UPDATED: Phew, no dumb moves by Stoneman! Interesting discussion on the Angels, Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, and others ongoing at the propagation bench.
With today being the non-waiver trade deadline (1600 New York time, to be precise), I will be checking the news nervously as I await word on whether the Angels package some of their highly desirable prospects (or even a member of the current rotation) for that ONE BIG BAT.
According to this morning’s LA Times, the Angels offered Ervin Santana and Erick Aybar for Miguel Tejada. The Orioles said no. Thank you Orioles! Sure, Tejada is an outstanding hitter, but not only did he not want to move to third base (as the Angels would have wanted), but also giving up a young stud of an arm strikes me as too high a price, despite Tejada’s being signed through 2009. Aybar is a pretty good prospect himself, although not the blue chip like Howie Kendrick (who is now playing regularly for the Angels) and Brandon Wood (a power-hitting shortstop at AA who is one of the best prospects any organization has at that level).
Supposedly the Angels are going to be aggressive in trying to get Alfonso Soriano. Given that he is 30, a free agent at the end of the year, a poor defensive player, and had not hit especially well outside his hitter-friendly home parks before this season,* he should not command premium prospects. The Times also reports that the Angels tried to package several less-premium prospects for Soriano, but the Nationals would not bite.**
I would rather stay with the team we’ve got than break up a starting staff (that has some question marks with Colon again in the DL) or any top prospects.
Meanwhile, the Yankees pulled off the kind of coup only the Yankees can. For four minor leaguers (none of whom is a big-time prospect), they got Bobby Abreu (and his .420+ on-base average) and Cory Lidle (an upgrade for a staff with its share of mediocre starting pitchers). It is the kind of trade only the Yankees can make because of the huge contract that the Phillies wanted to unload in trading Abreu, whose power seems to have deserted him since he won the Home Run Derby last summer. It’s a brilliant trade: A salary dump for one team and a key piece that could make the difference in the race for the other.
**”The Angels, according to sources, tried to build an offer around Aybar, triple-A left-hander Joe Saunders and an outfielder such as Reggie Willits or Tommy Murphy. The Nationals asked the Angels for infielder Howie Kendrick, who is virtually untouchable, and have shown interest in [pitching prospect Nick] Adenhart.”