Can the Angels ‘respond’ to the aggressive A’s? …

Arte Moreno, Jerry DipotoI asked Jerry Dipoto recently about watching the A’s, not just where they’re at in the standings but what moves they make, and how that affects whether the Angels win the division or have to play for one of those do-or-die Wild Card spots. He said they have to focus on what’s best for them, and that if you try to react to other teams and get wrapped up in a game of scenarios, “you’ll talk yourself into bad decisions.”

Fair enough.

But the A’s just got Jon Lester. It was the ultimate “win-now” move, sending fan favorite Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox in exchange and bringing former fan favorite Jonny Gomes back. Now Lester — three-time All-Star, big-time postseason performer — joins a rotation that includes recent addition Jeff Samardzija along with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez.

The A’s have better starting pitching than the Angels (that almost goes without saying). They also have a better record (leading by 2 1/2 games when play began on Thursday). On top of that, they have a far more favorable schedule (I went into that here). And the last thing the Angels want is for their season — a great season, with the second-best record in baseball, amid an ever-shrinking championship window — to come down to one elimination game because they had to settle for the Wild Card.

But here’s the problem: It would be really hard for the Angels to “react” to the aggressive A’s, even if they wanted to.

Lester going to Oakland won’t magically inject the Angels’ farm system with a bevy of prospects necessary to get a top-of-the-rotation starter. They just don’t have it. What little they had was sent to San Diego in exchange for closer Huston Street. Prior to getting Street, the Angels checked in on David Price (again), and they tried to acquire teammate Ian Kennedy. And the message they received was clear: Their farm system isn’t getting them a major rotation upgrade. So, they went the bullpen route, and created one of the best relief corps in baseball.

It seems there are only two ways for the Angels to truly beef up their rotation …

1. If they want to do it before 4 p.m. ET, they’d have to part ways with Major League players. Asked about that late last week, Dipoto said, “I don’t want to break up this group.” That, of course, was before the A’s traded for Lester. Maybe he changes his mind on this; but that remains doubtful.

2. Wait until August. And this is a legitimate possibility, because the Angels have money left over (they’re somewhere between $10 and $15 million under the luxury-tax threshold, if my math is correct) but don’t want to give up more prospects from a thin farm system they’re trying to cultivate. The former plays in August, when teams can put in claims on anybody who goes through waivers and players can’t be traded unless they clear; the ladder, not so much.

So this is where the Angels stand moving forward. Tonight, they’ll play another game against another contender, and they’ll try to avoid a sweep from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. They can look forward to the possibility of C.J. Wilson likely rejoining the rotation by Saturday, and hope that he’s fixed whatever it was that caused him to give up 19 runs in 16 2/3 innings from June 24 to July 9.

And that, still, may be the best acquisition they make.

Alden

8 Comments

This is the kind of thing that happens to clubs that build around offense and neglect pitching. When you get to a hard part of the schedule pitching is what carries you which is why Billy Beane is such a great GM. The Angels the past three years outside of Skaggs and Santiago have not made pitching a priority. The first year JD came to the Angels his solution to one of the worst bullpens was Latroy Hawkins. Granted he has finally gotten it to respectability after three years of failure but at what cost?

Billy Beane is not operating boldly from a confident position. The moves today came after losing two of three to Houston. Billy Beane has placed all of the Oakland chips on red, and the wheel is spinning. He has conceded that Houston is the future, and is worried the Angels are today. This seems like an all or nothing bet.
Cespedes’ most important aspect may be his fielding ability. As much power as he has, he beat the Angels with outfield assists.
If Wilson gets back to form, the moves of the Athletics will be for naught.
Post season this season
There really are Angels, in the outfield
Go Rally Monkey
This is a pretty good Angels’ Team

This move by the A’s makes them a weaker team than they were yesterday. Basically they replaced Milone with Lester in the rotation so when that spot in the rotation comes up they are improved no question. But when the other 4 rotation spots come up they are not as good as yesterday having replaced Cespedes with Gomes. So 4 days they are weaker and 1 day stronger. Poor decision by BB.

Angels are………A’s just keep geting better !

Agel starters…..just get thru 5 innings!!! We will be ok!!!

Angels need a veteran bat off the bench (can’t rely on Cron and Navarro down the stretch or in the postseason), and need to consider way to acquire another top-of-the-line starter. They may not have the prospects in the minors, but Skaggs and Santiago can be traded along with others to get the person they need. Tigers gave up one of their current starters Smyly to get Price — Angels can do something similar, too. And, they have to if they want to win. They are not as good as Baltimore right now, who has beaten them 4 out of 5 games before tonight.

Me as a Angels fan know’s that they need a experience starter,plus I’m still upset over the Hamilton deal.He hasn’t show me anything promising from him.Should have kept Torii Hunter who is having a good year again and he was cheaper than Hamilton.Having power in the lineup is good,but small ball work’s too.Remember that championship year?

This season has an eerie similarity to 2002, haha. Any Oakland team without Cespedes is an enourmous plus for the Angels. No more runners getting picked off from LF and their lineup just lost a lot of pop in there bats. Yes, their pitching is phenominal, but their pitching has always been phenominal (remember the Big 3 from 2002). Anyways, This Angels team is assembled just as the championship team was 12 years ago; fantastic offense and fantastic bullpen. If our starters can play a solid 5 innings, we’ll be in good shape regardless of who’s pitching against us. If we have a lead going into the 6th inning, you can almost gaurantee a W. So, to sum it all up, I’m glad that we now have free reign to run the bases on Oakland and that they lost a great outfielder for a 2 month rental because, lets face it, Oakland can’t afford to sign Lester to a long term deal :)

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