The Angels have overcome a lot of adversity this season and it is amazing that the club leads the AL West, once again, by three games. But that being said the Angels need pitching help. While the 100-win Halos of 2008 relied on superior pitching this year’s club has been almost a complete reverse. The Angels powerful offense has delivered for them this season. It is no coincidence that in July a month the Angels were 19-7 they led the League in runs.
With the trade deadline at 1 PM local time yesterday it was assumed by many that General Manger Tony Reagins would be pushing hard to land the Angels pitching relief, literally. If you believe the reports, the Angels were actively pursuing Padres closer Heath Bell and of course the crown jewel of the deadline the Blue Jays Roy Halladay. In the end Reagins was unable to make a deal for either player. Certainly the price tag for Halladay was astronomical, but in my opinion worth it. Watching Roy Halladay pitch on a weekly basis is absolutely a treat. He single handedly would have taken the Angels from contender status to a legitimate World Series threat. However the Halos were not willing to give up roster players or relinquish their prospects. It was reported all last week that the Blue Jays wanted shortstop Erick Aybar, infielder Brandon Wood and top pitching prospect Trevor Reckling. I think the Angels would have been foolish to deal Aybar, who is really just know coming into his own, both offensively and defensively. But just before the deadline according to an ESPN report the Halos offered the Jays Joe Saunders, and three to be named prospects. But the Jays evidently didn’t budge on their position.
To be fair I think the Halos front office should be applauded for not caving in to make a big splash, but there were smaller deals that management seemed to let slip by. The Halos watched as Cliff Lee went to Philadelphia, Jake Peavy to the White Sox, and Jarrod Washburn headed to Detroit. All of these pitchers were dealt for largely prospects. Meanwhile the Angels next three starters have been dismal of late. Of Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana the lowest ERA in July is 6.88.
Management will tell you that the Halos are happy with the players they have, and that with Vladimir Guerrerro and Torii Hunter coming of the DL next week it will be like a trade deadline move. But the fact remains the Halos need pitching help, not more bats. I am not predicting doom for the Halos by an means, at the very least Angels fans can take solace in the fact their division rival, the Texas Rangers, also did nothing to bolster their lineup. If the Halo’s can hang on and win the West then we’ve seen often enough in Anaheim that anything can happen in the playoffs. They just have to get their first.
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Written by Nich Hall