LA Angels: 5 Reasons Why the Halos' Blew the Trade Deadline
Hope is a word made up of a finicky nature.
It comes pre-packaged with proactive and prudence—two ingredients which, without a doubt, cause hope to flat line into cynic-coma.
The deadline has passed, and no moves were made to make my Angel indigestion smooth over and go away.
No; instead, I am popping cynical tums like a hot dog eating contestant.
Mike Trout faded as fast as a wintering Alaskan sunset, and the league rival Rangers continue to mount an enormous surge toward utter AL dominance.
Sure, we're currently just two games back of Texas. But if closely investigated, our middle relief is one of the poorest in the league, and our lack of offensive pungency distorts a top rotation.
Not to get more negative, but...with Jered Weaver awaiting some form of suspension for his Bob Gibson-esque antics, we are closer to life support than any of us suspected.
For this reason alone, I am calling for Tony Reagin's head and asking Arte and Co. to oust the wayward GM to the bounds of unemployment.
Insert a temporary chip and hire a realist at the position next season.
Who Plays 3rd Base?
I, like most Angel fans, truly appreciate Maicer "Mighty Mouse" Izturis.
For years, he has honorably shared his position with both Erick Aybar and Howie Kenrick, and, at times outplaying both, had fair reasons for arguing on behalf of a more permanent role.
5'9" Alberto Callaspo is hitting a solid .292, but his three home runs are plenty to completely axe him involuntarily.
Hitting a respectable .283 combined, the duo has totalled just eight home runs and 60 RBI this season. Tyically known as a power position, the Angels, currently ranked 20th in home runs, had a valid wandering eye.
Crippled by the Morales injury, Torii Hunter's struggles and streaky Vernon Wells, the Halos have been more reliant upon a one-of-a-kind season from Mike Trout than most of us assumed. With his demotion back to the minors, the experiment officially failed.
Questions now arise with Angels upper management, who, blowing it big by passing two bats like Aramis Ramirez and Michael Cuddyer, are now on the hot seat.
Why Not Sell High on Peter Bourjos?
Major League Baseball's duplicitous nature is made up of two facets: the game itself and the business side of things.
So what does one do when both collide?
The Angels missed a prime opportunity to sell high on uber talented Peter Bourjos. Bourjos, who hit .364 for Triple-A Salt Lake City in 2010, has missed time this season with injury.
Despite the attractiveness of a young 24-year-old like Bourjos, the Angels' outfield heavy roster makes him expendable. Though he is a nifty kid with a gifted poise on the base path and eye for hitting with tremendous contact, the option to sell high would have been a smart move.
In a league fashioned around free agency and solidified through yearly chemistry, the return of an unproven youngster like Bourjos could be the very thing to upset the apple cart.
It creates an impending embroilment between him and Trout, and could be the very thing to move Hunter to a DH role, causing a heated split between the organization and their franchise face.
The Nationals were extremely interested in the Illinois native and had a team of willing pieces to make a deal happen. Bourjos' cheap contract signed through 2016 made him a nice rebuilding project with tons of upside.
With the Halos in playoff survival mode and living much in the veterans NOW, a deal involving Bourjos to shore up middle relief was a major priority.
Rule of thumb: Always pick proven solidity over unproven potential. Just ask last year's Giants.
Say It Isn't So: Hunter Slowly Becoming Our Geriatric Has Been
If the plan is to keep Bourjos, then the Angels did not answer one illuminating question: what to do with Torii Hunter?
The 15-year veteran is having his worst season in his web gem, gold glove, spider like career. He is 36 and is hitting .232 with an abundance of strikeouts.
As much as we don't want to admit his decline, to deny it is foolishness. Say it isn't so, but Hunter is becoming our geriatric has been.
As much as I would miss him like I missed Vladimir Guerrero, we are drastically in need of better middle relief. With teams looking for a veteran to make a playoff push (can you say San Francisco?), selling now on Hunter was imperative.
Parlaying a deal by paying the remainder of this year's salary rids the 15-million owed him next season. That money can be spent on locking up our premium young talents or acquiring coming free agent Jose Reyes.
It also opens a position in the outfield for Trout, without angering a long time star in the process, while still getting something in return for him.
Remember, this is always a business, a sell high/buy low game of cards. And next season trying to trade the then 37-year old is like offering a knock off K-Mart product to Gucci.
Middle Relief Still Tossing Watermelons
I like it better when swinging bats at watermelons happens at a family gathering. But when it happens professionally, it drives me bananas and makes me squirm like a bad rendition of the macarena.
This season, the Halos' middle relief is better suited as a slow pitch softball contestant.
With the injury to Fernando Rodney and the inconsistencies of Michael Kohn (0-1, 7.30 ERA), the Angels are scrambling, going haywire and utterly lost.
Because of our offensive woes and poor run support, it is of the essence to in the very least have a buoyant and assured relief core.
With Heath Bell, Joe Nathan, Mike Adams, Francisco Cordero and Matt Capps all on the trading block, the Angels badly missed the mark nabbing neither of them.
No Way, Jose
Jose Reyes wants to join the hottest housewives of Orange County.
He has an appreciation for Disneyland and desires to be the Halos' blended version of Joe Morgan and Rod Carew.
Adding Reyes may not have been on the Angels priority list, but anytime you have the opportunity to add a one-of-a-kind base stealer currently hitting .344 with 19 triples, you bite.
Yet we didn't. And though hindsight might be 20/20, the Angels' near sighted management is filing intellectual bankruptcy.
Offering Erick Aybar straight up for Reyes was not only a deal of mockery for a player of his caliber, but screwed our chances to be taken seriously. The Mets turned their backs on our proposition and made it very clear that more was going to be needed.
Why not counter offer with a better package in exchange for the speedy Met? That question is the hottest topic around the baseball world.
Despite Reyes' love of Orange County, it is unrealistic to think we can outbid the Herculean Yankees come November.
Though Arte approved a payroll of well over $140-million just to attain a player of his caliber, he got slapped in the face with his own seemingly mute checkbook.
Anyone who knows the nature of free agency understands its highly unpredictable nature.
The American athlete is first seeking a blend of money, fame and power, and because of such, is manipulated by the highest trend setting bidder.
We better hope the Angels can clear enough cap space to woo the soon-be free agent. Missing on a chance to acquire this kind of talent is flunking on every level.