The Los Angeles Angels (63-61) were absolutely demolished by the red hot Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto swept the Angels by knocking in 36 runs on 48 hits. According to ESPN, the Halos have surrendered 44 runs and 60 hits in the last four games. The offense for Anaheim is nonexistent again.
The Houston Astros just swept the LA Dodgers and have built a 5.5 lead in the AL West over the now third place Angels. As it stands the Angels are 1.5 games behind for a wild card berth. Things need to change fast for Mike Scioscia’s ball club and the waiver trade deadline could be the remaining option.
Pitching certainly deserves some of the blame for the four game losing streak but the offense needs to contribute more as well. After Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, the offense is atrocious. Anaheim is towards the bottom of every major offensive category. Their batting average is .244 (26th), OBP .305 (24th), SLG .305 (21st) and OPS .696 (23rd).Aug 21, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes (7) during the game against the New York Mets at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Reinforcements are needed badly for the team to stay in the race for a playoff spot. Two names that make sense that could immediately impact the roster are Jose Reyes and Carlos Gonzalez. Both play for the last place Colorado Rockies. Both carry a huge price tag but the Rockies’ duo can help the offense instantly.
The low offensive numbers is offensive for team that boasts the best player in baseball. Trout and Pujols have 33 home runs each and a combined 144 RBI. After that the next plate threat is Kole Calhoun with 19 jacks. World Series contenders like the Blue Jays, Astros and Royals have excellent power, pitching and defense. The Angels are struggling in all three.
Jose Reyes was traded from Toronto for Troy Tulowitzki. His impact in that lineup is pretty much self-explanatory. The 32-year-old Reyes can offer the Angels someone who is notoriously known to get on base, which is one the many flaws plaguing Anaheim. Moreover when he gets on base, he is threat to steal bases. He has 19 stolen bases already; Trout and Erick Aybar have a team-leading 10 SB apiece. The disgruntled SS is at a point in his career where he can contribute on a contender.
Per a CBS Report
“I’m at the point in my career that I want to win. I say it over and over. I want to win. I don’t want to spend the rest of my career on a last-place team. That’s not the kind of player I feel like I am.”
His reluctance to play for a cellar dweller could sway him to play other positions for a contender. The Angels could use depth at 2B and 3B. Reyes this season is averaging 6 home runs with 41 RBI. In the last seven games, he is averaging .379/.379/.655. Anaheim could certainly use the veteran shortstop in their lineup. Defensively he is not the same but offensively he still has some pop. He has more home runs than Johnny Giavotella and Aybar combined.
Reyes is still owed $44M the next two seasons and his health is always a huge question mark. He is eligible to be traded to any team since he cleared revocable waivers. Colorado is looking to push the reset button and may be ready to move more of their pieces. Tulowitzky was shipped off to Canada, Reyes may soon follow but his teammate would make the AL that much more interesting.Aug 23, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) hits a home run during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Coors Field. The Mets won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Gonzalez could be the missing piece of the puzzle for the Angels. The 29-year-old would add more power to the lineup. CarGo has 30 home runs and 73 RBI for the season. Insert that kind of production in Anaheim then the landscape in the AL changes dramatically. The Angels would have enough firepower to put up more runs on the board. Also with David Freese nearing a return to the team, the Halos would be a dangerous team once again.
Let’s be honest Gonzalez is the prize of this waiver deadline. He’s been on a tear the past 30 days. He’s hit 17 runs, 35 RBI with a slash line of .315/.384/.811. His presence in the lineup alongside Trout and Pujols will make the Angels a much more formidable squad. It will increase the Angels’ offensive production and will rival the high-powered offenses in the AL.
Gonzalez is owed $37M thru 2017 and would be a huge boost for the Angels struggling offense. Still in the prime of his career and immensely talented, Colorado is not going to let him go easily. The only negative with the outfielder is that like Reyes he can’t stay on the field. That may scare off teams but he is worth the risk for the Angels. He can flat out hit which is what Anaheim desperately needs. He would give the Halos the left-handed power bat they were hoping Hamilton would provide. The acquisitions of David DeJesus, David Murphy and Shane Victorino are not going to scare anybody. The trio are solid additions but Gonzalez is the All-Star they need.
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Arte Moreno has never been shy of spending money. Remember he forked out big bucks for Pujols, C.J. Wilson and former Angel Josh Hamilton. In this case he would be adding on more money to his payroll. Anaheim currently has the 8th highest payroll in MLB.
The Angels are not completely out of the race yet. The acquisitions of Reyes and Gonzalez would make Anaheim an instant contender. Both players would dramatically help the team’s on base percentage, averages and run production. It would send a message that the Halos will not go down quietly.
Would Moreno sanction such moves? How much would it take?
It’s clear what the Angels are fielding now, will not be enough to compete for a championship. Something needs to change immediately before this season is lost. I’m sure Angel fans may not agree with this idea because of Gonzalez and Reyes’ extensive injury pasts but they need to go for it, Trout and Pujols need help quickly. The reward could be high if they take a gamble at this stage of the season.