Mark Saxson of ESPN Los Angeles reports that the Angels are focusing on Royals’ third baseman Alberto Callaspo as the trade deadline approaches.
Callaspo is an OK player and a fine citizen and all of that, but he’s certainly not the kind of bat the Angels need if they’re going to gain any ground on the Rangers. The problem Saxon notes, is that the Angels simply don’t have the kinds of prospects available to trade for an impact bat. If there was a team out there who could use the services of an Adam Dunn for half a season it’s the Angels, but there’s no way they can pull that off.
I think we’re going to realize pretty soon that the Angels’ season basically ended when Kendry Morales busted his ankle during that home run celebration, and everything since then has been running in place.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.