Trading Tony does it again

ARLINGTON – Tony Reagins might not look like a riverboat gambler, but that’s what the guy is. How does Trading Tony sound?

The Angels’ general manager once again has pulled the trigger on a potentially explosive midseason deal. That’s three in three seasons, Mark Teixeira and Scott Kazmir having preceded new Angels starter Dan Haren to Anaheim.

Teixeira is no longer around, but the Angels acquired some prime Draft picks for half a season of Tex at the cost of Casey Kotchman and Steve Marek. Kazmir also delivered a good half season but has been nursing a sore shoulder this season. If he comes back to something resembling prime form, the Angels could have the best rotation in the game.

Jered Weaver and Haren are legitimate aces. Ervin Santana, Joel Pineiro and Kazmir — when he’s sound — are quality No. 2 or No. 3 starters. It doesn’t get much better, or deeper, than that.

Haren doesn’t come without a pricey tag. Joe Saunders has been a solid craftsman, and he’ll give Arizona quality work. If two of the other three arms in the deal deliver, it’s a smart move by the Diamondbacks. They can use the money they’ll save on Haren’s hefty contract to gather some of the parts they need to be competitive again.

It doesn’t look good for the Angels in the AL West at the moment, but there’s a lot of baseball left to be played, as Mike Scioscia likes to say. If this rotation starts spinning the way it can, and the offense picks up the pace, the Angels could make Texas aware of their presence.

Reagins said he might not be done shopping, and he has no financial constraints. If the right bat surfaces at the right cost, he’ll make a stealth move, as he always does. The guy moves in the shadows, BlackBerry attached to his ear, and when he emerges he tends to make things happen. The GM must like the organizational depth on the mound, having detached six arms to acquire Haren and Alberto Callaspo.

The Angels are going for it, responding to Texas’ acquisition of Cliff Lee and Bengie Molina. This is uncharted territory for most of the Rangers. I loved the response of Michael Young, their splendid leader, when someone asked if the series with the Angels this week had a playoff feel to it.

“I wouldn’t know,” said Young, who never has appeared in a postseason series.

The Rangers haven’t played meaningful October baseball since 1999. That was the year before Scioscia came to Anaheim and starting collecting titles. It wouldn’t be wise to dismiss the professor’s class just yet – especially now with this new guy showing up who knows how to win, and how to win big. — Lyle Spencer



  1. cavewyatt

    There are two problems with this trade, Lyle. First is that they have traded one stable starter for, as you correctly put it, a starter with ace talent. That still leaves the hole created by Kazmir’s spot in the rotation (even when he’s not on the DL). I wanted Kazmir to be good for the Angels but it’s just not working out that way.

    Second is what they’ve given up to get Haren. Not just the three players we know about but the PTBNL. If the D’backs are that excited about him then I’m worried. Sounds like he’s the one they really coveted. Please, please, PLEASE don’t be Trout. I never want to go back to 70’s/90’s when the Angels were trading away kids with potential for over-the-hill types just so it looked like they were doing something. Placating the fan base is not a viable strategy for a GM.

    I’ll happily live through a .500 season to allow the minor leaguers to mature enough to be useful. I can only hope that Tony is correct about the players he’s traded off in the way that Atlanta is usually correct about the guys they give up on.

  2. j_rod

    I like the trade not only for this year, but for the next 2. Hopefully Trading Tony is not done. We just need one more big stick to insert in the lineup and change the way opposing pitchers pitch the guys and I think we are good to take on Texas the rest of the way.

  3. j_rod

    Wow, what else can go wrong this year. Morales gone after a fluke injury, and now another fluke injury in Piniero. This has just been a crazy crazy year. I never say never, but this weekends series with Texas is a make or break one I think. And really, we need a sweep to be in it. The guys can do it. They just have no confidence right now, I mean none. They are too anxious at the plate and opponents know it. Everyone trying to hit it out. Need to be patient when you need to and swing at first pitches when pitchers least expect it. Day off will hopefully help. Guys just need to relax and not try to do too much. Go Halos! It’s not over guys

  4. halosin4


    I agree with everything you said about the Haren trade. I just wanted to mention that I’m really confused about all the emphasis on trading for a “big bat” or a 1st baseman. I know the loss of Morales was a huge blow, but I feel that Napoli at first base is just as good offensively as Derek Lee or Cantu or anyone else on the market. Why does Napoli always seem to get the short end of the stick? When compared to Mathis behind the plate, maybe he isn’t as capable defensively, but he is definitely a power bat who can put up incredible offensive numbers. As a temporary replacement for Morales, he is on pace for 29 home runs and 85 to 100 RBIs. He has also made only 2 errors in 261 total chances (.992 fielding percentage) at first. Why is it that people aren’t happy with Napoli no matter where he plays? More than another first baseman or a big bat, I feel the Angels need to focus on a big arm (or two) in the bullpen. They can never compete if they keep blowing leads in the 7th through 9th innings no matter how great their offense or starting pitching is. Even with the loss of Piniero, The Angels can still contend with Haren, Weaver, and Santana heading up the starting rotation as long as the bullpen can close out games. Heck, you don’t even need to score a ton of runs with those guys at the helm.

  5. 031941

    This is the worst team in the western division………..The angels have no first baseman, an adequate second baseman, a thick headed shortstop and a second baseman for a third baseman. We don’t have a real catcher and our outfied is really showing its age……….Mike is trying to piecemeal a line that represents a major league team, but it not working……Mathis, Wilson, Napoli ,Woods, Bourgos, Rivera, Hideki and Willits can’t hit a lick…..Add that to a bullpen that stinks and I’m surprised Mike doesn’t explode…….Tell Tony he better start doing the job he is getting paid to do……..GET BASEBALL PLAYERS…..The current players don’t know what they are doing (Wood & Rivera) I’ve vented enough

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