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Angels and Nationals should consider a smaller trade

May 11, 2012, 6:41 PM EDT

Alberto Callaspo Reuters

Many are trying to set the Nationals up with Peter Bourjos after they lost another starting outfielder to injury in Jayson Werth over the weekend. That’d be nice and all, but the artillery is lacking to pull it off.

Instead, I’m thinking about a smaller deal here, if the two teams have in fact talked: Alberto Callaspo for Jesus Flores.

The Angels could really use a catcher with Chris Iannetta out 6-8 weeks following wrist surgery and Hank Conger sidelined with a sprained elbow. Flores has yet to show the promise he did before shoulder problems cost him all of 2010, but he is solid defensively and he might yet make an impact offensively if he could get regular playing time. For the Angels, he could start in the short-term and then replace Bobby Wilson as Iannetta’s backup later this season. The Nationals probably won’t ever have an expanded role for him if Wilson Ramos remains healthy.

The Nationals, on the other hand, could use another option at second base with Danny Espinosa floundering. Callaspo has played mostly third lately, but he came up as a second baseman and would be a useful stopgap there until Espinosa figures things out. He’d also be valuable insurance in case of another injury to Ryan Zimmerman. The Angels could move Callaspo and still have Maicer Izturis and Mark Trumbo at third base, with prospect Luis Jimenez also capable of stepping in at some point.

So, I think this one would work well for both teams. Who’s with me?

  1. Will Yoder - May 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    The Nationals already have three middle infielders under the age of 27 at the Major League vying for time, why add another? Steve Lombardozzi has been great for Washington so far this season. If anything, they’ll push him into the starting spot ahead of Espinosa.

    • thehoagster07 - May 12, 2012 at 1:12 AM

      The Nats’ issue is that 2 of the 3 MI can’t hit this season. Benching Espinosa won’t help his swing any, but the Nats can’t send him to AAA because they don’t have any other options (until DeRosa gets off the DL, and that is still a terrible option). Acquiring Callaspo lets Nats have the flexibility to send Espinosa to AAA immediately to work on his swing, something they can’t do otherwise because they have no other MI in the system that are ML ready.

      You don’t acquire a guy like Callaspo (or Jesus Flores for that matter) to be a long term starter, but as a stop gap that improves your team over the current version is a good thing.

  2. addisonandsheffield - May 11, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    The return they want for Bourjos is relief pitching. They’re going to ride out their catching woes for 6 weeks or so internally.

    • andreweac - May 11, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      … and how do you know this?

      DiPoto has publicly stated numerous times Bourjos is not available and is not being shopped. Just because Rizzo probably leaked such a ridiculous notion to favored member of the media doesn’t mean it’s true.

  3. kpow55 - May 11, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    And this would make the Angels’ 3b situation / lack of a 3b even worse

  4. juanquixote - May 11, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    While I wouldn’t be against this trade, Yoder is right, Callaspo is no slouch, but help is needed in the outfield, not the middle infield. Espinosa, despite his complete lack of confidence and inability to lay off of a curveball in the dirt, is still in the starting lineup (over Lombardozzi) day in and day out.

    A better trade would be Flores for a better/more experienced broadcast team.

  5. SmackSaw - May 11, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    NO! Callaspo can hit. It won’t be long ’till a line drive tales out Trumbo. The Angels need to deal Trumbo for a couple of stud relievers. They’re all in with Pujols and Morales is producing.

  6. simon94022 - May 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    The Nationals organization is loaded at 2B. No way are they interested in this deal.

  7. hittfamily - May 11, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Vernon Wells will cost ultimately cost the Angels Mike Napoli, 100 million dollars, and Peter Borjous.

    What a disaster.

  8. nvandy42 - May 11, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    The Nats weren’t even willing to give up Drew Storen for Denard Span last year, who is leaps and bounds better than Bourjos. Span is a plus defender and a high .300 give or take leadoff hitter with speed. Bourjos is a plus defender who couldn’t swing his bat out of a paper bag. The Halos should have tried to get something for him last year when people were still fooled….

    • nvandy42 - May 11, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      . “Span is a plus defender and a high .300 give or take leadoff hitter with speed”

      a .300 give or take hitter. not high .300

    • andreweac - May 12, 2012 at 2:32 AM

      You do realize Bourjos WAR total in his rookie season was higher than anything in Span’s career, right?

  9. wlschneider09 - May 11, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Um, no.

  10. razorbyrd - May 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    the Nats have Lombardozzi who can step in at 2nd base if they decide to send Espinosa down… the HR last night was a good sign, let’s see if that was the turning point…

  11. akismet-e6748cca3a16ea6e8283008d25583adc - May 12, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Why would the Nats trade their catcher depth for a backup infielder? Perhaps if they still had Norris in AAA they’d consider this, but right now the only other C on their 40-man is career minor leaguer Maldonado. Not to mention (as others have), if Espinosa is sent down they have the hot-hitting Lombardozzi ready to step in.

    The Nats need outfielders. Any trade should be for an outfielder. If Flores-for-Bourjos isn’t considered equitable maybe we throw in a pitcher prospect as well (we have a couple guys in AA that are throwing pretty well).

  12. rooney24 - May 12, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    If the Nats need an OF, the Angels should offer Wells for nothing other than taking his contract (or even a portion of his contract). It would clear up the glut of players they have and taking even a portion of Wells’ contract away would be a plus. Paying 3/4 of Wells’ contract to be rid of him might be better than paying all of it to keep him for the Angels, and Wells at 1/4 the cost might be a workable situation for the Nats.

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