Led by Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels managed to usurp first place just before All-Star activities began. Pitching hasn’t been instrumental in leaping over Houston, but it’s been sustainable enough to keep divisional foes at bay. Combining their ability to spend with their dire needs in pitching, the Angels will undoubtedly visit every available candidate to determine which pitcher could push their season into the World Series. With few available options and five other teams currently active, here’s how the Angels can outwit the New York Yankees and make Mike Scioscia smile.
Jay Bruce In Halos?
According to Bleacher Report, Jay Bruce would provide the missing piece the Los Angeles Angels need in right field. His 2015 numbers are around his career average (.255, 16, 48), yet his eight years of Major League service could prove invaluable to Trout and Co., who lack consistency in hitting beyond the Bash Brothers. Bruce is signed through the 2016 season with an option for 2017, and would command an outrageous return given his youthfulness (28) and great outfield play (only 1 error thus far).
Pitching Is Good — Hamels Makes It Better.
Jered Weaver will eventually return to Jered Weaver form. Huston Street closes games with consistency, and middle relief is stellar. Getting someone to go between Hector Santiago and Garrett Richards, assuming Weaver slides into the fourth slot, is monumental given Houston’s pitching surprises. Cole Hamels is undeniably linked to Angels executives, since he’s controllable until 2018, has been solid in interleague play, and would immediately increase odds of winning it all. His cost, however, would probably be high enough that top prospects and draft picks are lost. Ah, but how worthy a move it would be for the Los Angeles Angels.
Hold On. David Price Is Available?
Detroit has sold fewer players than the entire city has sold homes during its bankruptcy (hint: that’s not a lot). At 46-46, the Tigers have (indirectly) announced their intention to put David Price and Yoenis Cespedes up for sale. Yeah, that David Price. He’s already prepared to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016, meaning he’ll become Public Target No. 1. The Los Angeles Angels would boast an outright lethal pitching staff with his presence and, given his career numbers are interstellar (3.12, 95-54, 1274 SO) for his age (29), he’d immediately impact an Angels rotation already ranking top eight in most categories. Imagine the temptation, Angels fans, when someone of Price’s consistency (2.32 this season, 127 Ks) is dangled before team leaders.
If any team has the wherewithal to stockpile marquee names at the trade deadline, its the Los Angeles Angels. Expect some fancy footwork from the front office to pull off impressive moves just before the deadline clock strikes thrice.
[Photo by Jonathan Moore / Getty Images Sport]