Los Angeles Angels' 5 Biggest Missed Opportunities in the Trade Market

Jason ClarkCorrespondent IINovember 11, 2011

Los Angeles Angels' 5 Biggest Missed Opportunities in the Trade Market

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    There was a time in Angels history where the combination of Casey Kotchman, Howie Kendrick, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana and Nick Adenhart could buy any player in the league.

    The Angels had baseball's top farm system and could have capitalized in a major way. But they didn't.

    While Saunders was traded for Dan Haren and Kotchman was traded for Mark Teixeira, the Angels acted like Brandon Wood on many other top prospects.

    In other words, they either waited too long and took strike three, or swung hard and missed hard (like Wood, pictured above).

    Let's take a look at who those prospects were.

No. 5: Sean Rodriguez

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    Sean Rodriguez is only on this list because of the person for whom he was traded.

    If you don't remember, the Angels traded Rodriguez and a couple other minor league prospects for Scott Kazmir.

    While Kazmir was released earlier this year, Rodriguez is a major utility man for the Rays, making a number of starts at shortstop, third base and outfield.

    His numbers, though better than they were with the Angels, are still below average. He's never been a great player, but the Angels could have made him much more useful.

    Sitting behind Howie Kendrick, Rodriguez didn't have a major role on the Angels. It was good for him to be traded, but giving up a decent prospect like him for a fading talent in Kazmir was just an all-around bad play.

    Rodriguez is still generating trade interest, though now it will be the Rays who take in the rewards.

No. 4: Ervin Santana

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    Ervin Santana has been far from disappointing as an Angel. He has had multiple seasons with over 15 wins and even threw a no-hitter this year. His inconsistency, however, has been frustrating.

    That frustration escalates considering Santana was once a trade market prize.

    One of many players the Angels decided to hold on to, Santana was always a part of rumors for guys like Roy Halladay, Jose Reyes and Matt Holliday.

    Even though Santana is a better-than-solid third man in the Angels' rotation, he was worth a lot more a couple years ago.

No. 3: Dallas McPherson

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    Dallas McPherson was an inconsistent player but had some success and showed promise for a lot more. That led the Angels to keep him longer than they should have.

    McPherson was involved in trade rumors for Randy Johnson in 2004 and Alfonso Soriano in 2006. Both players were high-value targets at the time.

    But in 2007, McPherson spent the whole season on the disabled list as he recovered from back surgery. The following year he became a free agent and signed with the Marlins.

No. 2: Jeff Mathis

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    Mike Scioscia kept Jeff Mathis around because of his defensive ability, but his hitting has always been atrocious.

    Mathis hasn't had a batting average higher than .211 since becoming a regular player. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is awful as well. This has led to a decreased role with the Angels, as he has always split time with another catcher, whether it be Mike Napoli, Hank Conger or Bobby Wilson.

    Before everybody knew for sure that he was an awful hitter, Mathis was always a part of big-time trade rumors.

    The best example is in 2007, when the Angels were in serious talks with the Marlins about a trade for Miguel Cabrera. Even though the Angels were willing to part with Mathis, they didn't include enough around him to get the deal done.

    Instead of landing Cabrera, the Angels had to put their faith in the next person on this list.

No. 1: Brandon Wood

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    Brandon Wood is known as one of the most disappointing players in Angels history.

    Woods was consistently ranked as a top-10 prospect by Baseball America but could never find success in the major leagues.

    The most disappointing thing about Wood was not his lack of production. It was the trade value he had that the Angels refused to give up.

    Wood's name always came up in rumors involving stars like Roy Halladay and Heath Bell. But the Angels needed a power bat at third base, and they thought they had one in Wood.

    Now Wood is playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Angels got nothing in return.