COMMENTARY | The only thing we know for certain about the Los Angeles Angels is that they certainly stink. But with 15 weeks or so remaining in the season, there's still time to make a move or two to bail out this sinking ship.
It's decision time. Are you going to be Billy Zane and do whatever it takes to survive, or Leonardo DiCaprio and politely let Kate Winslet hog the floating wood as you sink to your death?
So, what kind of moves would be the right ones for the Angels? Sure, Paul Konerko may be on the trading block, but the Angels need another aging, slow-footed first baseman like Justin Bieber needs another aggressive body guard. The starting rotation is the iceberg with which this ship has collided.
There are trade rumors everywhere about some gosh-darn elite pitchers out there that might be available. Sexy names like David Price and Cliff Lee. Less-sexy names like Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza. And not-so-sexy, but great personality names like Bud Norris and Edinson Volquez.
However, the Angels have the worst farm system in baseball, so they can forget about Price and Lee. And after giving away Jean Segura last year in the worthless Zack Greinke trade, whatever minor-league assets the team has are being clutched tight to its collective bosom.
One piece the Angels have is center fielder Peter Bourjos. He's back from the disabled list and a super-defense, decent-batting outfielder still has plenty of value these days. The Angels already have the super-defense, super-offense Mike Trout in center, so some of Bourjos' value is wasted.
It seems unlikely the Angels would be interested in moving Bourjos in a Nolasco or Garza trade -- though that seems like a no-brainer for all parties.
So, what should they do? Fire up a flair and hope. Go out and get Phil Hughes from the New York Yankees. Once considered one of the top up-and-coming young pitchers in baseball, Hughes has been struggling with the Yankees for long enough now that a change of scenery will probably do him some good.
He has the tools. He has the talent. Maybe moving him out to laid-back Southern California could be just what the doctor ordered to help Hughes get his head straight. And the cost to acquire him shouldn't be much more than a second-rate minor leaguer.
Yeah, it's a crapshoot. But this season has been a titanic disaster for the Angels -- with the seventh-highest payroll and the seventh-worst record. They may have to change their name officially to "The Disappointing Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." It's time to make a move.
Or don't. And sink to the bottom of the sea.
Jed Rigney is a Los Angeles-based award-winning filmmaker who also fancies himself a baseball writer. He is the lead humor columnist at Through The Fence Baseball.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Angels
- Ricky Nolasco