The national media is buzzing about the possible trade of Gary Matthews, Jr. after his Sunday sojourn when informed of the near certainty that he will be riding the Los Angeles of Anaheim bench for most of the upcoming season.
General Manager Tony Reagins already announced that Matthews has not waived his No-Trade clause, but the Angels' $33 Million 5th outfielder is probably not long for the team. He left a meeting Sunday in a bad mood after having his upcoming pine-role clearly explained to him by Reagins and manager Mike Scioscia.
While the Cincinnati Reds lack the pitching depth to trade Aaron Harang or Bronson Arroyo to the Angels straight up for Matthews, the near-match in salary between either one of those pitchers and the Angels' outfielder creates its own logic.
The Angels, though, will have to sweeten the pot. Even with matching dollar signs, an arm is more valuable than a league average bat/above average glove and speed. The ante could be upped by adding Dustin Moseley to the deal. Moseley is a dead ringer for an American League fifth starter which would make him a National League #4 man by default. He still has a smidgen of developmental upside and will just be hitting arbitration year #1 after 2010.
The Reds could hold out for minor leaguer Sean O'Sullivan (ranked the Angels' #10 prospect by Halos Heaven minor league analyst Ryan Gahan) and if they do, the Angels should move on this deal. Either Harang or Arroyo as a fifth starter would be ten times better for the Angels than Matthews collecting a paycheck for doing little more than neatly stacking the Gatorade towels in the dugout between innings. Arroyo has had a flare up of carpal tunnel syndrome this past week and the site of Harang facing Oakland - who traded him to Cincinnatti for Jose Guillen at the 2003 trde deadline - would be sweet.
There is not a perfect solution to the Matthews situation, but once the season begins to play out, it will only take a few weeks of him sitting and another team sweating to cause the Angel to revisit the chance to sweeten up what KEN ROSENTHAL reveals was their opening offer.