Here’s the latest from around the AL West…
- Mariners lefty James Paxton was two outs away from a complete game victory yesterday when he was hit on his throwing elbow by an Andrelton Simmons line drive. Fortunately for Paxton and the M’s, x-rays were negative and manager Scott Servais told reporters (including Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune) that he’s hoping Paxton may not even miss a start, thanks to an off-day this week in Seattle’s schedule. The injury has been diagnosed as a deep bruise, and Paxton will be able to pitch if the swelling subsides. Paxton has been a big part of the Mariners rotation, posting a 3.53 ERA, 4.06 K/BB rate and 8.04 K/9 over 81 2/3 IP this season, and any missed time for Paxton would undoubtedly be a blow to Seattle’s wild card hopes.
- In other Mariners pitching news, Taijuan Walker was optioned to Triple-A to create a 25-man roster spot for the newly-acquired Arquimedes Caminero. Ariel Miranda will continue in the Mariners’ rotation filling Walker’s spot. [Updated Mariners depth chart at Roster Resource.] Walker got off to a strong start this season that fueled his solid year-long stats (4.10 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 4.0 K/BB rate), though he has had trouble pitching deep into games. Walker has also struggled in his last two outings, sandwiched around a month-long DL stint due to right foot tendinitis, and the M’s couldn’t allow for Walker time to regain his form with the team in a playoff race. “His last 13 starts, he’s had three quality starts. It may be different if we were 10 or 15 games below .500. We’re not,” Servais told Dutton and other reporters.
- Despite the demotion, the Mariners haven’t given up on Walker and aren’t looking to trade him, Dutton tweets in response to a reader question. Walker received a lot of attention from other teams prior to the trade deadline but GM Jerry Dipoto said the young hurler wasn’t available.
With the Angels already looking ahead to 2017, both MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez and the Los Angeles Times’ Pedro Moura addressed the team’s future in separate mailbag pieces. Gonzalez believes the Halos will have an offseason similar to last, when they look to upgrade with relatively low-cost or cost-neutral moves since the payroll will still be bogged down by several large contracts (albeit with some relief since C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver will be off the books). Aiming for contention in 2018 may be a wiser move since Josh Hamilton’s contract will also be up, and Gonzalez feels Kole Calhoun could be an interesting trade chip to address other needs, though Calhoun is obviously a valuable piece of the current roster.
Moura’s mailbag addresses such topics as whether or not Arte Moreno would consider selling the team (Moura doesn’t believe so), the possibility of Yunel Escobar being traded and Kaleb Cowart possibly stepping in as a low-cost third base option in his place, plus how Angels GM Billy Eppler really can’t be judged on his job performance since Eppler is still dealing with poor organizational decisions made prior to his hiring.
Sell everyone except Trout and do something about that embarrassment of a farm system.
Sell Escobar, play Cowart, and sign Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Since Cowart has done well at SLC, my guess is Eppler would have traded Escobar if he had received an offer that made it worthwhile. I think Escobar is talented, but has too many brain cramps and shows lack of hustle too often. A lot of GMs aren’t seeking that kind of player, even if he hits well.
My bet is that Eppler trades him this offseason, and the Cowart era begins in 2017. Escobar’s contract is still team-friendly and the buying team can go QO route at end of 2017 if they want.
There is no way Escobar gets a QO. The Astros went out on a limb when they gave one to Rasmus, but that’s just because of his huge postseason. Escobar will be looking at either a low AAV for two, maybe three years, or minor league contracts after the 2017 season
I think you just contradicted yourself. The idea that Escobar will be expecting 2-3 years is the very reason to give the QO, since current team is betting player will reject that offer.
QO for this Winter expected to be $16.7M. If he can get $25M over 2 or $30M over 3, of course he’s going to chase the most $$$. The name of the game is long-term security.
I’d rather see Escobar moved to 2nd Base and Cowart given a short at 3rd. He’s a great defender at the MLB Level. Just need to get him some ABs.
Angels organization is lost unfortunately for us Angel fans. They arguably have the worst owner in the MLB, a manager that the game has past by, and a GM that is a puppet to them both. This organizations needs a complete overhaul in order to compete on the field.
What’s this madness. I was under the impression this team was a Reddick and Jannsen addition away from being the best team in baseball!?
On a serious note yeah, this team is in a really bad position probably the worst since Moreno bought the team. They need upgrades everywhere and lack the assets and financial flexibility to make those upgrades. Even with the Weaver/Wilson money coming off the books, when you factor all the contract raises and players entering and progressing through arbitration this team as is will still be very close to the luxury tax threshold. They will have to cross the threshold by a pretty good margin if they’re interested in making any kind of substantial upgrades next year and they don’t have the kinds of prospects other teams covet in trades to upgrade there. I don’t see how this team finishes anywhere but last next year without ballooning the payroll.
There are fans of maybe 15 other teams who wish their team’s owners were as awful as Moreno. His meddlesome nature led to the Hamilton debacle, but the issue wasn’t one of cheapness. The problem with the luxury tax is that crossing it in 2016 more or less guarantees doing it again in 2017, and penalties skyrocket with repeated instances.
Look at it differently: If the Angels had signed Cespedes as many (including me) wanted, it wouldn’t have cost draft pick, but would have crossed luxury tax, Cespedes would still have spent that time on the DL, and the pitching staff would still have blown up. More spending isn’t always the cure.
His meddling led to multiple terrible signings that are the reason they are currently up against the luxury tax. So no, I doubt 15 other teams want that. Just because he isn’t cheap does not make him a good owner.
I’d much rather have a cheap owner who leaves baseball decisions to people who actually understand what they are doing.
Nobody here is arguing that the Angels need to spend more, spending is what got them in their current predicament and it started with Pujols/Wilson. Anyone with even just a moderate understanding of modern baseball knows that you can’t buy your way in to the playoffs. The Angels are operating like the Yankees used to and it’s hilarious because even NY realized their model no longer worked and went a different direction.
Trade trout for a few blue chip prospects. It’s their only hope of contending within 5 years
No. Won’t happen, bad idea, let it go.
I’d love to hear your plan for how they become contenders then.
That’s a great idea. The Angels farm system is terrible. There’s no free agents capable of turning the team around this offseason. Why not trade him and replenish the farm system? I understand that he’s arguably the greatest player in the game but what do you have to lose? They’re already a mediocre team.
Tell you what: Look back at the “haul” MIA got from Tigers for trading MigCab. Every “can’t-miss” prospect either missed ( Maybin), bloomed years later (Miller), or missed altogether (everybody else). Miller and Maybin were both DET 1st round picks from successive years. A total of 6 players came to MIA for Cabrera and Willis, and all failed to catch on with Marlins, nor did they improve team’s future. 2011-2013, all 5th place finishes, 30 games back.
So this idea that the farm can be magically restocked by trading the consensus best player in MLB, under contract for 4 more years–with a full no-trade clause, by the way–is the laziest form of thinking. Trout is worth twice what Cabrera was worth when he was traded, and MIA got zero in return. Two times zero is no deal at all.
lol I’ll trade you Jerry Reinsdorf for Artie Moreno