COMMENTARY | The air around the Los Angeles Angels is thick with desperation. And desperate times call for desperate measures. Just like desperate housewives call for plastic surgeons.
The team has made it to third place in the division. And while celebrating this is a lot like those parents at a school play who applaud too loudly for their talentless children, third place is better than fourth.
The Angels have taken some pretty huge gambles in free agency the last couple years, and now it's time for them to take another gamble and trade away one of their only productive players: Mark Trumbo. Or, as I call it: Operation Trumbo Drop.
I've been catching a lot of heat for my sarcasm and flippancy. "How much heat?" you ask. Miami Heat! And that's the worst heat there is.
So, I want to be very clear about Operation Trumbo Drop. This is no joke. This is the smartest -- and boldest -- thing the Angels can do right now.
They have one of the worst farm systems in the league and what they do have in the minor leagues isn't enough to acquire anything of real value. There's no cavalry coming to push them into the playoffs. They'll have to do it with what they've got.
That means Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Erik Aybar need to actually start hitting -- in which case Trumbo's offense is superfluous. But if the multimillionaires don't come through, then Trumbo's contribution is pointless, because no one cares whether you win 80 games instead of 75. Either way, they don't need Mark Trumbo.
With trading cheap players, every team is interested -- contenders and rebuilders alike. There's no better way to get good prospects back to build for the future than by trading cheap, young players that other teams think are valuable. Unless you're the Diamondbacks trying to dump Justin Upton -- which I wrote about here.
The two guys I really want the Angels to trade are C.J. Wilson, who may have some value to another team as a quality No. 3 starter; and Peter Bourjos, who is currently forcing the Angels to waste Mike Trout's defense in left field.
But you're not going to get much to restock your farm system for an overpaid, under-performing aging pitcher or a center fielder whose true value is hard to measure in a world where most people think the Triple Crown categories are important.
So, that leaves Trumbo. He's young (ish) and certainly cheap. He leads the team in home runs and RBIs -- that's two of the Triple Crown categories. Whoop-dee-doo! He must be two-thirds great!
It's time to sell high. There are probably quite a few teams who don't care about his sub-par on-base percentage, fielding and baserunning.
Actually, that sounds like a Ruben Amaro, Jr. special. Let's get the Philadelphia Phillies on the phone and make Operation Trumbo Drop a reality.
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. You can follow him on Twitter @JedRigney.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mark Trumbo
- Los Angeles Angels