in love with in 2008 during the Rays sudden and exciting postseason run.
A speedy web gem highlight real, Upton is the type of run-first aggressor, 21 steals in 28 attempts, that appeals to the Angels clubhouse.
Scoscia's fascinations with speed have led the team toward guys like Hunter, Figgens, Aybar and Izturis, and ousted aging future Hall of Famers like Vlad Guerrero.
Despite the Rays' standing only seven games back in the AL East, they've surprisingly showed a casual willingness to part ways with one of their franchise faces and are pursing trades with various teams.
Though the Angels are not on the immediate short list, they do have valuable candidates to offers, like Peter Bourjos, whose most appealing because of him being signed through 2016 and Izturis or Callaspo.
The argument that the Angels do not need another outfielder is a flawed sense of logic in two ways. One, the Angels are wearing thin Hunter, who, at 36 and having back-to-back subpar seasons, is in need of more rest and DH duties. And two, moving Upton to the starting lineup to bat behind Aybar and in front of Vernon Wells insures earlier run support and greater comfortability for their erratic middle relief.
Jose Reyes, 2B, New York Mets
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Or we can axe the first three and do it up real Disneyland Fantasia big by trading for this generation's blended version of Joe Morgan and Rickey Henderson in Mets second baseman Jose Reyes.
The multi-dimensional runner is not only stealing bases as always this season, with 31, but having the best season of his career, hitting .346 with 16 triples. The opposite field-slapping four-time All Star is set to come off the books in New York and unexpected to resign with the club.
Last week, Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports purported the Mets speedster desires to play first and foremost for the Angels. And despite the long jam at second base with the current and dependable Erick Aybar, the club has in fact offered the Mets Aybar in exchange for Reyes.
Though the Mets turned down the original deal, a more formal package, including a couple members of the Angels farm system, could equalize the trade offer. Selling now on Reyes is of the essence for a crumbling organization in the Mets, and is a move of enormity to reshape the AL West.
For the Angels, the deal may not be a slam dunk from an X and O stand point, but has the sex appeal they currently lack. Adding Reyes gives the team a once-in-a-lifetime set-up guy who not only sets the table for big innings, but is a proactive step as a franchise face.
Adding a kind-natured guy like Reyes takes pressure off of emerging Mark Trout, who, talented but still 19, needs less of the paparazzi lights and more focus in the batting cages.
The largest hindrance will be Reyes' desire to eat up cap space like Carl Crawford did this last season. And though he wants to be in Anaheim, it is hard to imagine the Angels out-bidding the Yankees or Red Sox come November.
Nonetheless, a worthy risk to take, considering the type of decade-great player the Angels will be adding to the Rod Carew legacy at second.