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Jeff Mathis: TRADE BAIT?

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We are finished with our "What to Do" Series here at Halos Heaven. For the past week we have explored, discussed and debated every Angel who may or may not be here next season based on the end of their contracts.

Now it is time for "TRADE BAIT" ... where we look to players under club control. Who can we trade? What will he bring? Who brings us the most? Who should we absolutely keep?

REMEMBER:

If we do not re-sign Teix, our #1 need in a trade is a power and OBP bat.

If we re-sign Teix but not Frankie, our #1 need is a reliable 6th/7th inning bullpen arm.

Catcher Jeff Mathis plays a premium position. His defense is alright, nothing special, but he is a legend - at least in Mike Scioscia's mind - at handling pitchers. When Mike Napoli was injured, he performed decently as an everyday horse behind the plate. HIs offensive roduction is terrible, but relative to such "stars" (please note the heavy sarcasm) behind the plate as Jose Molina, Josh Paul and Shawn Wooten, Mathis is the best backup catcher the franchise has ever had. Not to be dismissed is his rapport with Ervin Santana with whom he has bonded since the minor leagues. How much of Ervin's turnaround season can be attributed to Jeffo is debatable, but it certainly cannot be a dealbreaker in moving Mathis for something the club needs.

Jeff will turn 26 at the end of Spring Training. He has 2 years and 12 days total major league service time and is not arbitration eligible. He was a 1st round pick in the 2001 draft, the 33rd player taken overall.

We have Bobby Wilson and Ryan Budde appearing to be serviceable backup catchers, although an injury to Mike Napoli in a Post-Mathis era would put the Angels in a deep hole. Hank Conger behind the plate is a pipe dream at the moment as his glove and makeup are years behind his powerful switch-hitting bat.

Trade him? Keep Him? Maybe dangle him for what? Let the Angels know whether or not you consider Jeff Mathis to be TRADE BAIT...