The trade deadline will be upon is a little over 24 hours. The Angels have already made one trade, but will there be others? Some seem to think they are content to sit on their hands, move nobody else and hope for better luck next season. Others believe wholesale changes are required and want to see multiple pieces shipped out in a fire sale. What will happen? Who knows. We aren't fortune tellers, so stop asking.
What I can tell you for each potential trade piece is where they might end up if Jerry Dipoto feels inclined to move them. Which he should. Seriously, Jerry. Make a move. Just don't do it until this post has a had a little time to breath. I can't tell you how annoying it is when a post gets made irrelevant because a transaction happened 20 minutes after the post went live. Think of the little people, Jerry.
Potential destinations: Red Sox, Pirates, Cardinals
Let's be honest, the Cardinals are such a perfect fit for Aybar that it is almost criminal if they don't trade for him. They certainly have the pitching prospects that the Angels would want, it is really just a matter of whether or not St. Louis will see fit to giving them up in any scenario. Aybar could also be a fit in Pittsburgh, but even with a pretty reasonable contract, he might still be too expensive for the Buccos. That might actually work out in the Halos' favor since they could eat some of the money and get a better prospect package in return. As for the Red Sox, they have a need a shortstop, but they also have Xander Bogaerts on the way, so Aybar might be too much of a long-term investment for them.
The big problem overall for the Angels is trading Aybar and then replacing him in the 2014 lineup is going to be kind of impossible. There are no quality free agent shortstops and Andrew Romine would potentially be the worst hitting starter in the majors if he was conscripted into duty. With the goal of contending again next season, that might be enough to scare the Halos into holding onto Aybar.
Potential destinations: Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers
Callaspo might be the most expendable bat on the Angels since Luis Jimenez is waiting in the wings and capable of at least holding down the fort the rest of the season. I suppose the issue is that he is signed for a decent price next season and not likely to return a big piece, so why bother, right? Why else has his name somehow never really come up in the rumor mill as of yet?
Their best bet is to prey upon the desperation of any of the three destinations listed above, with the Dodgers seeming like the most likely suckers because overpaying in desperation trades is kind of what the Dodgers do. Perhaps they could use Callaspo to find a young, low ceiling second baseman or shortstop that could serve as a stopgap starter should the Halos also deal Kendrick or Aybar. Whoever loses out on Michael Young could turn to Callaspo as a nice alternative since, you know, he can actually field the position.
Potential destinations: Orioles, Royals, Athletics, Rockies, Dodgers
If there is one player the Angels can deal and bring back something resembling a blockbuster return, it is Howie Kendrick. (Editor's note: I'm leaving out Bourjos since he is hurt and won't bring back fair value via a waiver trade.) Not only is he in his prime and having a career year, but he is also signed to a reasonable long term contract. As luck would have it, just about all of the teams that need an upgrade at second base are teams that would be keenly interested in someone who is relatively cheap and locked up for several years.
Teams like the Royals and Athletics have gaping holes at second base, but due to budget constraints, they aren't going to give up much of anything for a rental. But for a second baseman that they can control for three plus years, they might be compelled to pay up. Dealing with Oakland could be a non-starter for the Angels since they wouldn't want to strengthen a rival, but the Royals seem ripe for the picking as they also have a good farm system and a GM who is motivated to make a desperate playoff run.
To a lesser extent, the Orioles, Rockies and Dodgers could be a match for Kendrick. Each team has an immediate need for an upgrade at the keystone, but they also have prospects that could be ready in the near future and might view Kendrick's contract as a longer commitment than they care to make.
Potential destinations: Orioles, Pirates, Rays, Indians, Royals
For the record, I am against the Angels trading Trumbo and I think they are too, but he isn't off limits either. There are a number of teams that are said to be interested in Alex Rios as the big bat on the market. Some teams are even trying to convince Toronto to give up Jose Bautista. Teams striking out on those fronts could turn to Trumbo as the ultimate consolation prize. The Orioles and Pirates seem the most hot and bothered to land such a bat (the Rangers are too, but there is no way the Angels will deal with them). The Rays, Indians and Royals could also use him but likely aren't in the market for someone that would cost them a big prospect package.
Moving Trumbo would be a bold move for the Halos but it might be one that they can afford if Kole Calhoun can step in and produce as a starter at the big league level. They've also got C.J. Cron in the pipeline at some point as well as the option to sign a free agent like Mike Morse or Kendrys Morales to replace a large portion of what Trumbo has been giving the Angels the last two years. As replaceable as he is, I highly doubt the Angels will move him since he is a homegrown talent and a fan favorite. After a season like this, antagonizing the fan base by trading away their favorite son seems like a bad PR move and a questionable baseball move.
Potential destinations: Braves, Nationals, Indians, Pirates, Athletics, Diamondbacks
In a weird way, Vargas being out until some time in August might be the best thing to happen to his trade value. Just about every contender needs more starting pitching, but there are only so many decent starters to go around at the deadline. Garza is already gone. Peavy could be moved any second now. Bud Norris will likely be dealt as well. That is going to leave more than a few contestants left standing when the music stops. So come August when Vargas is healthy again, those remaining suitors could be pitted against each other in a bidding war that could drive Jason's price up. How much it can go up is limited by the waiver process where one team could put in a claim to short circuit a deal. Then again, the Angels can play the card that they might prefer to keep Vargas and re-sign him to a long-term deal to help cancel that out.
One thing to consider with Vargas though is his flyball profile. While he might be able to help a team like Arizona or Boston, those ballparks aren't really well suited to his tendencies. Washington, Pittsburgh or Oakland, however, would be ideal fits as he could thrive in their big ballparks in the same way he has in Safeco and the Big A. Either way, Vargas should find a nice market as an inning eating #4 starter on a contender.
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I like Trumbo,but wouldn't mind Cron and a solid #3 over a guy who I really like, but unfortunately reminds me too much of Richie Sexson
I'd be happy to see the Angels deal Vargas only to resign him as a FA after the season. He's been great for the Halos.
@jhstoneca I'm torn on Vargas. He has been great and is a perfect fit for the Big A. I just can't ever recall an instance in which a guy gets traded by a team then comes back to re-sign with that team. The Halos would also be giving up an opportunity to get him at a hometown discount potentially.
At the same time, he is still just Jason Vargas and thus not a difference maker, so it wouldn't be the end of the world if they let him go if it means getting some good prospects in return.
@MattStryffeler Are you saying that the Angels should sign a 35 year old Cliff Lee as a free agent? I'm sorry but aren't we already paying enough pas their prime stars? Vargas will be 31 at the start of next season and is close to Jered Weaver. A 3-4 year deal locks him up through his prime and slots him as a solid #3 behind Weaver and Wilson.
I like Cliff Lee, but I'm not really interested in paying him until he's 39-40.