Los Angeles Angels Trade Rumors: Latest Updates, News and Reaction
The Los Angeles Angels weren't going to wait for the calendar to flip to July before making a move, trading their own disappointing closer, Ernesto Frieri, to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for another disappointing closer, Jason Grilli, toward the end of June.
But the Angels still have some holes to fill if they hope to remain in contention for both the American League West and one of the two available wild-card spots, with the bullpen remaining a work in progress that could be altered at any time.
While the club doesn't have the high-end prospects needed to land a front-line starting pitcher like the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price or Chicago Cubs' Jeff Samardzija, it does have an owner with deep pockets in Arte Moreno and a penchant for disregarding salary if it means improving the team's chances of winning (see the Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton free-agent signings for proof).
Bleacher Report will be bringing you the most up-to-the-minute rumblings about the Angels, along with analysis and everything else that comes with it. While the post date on this tracker will always show up as July 1, simply click to the next slide to see the latest from the rumor mill as the Halos look to bolster their roster for the stretch run.
July 18: Angels Acquire RHP Huston Street from Padres in 6-Player Trade
2014 Stats: 33 G, 1-0, 1.09 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 33 IP, 18 H, 1.9 BB/9, 9.3 K/9, 24-of-25 SV
Contract Status: Due roughly $3.5 million this year, $7 million team option for 2015
Bolstering the back end of the bullpen has been a goal for Angels GM Jerry Dipoto for weeks, and he’s landed perhaps the best reliever available in San Diego’s Huston Street.
The Padres announced after their Friday night game that they sent Street and right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott to the Angels in exchange for second baseman Taylor Lindsey, shortstop Jose Rondon, right-hander R.J. Alvarez and right-hander Elliot Morris.
The 30-year-old is in the midst of his best season over a 10-year career, converting 96 percent of his saves, nearly 30 percent higher than the Angels' 68 percent mark on the year. Only the Detroit Tigers (6.01 ERA, 1.51 WHIP) have been worse than the Angels (5.84 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) in the ninth inning this year.
Street’s arrival will see those numbers improve dramatically.
Not only will he lock things down in the ninth inning, but his arrival pushes Joe Smith back into a setup/middle relief role, where he’s best suited.
Manager Mike Scioscia, should he see fit, can now roll with Kevin Jepsen in the sixth inning, Smith in the seventh and Jason Grilli in the eighth, a formidable bridge to get the ball into Street’s hands. No matter what bullpen configuration the Angels roll with, the team is in far better shape to make a deep playoff run then it was 24 hours ago.
While trading two of the team’s top prospects, Alvarez and Lindsey, along with the fast-rising Rondon, to acquire a closer may seem like a hefty price to pay, the Angels couldn’t afford to not make this move.
Lindsey was expendable given Howie Kendrick’s status as the team’s starter and the presence of another highly touted youngster, Alex Yarbrough, working his way through the system.
Angels Unlikely to Make Any Additional Moves Before Deadline
Wednesday, July 30 at 6:55 p.m. ET
Those hoping that the Angels will make one more big splash before the trade deadline hits are setting themselves up for disappointment, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reports.
Sources tell Gonzalez that the chances of Los Angeles doing anything are "quite slim," which isn't at all surprising when you consider what they gave up to acquire Huston Street and Joe Thatcher.
Angels Have Interest in David Price, But...
Update: Wednesday, July 16 at 7:10 p.m. ET
Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that while he'd like to bolster his team's rotation, he's not interested in giving up what it would take to bring David Price to Los Angeles.
“We’re open to the idea of getting deeper on the pitching side," Dipoto said. "We’ll see how that plays out. But our team is gelling, and we don’t want to detract from that.”
That goes along with what sources previously told Rosenthal (see Saturday's update below).
--End of Update--
Saturday, July 12 at 8:58 p.m. ET
The Angels have interest in Tampa Bay ace David Price, but they lack the high-end prospects in their minor league system to present the Rays with a suitable package.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that should the Angels make a play for Price, a package would have to be built around first baseman/designated hitter C.J. Cron and left-handed pitcher Tyler Skaggs, something that sources tell Rosenthal is unlikely to happen.
