August trade thoughts

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Updated: August 1, 2015

A wise man once said “Winter is coming.” It’s coming for the Angels. A dark is falling, shadows of rumors pertaining to the inner fortitude of certain players. Yes, the betrayal on this Halos team is very indeed worthy of one, George R.R. Martin. Never mind this small Game of Thrones analogy, because there is truly a lot that needs to be done with this Angel team. As we’ve seen in the past few weeks, the Angels have taken, for lack of a more clever phrase, a turn for the worse. It’s something that all teams endure, the adversity of injury or some other factor, but championship teams overcome their adversities, as no one just willingly gives away championships.

If the Angels consider themselves contenders, which just a few weeks ago they did, then this team needs more work done to its roster. Luckily, in the MLB, there seem to be a limitless amount of trading deadlines. Like your mother calling you for dinner, the first warning of the playoffs came just this past Friday. While the Angels biggest opposition made big time acquisitions, the Halos were only able to bring a few above average outfielders to this dinner table. Mother is upset indeed. Now, with news of C.J. Wilson’s injury, or lack thereof, the Angels find themselves in need of a pitcher to fill in their starting rotation. As is with all comedies, something’s strengths usually at one point or another also become their weakness. Unfortunately, the time has passed to make a move on a player such as Scott Kazmir or David Price, but the time may be ripe for the Angels to acquire a player in a waiver trade. A diamond in the rough if you will, that, or either a grossly overpaid or underperforming player if you prefer to look at it that way. Here are a few arms that the Angels should most certainly take an interest in if they land on waivers.

1. Aaron Harang (Phi)

2. James Shields (SD) (let me dream)

3. Ian Kennedy (SD)

I’ll work out my pipe dream in James Shields later on, but for now, focus on the more realistic two of the three. Harang, who looks exactly like the crazy uncle who owns a few Subway franchises, has posted a 3.97 ERA in 18 starts with the abysmal Phillies this season. With a player like Harang, I tend to not take too much stock into his ERA. It’s never blown me away and I doubt it ever will, but he is an experienced veteran and without a doubt a solid 5th guy to add to a good rotation. Should the Phillies put him on waivers, which I expect they will, along with everyone else except for maybe Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco, it would be wise for the Angels to pursue, if for nothing more than a veteran presence in the clubhouse.

On to the next realistic notion: Ian Kennedy. It seems irony strikes again when the team most expected to unload at the trade deadline stands pat and motions towards a playoff push. If that bubble bursts for the San Diego Fathers, a player they will surely bait and hook on the waiver wire will be Kennedy. Kennedy, while younger than Harang, does boast an even less impressive ERA, coming in at 4.44. I understand these guys aren’t exactly having lights out seasons, but Kennedy is a homegrown kid, coming from USC, and I’m sure he would relish the opportunity to play for a team with the name Los Angeles in its name. But, what if the Padres and  A.J. Preller really are a little crazy. What if they decide to see who still has interest in ‘Big Game’ James Shields? The Angels would have to be absolutely insane to not at least due their due diligence on the matter, and alliteration aside, it would be a fantastic move if they could pull it off. The price for Shields will still be high and the Angels will be forced to part with at least one top prospect, and probably another mid to high grade prospect to land a player the caliber like Shields, even in a waiver wire trade. Just take a second and imagine the Angels rotation with Shields replacing Wilson, and with Jered Weaver’s health as questionable as the spelling of his first name, Shields is exactly the player the Halos need. Like I said before though, the price for Shields will most likely be way too high for the Angels to pay, and theres no shame in adding a player like Harang or Kennedy to fill out the rotation. What will be a shame is if the Angels stand pat and do nothing.

There’s no doubt that the Halos have fallen on harder times as of late, but, its the beginning of August and the baseball season lasts longer than those in Game of Thrones. The team should not yet be thinking of hitting the panic button just yet, but righting the ship sooner rather than later will most likely have a much more profound effect on their chances at the AL West crown.

Until next time,

@wtjefff

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