Dipoto, from Day 1 of the Winter Meetings …

DipotoAs reporters waited in the hallway for their scheduled session with Jerry Dipoto, the Angels’ general manager walked towards his suite while chatting with D-backs GM Kevin Towers. “Just friends talking,” Dipoto said. Maybe. But the D-backs are one team that could be interested in someone like Mark Trumbo, and may have some cost-controlled starting pitching they’re willing to give up (more on Trumbo’s potential availability in a trade here).

In any case, Dipoto said he doesn’t expect the Angels to make any moves on Monday, Day 1 of the Winter Meetings from the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. But he did get the sense that more teams appear willing to access pitching via the trade market, rather than a free-agent market that has seen prices skyrocket.

Here are the highlights from Dipoto’s session with the media (with outstanding camera work provided by the iPhone of Angels PR man Eric Kay) …

On the most likely scenario to address the two holes in the rotation — free agency, trades or both …

I’m not really a prognosticator in that way. Any of them are all still possibilities. We’re open to the trade market, we’re open to free agency, we’re open to any combination of the two. Like I’ve said throughout, especially these last couple of weeks, we know what our needs are, they’re pretty clearly defined, and we’re going to go out and fill them the best we can.

On whether the Angels are a match with the D-backs …

Still trying to figure it out, like with a lot of teams.

On whether not signing a top-tier starter can impact who is available via trade …

Everything you do in a roster, all 25 players, work hand-in-hand. Often times one will define the next move, or what kind of flexibility you have available to make the next move. But in this particular case, as I’ve said throughout, we’re not particularly excited about the idea of losing our first-round Draft [pick]. That’s not Plan A. We’re going out, we’re looking at the rest of the market, we’ve not closed the door on any candidates specifically, we’re open-minded to how we’re going to fill our needs. And if that comes in some combination of trade or free agency, then that’s what we expect.

On whether he’d be willing to part ways with prospects …

If it makes sense in doing a deal, sure. With Major League players, with prospects in the system, you have to go in open-minded and see where it leads you. Obviously we’re not looking to unload our Minor League system to achieve anything in the big leagues, but you have to be open-minded to all the different ways you can access what you’re looking for. In this case, we know what we’re looking for – we’re looking for starting pitching, and however we get there, we’re going to learn a lot about that in these next couple of days.

On whether it’s easier when your needs are so clearly defined (starting pitching) …

We really do have a short shopping list, but that can change. As we’ve all talked about before, every move opens up a whole new avenue. Your roster looks one way today, it can look another way tomorrow. The same is true of 29 other teams. We’re trying to stay in tune with what’s happening in the market, even outside of what our specific shopping needs are, and be abreast of where it goes should our dynamic change, because it’s possible it could.

On if teams and free agents are generally waiting for Masahiro Tanaka to be posted/sign …

Not really. Just the conversations we’ve had today with other teams, it’s business as usual. I don’t think there’s any one person or event holding up the market.

On whether he has a sense he can get something done during the Winter Meetings …

Not yet. We haven’t been here 24 hours yet. But the way the Winter Meetings are now, you do so much prep work before you get here, dating back to well before the GM Meetings – conversations with teams, the discussions of what may or may not be out there trade-wise. Free agency has been open for quite some time now. We’ve had at least some exchange in rhetoric with free agent groups on their desires, what they’re looking for, both in contract and term for their player, and then the fit – the city, the team, the ballpark, etc.

On if teams still view the Angels as a ‘championship contender’ …

For the players out there, they know they’re getting into a competitive situation. This is the same team that won 89 games the year before last, and like I said, the talent that you can roll out there on paper, that just so happened to not be out there all the time in performance last year, whether it be due to injury, struggle, what-have-you, there’s still players that are respected with what they do presently, what they have done in their careers, and we are I think a very attractive destination for free agents as a result.

On if it’s safe to say Trumbo has been the most-inquired-about player …

We’ve been hit a fair amount on a number of our players, and particularly Mark. Mark’s been a popular name, Howie [Kendrick has] been a popular name, and there have been others. We’ve been asked in context about most of the players on our roster, which is not uncommon. It’s very similar for a lot of other teams. But I would say there’s been fairly heavy traffic on guys like Mark specifically.

On a potential Mike Trout extension …

It’s something we’re definitely aware of, I know it’s something Mike’s aware of, but it’s nothing that we’ll talk about publicly. Those are private conversations that we’ll have with Mike and his people at the appropriate time.

Alden

3 Comments

If we are going to trade Trumbo, at least get Chris Sale for him! Personally, I think Kendricks would be better to trade for someone of Sale’s abilities. Mainly because Kendricks is locked up on his contract for a couple of more years, while Trumbo is going to cost you more in the future. Either way, the Angels should be going after Chris Sale!

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