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Angels trying to trade for a new closer?

Apr 29, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

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From Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe comes word that the Angels have “inquired” about A’s closer Grant Balfour, Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan and Mariners closer Brandon League, with Cafardo calling Balfour the “most logical” fit because Oakland’s asking price should be the lowest.

Jordan Walden earned Rookie of the Year votes in the American League last year after registering a 2.98 ERA and 32 saves across 60 1/3 innings. But the 24-year-old right-hander has surrendered five hits, four walks and five earned runs in just 4 1/3 frames this year, prompting Anaheim to turn to veteran left-hander Scott Downs for interim ninth-inning duties.

And now the 7-14 Angels might take it a step further by bringing in an option from the outside.

Balfour, 34, has posted a superb 1.38 ERA, 0.62 WHIP and 10/3 K/BB ratio in 13 innings this year as the A’s stopper. He’s earning a $4 million salary this season and carries a $4.5 million club option for 2013.

  1. dondada10 - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Anybody else get the feeling that the Halos are about to sell extraordinarily low on Mark Trumbo?

    • phillyphreak - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      As opposed to people thinking he (a power only, no-OBP, not good defensive player) could be “sold high?”

      • dondada10 - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        Various stats (UZR, +/-) had Trumbo in the top 5 of fielders at first the last two seasons. He’s a plus defender there.

        Trading Trumbo the third base-man/left fielder is trading a one-trick pony. It’s selling low.

      • phillyphreak - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        The last two seasons is a bit misleading no? IN 2010 he only had 33 innings at first, and only has 10 this season. So the argument comes down to one season at first. As we all know single season UZR is not really reliable.

        So if we want to focus on 2011 only Trumbo ranks (among qualified 1B)

        15th in fWAR
        24th in OBP
        20th in wOBA.

        Sure if they trade Trumbo straight up for Grant Balfour then I could see an issue but I don’t think it’d be that simple.

      • dondada10 - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        You’re right about the small sample size at first, but he passes the eye-test extremely well, too. Watching him play at last year, it was clear he was saving the team runs.

        My argument is that he’s not a “no-defensive skills” player as you claim, but rather a misplaced fielder whose value is low right now as a result.

        Balfour for Trumbo would be a disaster.

        Trumbo for Tyler Clippard would work.

      • phillyphreak - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        Yea, I guess my point is that it really depends on what they get back for him.

    • Glen - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      I think Dipoto is a little bit smarter than that.

      • dondada10 - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        I hope so, for Angels’ fans. Tony Reagins would’ve done Trumbo for Jason Frasor already.

    • chuckj1234 - Apr 29, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      No way. He will not be on the trading block. Several others but not him. To good of a prospect, and runner up for rookie of the year.

    • judahbenhur - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      They’re not trading Trumbo, their best hitter and team MVP last year for a 34 year-old reliever. Sober up. Oakland needs a third baseman and we have three. Oakland has been asking about Callaspo for two months. Do the math, it doesn’t come out Trumbo.

  2. mvpolamalu - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Trumbo for hanrahan!!!

  3. Ben - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    We’ll give you Capps for nothing. Just take him off our hands.

  4. buffalo65 - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    They keep Trumbo, deal is Bourjos for Hanrahan.

    • dondada10 - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      That makes sense, but does McCutchen move to left?

  5. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Seems like a bit of an overreaction, no?

  6. sir1389 - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    They should trade their starting first baseman instead. I forget his name but he’s only got a .226 BA, .278 OBP, .310 SLG, .587 OPS, 0 homers, 4 RBI, and 12 K through 21 games. Those numbers put him in the bottom third in all categories for first basemen in the MLB.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Trumbo has hit better than that guy.

  7. hittfamily - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I remember Balfour as a Ray, would spark verbal confrontations with hitters on a regular basis. He yells at himself, no matter K or HR, and batters who weren’t aware of this, would take offense. It was quite amusing. Every other game was a shouting match between him and a batter who just popped up.

  8. randygnyc - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Yeah, because the angels problem is in the bullpen, not their offense, 1-9. Sure it is….

  9. randygnyc - Apr 29, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    So far, the angels are 5-58 over the last 2 games.

  10. racksie - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Pretty sure Grant Balfour played with Torii in Minnesota, so this is a done deal.

  11. Jeremiah Graves - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Frankie Rodriguez is still hanging out doing setup work in Milwaukee and at least the organization knows what they’re getting with him. Plus the Brewers would love to add either a legit CF (Bourjos) or a maybe a more legit big-league 1B (Trumbo) than Mat Gamel appears to be.

    I’ve been saying it since they signed Pujols and the Brewers were miffed w/ K-Rod for accepting arbitration, the deal makes plenty of sense and helps clean up some of the logjam in LAA and gives the Brewers a legit lineup weapon to pair with Braun/Weeks/Hart/What’s Left of Ramirez.

    • brewcrewchamps - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:05 AM

      What’s wrong with Gamel?

      The crew could definitely use a good center fielder though. They should jump at the chance to trade K-rod for a CF, even if having a killer 1-2 punch in the pen is fun to have.

  12. hojo20 - Apr 29, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    The closer is going to blow saves for any team. When is A-Poo going to hit a HR?

  13. buffalo65 - Apr 29, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    I think the angels should add a slow moving power hitting vet that has a big contract and can’t play D. That’s what they need.

  14. madhatternalice - Apr 30, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    As an O’s fan, can I interest you in a slightly used Kevin Gregg? We’ll take a warm cup of coffee for him.

    OK, fine. a cold cup.

    • jarathen - Apr 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      Gregg was already an Angels years ago. Don’t need that one again. Now Darren O’Day….

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