It is that time of the year when pundits spit hash-tagged tweets out of their mouths like stone statues and players’ names go viral among the blogosphere.
According to a recent tweet by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports News, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have the piece to lure Cole Hamels away from the Phillies.
A move that makes the speedy 25 year-old Bourjos all the more alluring from a trade standpoint, considering Cole Hamels and starting centerfielder, Shane Victorino’s, looming free agencies.
Boujos is clearly the Angels’ most movable player right now for a myriad of reasons. He’s young and cheap — signed through 2014 on a rookie level contract — and has been replaced by the emergence of Mike Trout. Through 63 games Bourjos is hitting just .233 despite an impressive debut last season. Despite his slow start to the season, he has tremendous offensive upside coupled with a gold glove in the outfield.
The question is whether or not the Angels have the ability to realistically ink Hamels long-term while solidifying Trout and Mark Trumbo as the franchise faces. Hamels will seek a long-term contract worth at least $20 million per season. While I look forward to the concept of slotting him third of fourth in a rotation abounding with lock-down guys like Jared Weaver, Dan Haren and C.J Wilson, I’m uncertain as to how prudent signing another mega contract would be.
Despite Ervin Santana’s inconsistency in the fourth slot in the rotation, the 29 year-old has historically been a second half pitcher. Last year, he started 1-9 in the first half and finished 10-3 with a low two era and a no hitter in late July. Signed through 2013 the Halos have another year to assess whether or not Santana is worth another three to five year contract extension at his affordable 11.2 million dollar rate.
I would welcome a move only if the Angels can package Santana and either Maicer Izturis or Alberto Callaspo alongside Bourjos in exchange for Hamels. But all the Hamels talk has been speculation without word from the Halos camp regarding Bourjos’ future in Anaheim.
At the moment, according to this article by Ken Rosenthal, the Angels are unwilling to part with Bourjos because of his future as a major team building block and Garret Richards, who is a solid low-cost option at the bottom of the rotation. Angels’ General Manager Jerry DiPoto is thinking not only about the team now but the team in the near future when big names like Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells and perhaps Santana, come off the books. Shoring up their long-term ability to retain Trout and Trumbo alongside future hall-of-famer Pujols and a top-five rotation would seem to be the primary goal at this point.
Considering their 37-19 record over their past 56 games, sitting solid in a wild card slot, and scoring more runs than anybody in baseball right now there really isn’t the need there to make a major move. Hamels would make more sense in a Dodger uniform behind the formidable Clayton Kershaw, to help relieve tension in what is becoming a disturbingly odd season of highs and lows for manager Don Mattingly’s team.
The Dodgers before injuries to Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Dee Gordon and Mark Ellis, held the best record in baseball through mid-June. Since then, they have slid into turmoil, slugged by inefficiency at the plate and a rotation plagued by Chad Billingsly’s erratic performances. Currently 1 1/2 games ahead of the surging San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers have a hard road ahead of them if they hope to get themselves into the postseason.
After a deal for first-baseman Carlos Lee fell through early this week, Matt Kemp according to this article remains hopeful. “It’s always good to get people to make your team better,” Kemp said. “I don’t know exactly what people think we need. We did a great job with what we have here. If we get somebody, that’s good. But if we don’t, it keeps going on and we have to keep playing the way we have in the first half.”
But I wonder how Dodger fans must feel. How long will the team sit around and wait for a potato sack at first like James Loney to make a difference? According to Mike Potriello of mikescosciastragicillness.com, fans might be willing to listen to offers for a prospect like right hander Zach Lee, in exchange for a bat like the above average Chase Headley at third. Which proves just how desperate the Dodger fan base is to get into the postseason now rather than tomorrow.
Both teams have had moody beginnings to the 2012 season, but one is surging and the other is desperately limping just to remain relevent. The Angels are looking for that 4th starter to shore up a small blight while the Dodgers seek a plethora of parts just to keep the engine running. It’s all a matter of how far DiPoto’s team can fly but a desperate matter of how long Colleti’s bunch can keep their heads above water. And that all goes without saying whether or not Tim Lincecum decides to become Tim Lincecum again.