Perish the thought, I know. But eventually, if the team continues its slide through the end of June, they'll be 39-43, which would set them on pace for a 77-85 record. Teams going down that path typically don't take on two-month rentals to make a playoff surge.
So we've got to know, here--if the Angels keep skidding, who goes on the chopping block?
Let's assess the candidates here--we know that youngsters like Bourjos, Trumbo, Conger...they're all safe. The typicall sell-off candidate is a player nearing the end of their contract, and a guy that can be clutch at times. So, let's see:
Torii Hunter: He's nearing the end of his contract--but whoever takes him on gets him for 2012 as well. At his best, we know that Torii can be a beast. He's shown his ability at the plate before, and we know that even at the corner, he can still field. The team that would take Torii would be (other than mentally unstable) a team that could likely make the playoffs without him, but can use the slight push. Candidates include Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Detroit.
Bobby Abreu: Bobby's nearing the end of his contract as well, and shipping him to another team also means shipping his 433 PA vesting option for 2012. He's been heating up lately, and continuing that pace gives him some decent stats come the trade deadline--good enough to be a contender's fourth outfielder, thus possibly limiting his 2012 option and preventing it from vesting, meaning that if the Angels really wanted to, they could buy him back at cheap for the 2012 year on the free agent market. Candidates include New York (AL), Philadelphia and St. Louis.
Joel Pineiro: Joel's been solid during his contract--definitely not Cy Young quality, but just what we expected: a good number-four that can eat innings when he's hot. With Scott Kazmir (henceforth referred to as "Scuzzbucket") to come back from the DL any day now, and Tyler Chatwood doing a solid job at number-five, Pineiro would be the odd man out should the seller position arise. Candidates include Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis.
Russell Branyan: 3TO would likely be an August deadliner that could net us a Loek Van Mil (henceforth referred to as "Dutch Shaquille") sort of player. As his nickname suggests and as our knowledge serves us, he can power the ball, or the ball can power him. A solid bench bat that could just maybe light a spark for a second-place contender. Candidates include Boston, Cincinnati and San Francisco.
You guys have any thoughts? Agree/disagree with my own suggestions? Let me hear it!