That said, Rosenthal notes that Angels owner Arte Moreno has never shied away from making a big splash when he felt it would benefit his team, and while dealing away a pair of youngsters with considerable upside and years of team control remaining would be painful, Moreno may not be able to resist adding Price if the possibility exists.
Jonathan Papelbon: Philadelphia Closer 'Plan B' for Angels?
Update: Tuesday, July 15 at 4:09 p.m. ET
The Phillies will target all of the Angels' top prospects, focusing more on overall quality rather than positional needs, realizing they could always spin the acquired assets for needs down the road. Therefore, expect the Phillies to ask for a package that includes at least two of the following: Taylor Lindsey, Kaleb Cowart, R.J. Alvarez, Alex Yarbrough, Eric Stamets and Jose Rondon.
Cowart wouldn't make much sense for a Phillies team that already has a young, up-and-coming third baseman in Maikel Franco, but the rest of the names Bowden mentions could all be in play, whether it be for Papelbon, Huston Street or someone else.
With Howie Kendrick entrenched at second base until at least the end of next season, when his contract runs out, both Lindsey and Yarbrough could be considered expendable—and one an eventual replacement for Chase Utley, should a deal between the two clubs be consummated.
--End of Update--
Tuesday, July 15 at 12:36 p.m. ET
A five-time All-Star, the 33-year-old is having another excellent season in Philadelphia, converting 22-of-24 save opportunities while pitching to a 1.21 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.
His penchant for speaking his mind can rub management and his teammates the wrong way, and he's due the balance of his $13 million salary this year, another $13 million in 2015 and has an attainable $13 million vesting option for 2016, all reasons why the Angels may prefer Street over him.
That said, should Street wind up going to another club, Papelbon could be in play for the Halos.
July 5. Angels Acquire OF Tony Campana and LHP Joe Thatcher from Arizona
2014 Stats: 26 G, .150/.164/.200, 2 XBH, 3 RBI, 4-for-5 SB
Contract Status: One year, $509,500 (Not arbitration-eligible until 2015)
2014 Stats: 37 G, 1-0, 2.63 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 9.4 K/9
Contract Status: One year, $2.375 million
The Angels landed the left-handed reliever that they sought in Joe Thatcher, who has pitched to a 2.63 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 37 appearances for the Diamondbacks, averaging more than a strikeout per inning.
He's held left-handed batters to a .657 OPS, slightly up from his career .620 mark but still better than any of the team's current left-handed options.
Tony Campana hasn't done much with the bat over his four-year career (.246/.294/.286), but he's a speedy outfielder who has been successful on nearly 90 percent of his stolen base attempts (66-for-74) and provides above-average defense at all three outfield spots, with a career 14.6 UZR/150 and eight defensive runs saved.
To land the duo, the Angels gave up a pair of prospects that Baseball America ranked as two of the team's 25 best, right-handed reliever Joe Krehbiel (25th) and outfielder Zach Borenstein (ninth) in its 2014 prospect handbook.
Borenstein, 23, was the Angels’ minor league player of the year in 2013 after hitting .337/.403/.631 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI for High-A Inland Empire. He's struggled between Double-A and Triple-A this season, hitting a combined .262/.316/.402 with seven home runs and 50 RBI, leaving some to wonder whether his numbers were merely a result of playing in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League.
Krehbiel, 21, has split time between Single-A and High-A this season, pitching to a combined 2.00 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with a 3.5 BB/9 and 11.5 K/9 rate. According to Arizona Central's Nick Piecoro, Krehbiel has a fastball that sits between 92-95 mph and a good slider to match.
All things considered, the Angels didn't give up anything of significant value to this year's team in order to add an established southpaw to the bullpen mix, something that became a necessity after Sean Burnett's season-ending Tommy John surgery.
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