The Angels acted as sellers rather than buyers at yesterday’s trade deadline, moving Andrew Heaney to the Yankees and Tony Watson to the Giants in a pair of deals. However, these were the only moves made, as “we were not focused on tearing down this team by any stretch,” GM Perry Minasian told The Los Angeles Times’ Jack Harris and other reporters. The club also explored adding players (including “higher-salary players,” as Minasian put it) to the big league roster, but couldn’t work out any such trade prior to the deadline.
“I think this group has earned the opportunity to continue to compete. To me, we did not go into this trade deadline with the mindset of, ‘Let’s do a total rebuild’ or anything like that.”
With a 51-52 record, the Angels are only on the outskirts of the playoff race, sitting seven games out of a wild card slot and 12.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon are still on the injured list, so it isn’t entirely out of the question that Anaheim could mount a late charge once those two stars eventually return, and even this slim chance of contention was enough to hold the front office off on unloading all of its rental players. Rumors circulated around closer Raisel Iglesias in particular, though Iglesias remains in an Angels uniform.
Alex Cobb is another of the rental players who wasn’t dealt, and it could be that the veteran righty’s health situation factored into that situation. Cobb was placed on the 10-day injured list last night (after the deadline) due to inflammation in his right wrist, though the injury is thought to be relatively minor.
Acquired in a trade from the Orioles last February, Cobb’s first Angels season has been very solid, as he has delivered a 3.84 ERA/3.62 SIERA over 77 2/3 innings despite dealing with blister issues and now his current wrist problem. Re-signing Cobb would certainly seem like a solid option for a Halos team that still needs pitching, and Cobb told MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger that he has let Minasian know that he would like to stay in Los Angeles, though the two sides haven’t yet had any official extension talks.
“I knew this was somewhere I wanted to be months ago….I’ve told a lot of people, you can kind of see which team is on the verge of being a championship-caliber team, and I don’t know that ’on the verge’ is right, because we have so many talented guys,” Cobb said.
In less-positive news for the Angels, the team announced that Taylor Ward suffered a non-displaced left rib fracture during a Triple-A game yesterday, and Ward has been placed on the minor league injured list. There isn’t any current word on how long Ward could be out of action.
It’s a tough break on multiple levels for Ward, who won’t accumulate any MLB service time while on the minors IL. He was only optioned to Triple-A last week after spending much of the season on the Angels’ roster, hitting a respectable .240/.322/.426 over 232 plate appearances and playing at all three outfield positions.