The Angels are near enough to first place and have enough (misplaced?) confidence in their team that they will be buyers at the deadline. Their trade for Scott Kazmir last August at the non-waiver deadline has turned into a disaster on the field, and a costly one off it. They may not need a fifth starter for the playoffs but they need at least a league average arm in the fifth spot to get them there.
The Angels need a fifth starter desperately. Their most promising midseason pitching prospect promotion, Trevor Reckling, did a developmental U-Turn and was demoted to AA. If Texas pulls away near the deadline, it only ups the quality of the arm needed. The sooner Scott Kazmir gets pushed to the bullpen (or released) the sooner the Angels pull the trigger. As with the Torii Hunter signing one year after their Gary Matthews Jr signing, the Angels are a team that can admit its mistakes and correct them no matter the disruption to the assumed depth chart or payroll.
It would be nice but is not as desperately needed as starting pitching. It is desperately needed, though.
Power at 3B
This was supposed to be Brandon Wood. He has disappeared as a meaningful prospect. Maicer Izturis has been to the DL twice and Kevin Frandsen is waiting for the carriage to turn into a pumpkin as we speak. If Scott Rolen is cloned before July 31, call Tony Reagins.
WHAT THEY HAVE TO TRADE:
Does your team fancy a 22-year old switch-hitting catcher already holding his own in AAA? Hank Conger is the prospect that the catching-deep Angels will likely have to cough up in order to salvage 2010.
If the thin air at AAA Salt Lake does not dissuade you, a classic Rob Deer type 1B prospect in Mark Trumbo awaits all who would gamble on a 24-year old low average power hitter.
Other than Conger and Trumbo, the prospect closest to the majors is relief pitcher Mike Kohn. The Angels using him as an in-house solution is more likely than them trading him. Mike Trout down at Low-Single-A Cedar Rapids is the closest thing to an untouchable prospect that the Angels have. Trout for Cliff Lee straight up would be a bad deal for the Angels.
If you are looking for proven major league catching, Mike Napoli will cost your team a lot in major league talent, but he would be under arbitration control for ‘11 and '12. The underachieving Howie Kendrick is still affordable and may one day put it together - Should I harbor dreams of Dan Uggla homers straight up for Howie's "potential". Joe Saunders is the closest thing to an affordable pitcher the Angels have who could bring an overpriced veteran arm in return; could the Angels get that "high stakes" in the gamble on one season? Tony Reagins has shown he will bite the bullet more often than not. I would bet big that the August 1 Angels 25-Man roster will have eight different names on it that it did on July 1. Not a radical transformation but a deep makeover nonetheless.
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