From 6 AM today - Friday morning, until 6 PM Saturday afternoon, the Angels can decide the future of their organization (from its payroll to its minor league system) more thoroughly than at any time since Arte Moreno's infamous pre-2004 season Free Agent splurge (signing Vlad, Escobar, Colon and Guillen). In that time, can they get younger, cheaper and better as they retool for 2011?
Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Mike Napoli and Ervin Santana have to be considered untradeable. Torii Hunter has a no trade clause. Scot Shields, Joel Pineiro and Scott Kazmir are untradeable. Alberto Callaspo was added as a longterm solution recently. So that is ten members of the 25-man roster. There could be a desperation bombshell offer for Santana or Napoli ahead... but nah.
Most Everyone Else: Trade deadline deals are almost always for veterans. The "why" as to this is endlessly debatable, but 30 out of 30 front offices trade for veterans when they are in contention. So no prospects are getting traded (unless there are prospects coming back in a deal) nor are any up-down minor league bubble players, nor guys who have spent a significant amount of time on the DL (Matt Palmer, Maicer Izturis) and the following Angels are not going anywhere either: Kevin Frandsen, Kevin Jepsen, Reggie Willits. No contender is going to take a gamble on Brandon Wood.
Good Contracts, Iffy Players:
Brian Fuentes is finishing up a $9 million season. He turns 35 in August. If he finishes 30 more games (no way), he will vest the same salary for 2011.
Hideki Matsui will be a free agent after this year. He is owed the remainder of his $6 million salary for 2010.
Juan Rivera just turned 32. He will make $5.25 million next year.
Fernando Rodney is slated to repeat the same $5.25 million salary in 2011 as he got this season. He turns 34 in March.
Howie: What contending team could use an average fielding 2B who is 27, has a career batting average of .294 but an OPS of just .752 and will be going into his year 2 of 3 arbitration years after making $1.75 million in 2010? He has had 3+ years in the bigs but has never played a whole season due to injuries? Does anyone want Howie Kendrick. If we can get a B+ pitching prospect from AA, trade him. If you consider Howie untradable, please substantiate a reason to keep him other than your "HOPE" that he will one day be good - he is not league average for his career, is having a down season... and it is getting time for Smiley McGroundout to hit or get off the lot.
Aybar: His fielding is his best commodity and his bunting prowess (despite that '08 ALDS foible) helps. He made $2 million this season and has two more seasons of club control arbitration ahead of him. Erick Aybar turns 27 in January.
Mathis and Wilson: Backup catchers are a commodity. Maybe it is a stretch, or a hopeful prayer, but Jeff Mathis (Arb 2 and 3 ahead) and Bobby Wilson (club control four seasons after this one) have some value as a trade chip.
Bad Contract, Iffy Player
Bobby Abreu will be 37 next March. He will make $9 million next year. With a healthy season (550 PA) in 2011, he will vest a $9 million paycheck at age 39 in 2012.
WHAT CAN THEY GET?
It is time to get younger and cheaper. Prospects by the bushel, please, even if we throw salary relief toward the contending teams. Trade with Texas, Boston, Oakland, the Yankees, the Yomiuri Sea Monsters... ease this payroll now and see what 2 months of 4-A can do for our minor league bubble boys. Make 2010 a scouting combine... build now for 2011, it is a mere 58 games away... ehhhh... chances are that they will do nothing, but we can dream can't we?