All's quiet for Angels on deadline day
Stoneman happy with roster, will not mortage the future
SEATTLE -- It was all quiet on the Angels front as the non-waiver trade deadline passed on Tuesday without any activity by the American League West Division leaders.After Texas chose Atlanta's package of players for slugger Mark Teixeira over the Angels' proposal, general manager Bill Stoneman concluded that there were no deals that could appreciably improve the club without subtracting an important future piece to the puzzle. "You can't be unhappy if you've got a good ballclub," Stoneman said. "We've got a good team. We can pitch really with anybody, both starting and relieving. Our depth is good. This is a club that's going to be good for this year and a number of years. "We did all we could. You take your best shot. Don't get stupid; don't do something that might weaken you. The accolades can be short-term. We're here to win ballgames, not do something that's popular." That does not mean, however, that nothing will be done. Waiver trades remain a possibility if the club feels it can make a move to improve its chances of reaching the postseason and making an impact in October. "The now is number one," Stoneman said of the team's priorities. "We are looking at this season and trying to put ourselves in the best position for getting to the postseason this year. "Now we're in the period of asking waivers on players. There will be maybe more limited deals made between now and September 1 in baseball. If you want a player to help you in the playoffs, it has to be [done] by September 1." While always seeking ways to improve, he added, the Angels will not mortgage their future for a questionable quick fix. "We're not going to destroy our ability to compete for [a championship] next year or future years just for a shot at now," he said. That explains why the club didn't land a second-tier slugger after the Teixeira talks ultimately proved unfruitful with Texas reportedly demanding too much premium young talent. "I don't even know if there was an opportunity," Stoneman said of those discussions, without mentioning Teixeira or Texas by name. "Is that where we really put our focus? Yes. We were shooting high. If we can get better at a position, significantly better, we're going to have interest. "Those deals that might have been smaller deals were not going to help the ballclub. With the chemistry we've got, we don't even want to do a neutral deal. You have to take a snapshot. What does it look like now, and what's it going to look like later. If it doesn't look better, you're not going to do it."
The offense has a different shape than originally projected, but for all the hand-wringing over power, only five clubs in the Majors -- the Tigers, Yankees, Phillies, Indians and Red Sox -- have scored more runs than the Angels.The inability of free-agent acquisition Shea Hillenbrand to deliver muscle in the DH slot led to his release and increased the emphasis on speed and situational hitting. In effect, Reggie Willits has emerged to take Hillenbrand's at-bats as DH and fourth outfielder, supplying leadoff-type skills (on-base ability and speed) rather than power. Another unexpected issue surfaced over the course of the season with starters Bartolo Colon and Ervin Santana not living up to expectations. Colon is on the disabled list with an elbow impingement -- his availability for the second half undetermined -- while Santana is trying to find himself at Triple-A Salt Lake. Management is comfortable with Joe Saunders and Dustin Moseley at the back end of the rotation in support of Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey and Jered Weaver.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.