The Angels are actively attempting to acquire another bat to bolster their offense, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, but the feeling among the front office team is that the asking prices of selling teams is currently too high. The Halos’ present plan is to wait until the market comes back down to Earth a bit, as the belief at this time is that there’s quite a bit of posturing among selling teams. The first-place Angels have received poor production at a number of spots in the lineup, most notably in left field, at DH and at catcher. Chris Iannetta, at least, is showing signs of life in July. After a dreadful April, he slashed .264/.328/.491 in May, but his production again tanked in June, when he hit .190 without an extra-base hit. He’s on the upswing in July, batting .250/.419/.542 through a tiny sample of 31 plate appearances. Matt Joyce, on the other hand, has struggled nearly all season long — a strange turn of events for a usually very strong platoon option in the outfield. It should be noted, of course, that following GM Jerry Dipoto’s abrupt resignation, interim GM Bill Stoneman (a former Angels GM himself) will be overseeing the team’s baseball operations this summer.
The trade market will heat up substantially in the coming two weeks, and here are a few more trade rumors from around the league…
- Though a report from Wednesday cast some doubt on the possibility, Marc Carig of Newsday hears from a source that the Mets haven’t ruled out adding an outfielder via trade (Twitter link). Michael Cuddyer’s knee isn’t healthy, notes Carig, nor is the throwing arm of Juan Lagares. Both have struggled this season at the plate and in the field, and a versatile outfielder would give the club some insurance should either player miss time.
- The Orioles, too, could end up trading for an outfielder, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. GM Dan Duquette admitted to Connolly that acquiring an outfielder is a consideration, though Connolly notes that there’s a very limited number of pieces the O’s would consider dealing. The lack of production from the team’s corner outfield, particularly left field (.223/.286/.352, collectively) underscores the fact that the contingency plans for the departure of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis haven’t worked, Connolly writes. When both players signed elsewhere, Duquette and skipper Buck Showalter noted that the Orioles had a good deal of outfield depth, including Alejandro De Aza, Delmon Young, Travis Snider, David Lough, Steve Pearce, Nolan Reimold and Dariel Alvarez. De Aza and Young have departed by way of DFA, while others have struggled. Alvarez, Duquette said, is a consideration for the second half. He’s leading the Triple-A International League in total bases at the age of 26 and has a strong arm, but as Connolly notes, he’s also walked just seven times this year.
- Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa spoke with the Arizona Republic’s Zach Buchanan about the upcoming trade deadline, and while many of his comments were vague (deliberately so, one would think, so as not to tip his hand), La Russa made it clear that his club had no interest in acquiring any type of pure rental player despite being just five games back in the Wild Card race. “It’s got to be somebody that fits in and is going to be a part of what we do going forward,” said La Russa of any possible trade addition. “The rent-a-player doesn’t work for us.” La Russa went on to say that adding a player with a significant financial commitment attached to his name probably isn’t a realistic option for the team either.