So many possibilities . . . like Bourjos

ANAHEIM — The Angels didn’t get any more deals done by the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but that doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t make a move or two by the Aug. 31 waiver Deadline for postseason eligibility.

If they make a big move suddenly on the front-running Rangers in the American League West, the Angels could try to pluck a starting pitcher for the stretch run. The loss of Joel Pineiro was a huge blow, especially coming after Sean O’Sullivan had been included in the package shipped to Kansas City for Alberto Callaspo.

If the Angels don’t make a serious push in the next week or so, they could look to move chips of value. Among those who could pass through waivers and be dealt to contenders are closer Brian Fuentes and left-handed offensive weapons Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui. Other possibilities include right-handed thumper Juan Rivera – always dangerous this time of year – and a versatile infielder such as Maicer Izturis, who has two years left on his contract.

Fuentes has pitched superbly in the second half and would have appeal in a number of places. He’s unlikely to get the 55 finishes he needs to kick in his $9 million option for 2011; he’s not even halfway there with 26. Odds are he’ll be a free agent this winter, along with Scot Shields and Matsui.

Abreu and Matsui could be difference-makers in a place like the South Side of Chicago. The White Sox could use another left-handed run producer down the stretch. Abreu, especially, would have major appeal to his buddy, manager Ozzie Guillen. Abreu has $9 million coming next season and would be missed in a big way in Anaheim, but the Angels have a lot of decisions to make about their outfield in 2011.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see Peter Bourjos summoned from Triple-A Salt Lake before too long — unless the Angels put some heat on the Rangers and manager Mike Scioscia likes what he sees from his outfield.

There are few players in the game as fast as Bourjos, who can outrun mistakes in the outfield and place enormous pressure on an infield if he makes consistent contact. He has been making progress offensively at Salt Lake, to the point where he might not be overmatched hitting in the No. 9 hole.

After a long season spent chasing down drives in the gaps, and having turned 35, Torii Hunter might welcome some time in right with Bourjos bringing those swift, young legs to center. Like Andre Dawson, one of his youthful idols, Hunter could be reaching a point in his illustrious career where a move to right is career-extending. The man has done all he can in center, with those nine consecutive Rawlings Gold Gloves as evidence.

It has been my view for a long time that the one impending free agent who would have the most dramatic impact on the Angels next season is Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford.

Like Hunter and Dawson, Crawford – whose speed is right there with Bourjos’ – could be at a point in his career where he sees long-range benefits in leaving behind the artificial turf of Tropicana Field for a grass field. A nice, refreshing place such as Southern California likely would have appeal to Crawford, who hails from Houston.

Leading off and playing center or left, the dynamic Crawford would transform the Angels, putting the juice back in the offense with Erick Aybar sliding into the No. 2 spot. Defensively and on the basepaths, Crawford has few equals. – Lyle Spencer



    Absolutely right Lyle, all the moves GM Reagins has made so far translate into one thing: “We are conceding and looking to 2011.” I think coming mid August, when the Angels are 12-14 games out of it, Reagins will try to dump Fuentes, Abreu, and Rivera. I hope he brings Bourjos, Trumbo, Evans, Ryan and Reckling up and give them a chance to show what they can do. I don’t think Reagins will deal Matsui out of deference to the Japanese player and to improve marketing in that country. This is the line-up I would like to see coming mid August: C Matheson; 1B Trumbo; 2B Kendrick; SS Aybar/Wood;3B Callaspo LF Evans/Ryan; CF Bourjos; RF Hunter; DH Matsui/Napoli Bench: Izturis, Frandsen.

  2. dredleelam

    Will be interesting to see how they do this. Easy way might be to move Rivera or even Matsui. Yet, Bourjos’ skill set best matches with Willits; hard to see why one would keep them both on the club. Bourjos reminds me of when they brought up figgie in 02 . . . you know where that ended up. I’d like to see Matsui OUT and the ABs go to Nap. BUT . . . if they get to the post season, I’d rather see Matsui off the bench to pinch hit than Willits or Wilson or . . . whoever. With the pitching so thin right now, it’s hard to imagine that they’ll make the space by sending back one of the pitchers to AAA and with Mathis out, they can’t send back a C. So again, looks like Reggie, to me.

  3. jf49

    Talk about quitting, these Angels have no heart. Sure miss the days of guys never quitting like Erstad, Kennedy, Glaus, Percival, Vlad and Lackey. Dump the overpriced TALENT and get some bloddy longball hitters. Here we go again, 9 runs to open against Texas then 8 runs total the next 3 games and look likes that could be 9 runs for the next 4 games. WE SUCK. Getting whipped by K.C and now Balt…. Embarrassing

  4. angelsgirl012

    For Torii to move like that was such a classy move. I’m so glad we have such a respectful guy like him on the team. I can’t say enough of what he means to the community/organization/team. Us fans can’t thank him enough!

    Bourjos is looking great! He’s going to do well here 🙂

    It’s disappointing to see the team play like this. They are better than what they showed these past few games. It’s unfortunate that they are in the position that they are in but I know that they should keep on going. Texas is a great team this year no doubt but that shouldn’t let the team from winning. Let’s hope this Detroit series gives them some confidence 🙂

  5. j_rod

    To tell you the truth, the Angels are a solid power hitter and bullpen guy away from being back in the playoffs and competing for a title. As a die hard Angels fan, it was a tough and frustrating season to go through this past season. But I do see the potential of some of the young guys, so I’m optimistic. To tell you the truth, I don’t see the Angels going after Dunn, as 1st is Morales’ and Scos will probably use one of his current starters to fill the DH role. The way I see it, the Angels are (should) going to go after Carl Crawford the most. Carl will be the ultimate table setter for this team, and will provide some power from time to time which is a bonus (15-20 homers). They traded for Callaspo, and that move was for next season (same with Haren). So Callaspo is going to be the third baseman with Izzy backing him up, which I’m fine with. Even if they only acquire Crawford on the offensive side it would go a long way. The line up: Crawford (LF), Callaspo (3b), Napoli (yes, napoli, C), Morales (1B), Hunter (RF), Abreu (DH), Kendrick (2B), Bourjious (C), Aybar (SS). If Napoli has Morales and Hunter in back of him (which he needs to be more consistent with runners in scoring position), he’s definitely going to get more hitter’s pitches and fastballs to smash, which is what he is, a power hitter that will get you at least 30 hrs if he plays everyday. Couple that with Crawford at the top of the lineup and our solid starting pitching and we have something special next year.

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