The Angels are slipping in the standings, their 1/4 of a billion dollar cleanup hitter looks like he's done and there are some who think we should trade Mike Trout because we do not have enough talent surrounding him in the lineup.
These were all discussions prior to the past few days in which we lost key members of our team for a significant time.
After losing Garrett Richards for a year to Tommy John surgery, our defensive wiz Andrelton Simmons tearing a ligament in his thumb which puts him out for 60 days, while learning that our #2 starter Andrew Heaney also has a tear in his elbow (though he'll try to rehab and not go under the knife)... things are looking pretty bleak for the Angels' 2016 chances.
The fans are frustrated, discouraged, downright testy and are asking "So what now?" Is it time to rebuild and call it a season on May 10th? Is there even a glimmer of hope for a chance at a winning season that also puts the Angels in contention for a playoff spot? What is the long term goal? Can the current roster get a tune up in-season or will it take 3-years to improve through sound drafting and transactions?
Our own resident doctor, Jason Sinner and Angels Junky, Jonathan Northrop answered the AngelsWin.com community with two good takes that may answer your questions.
Dochalo:"You got to get through about 70 to 80 games before you can just close up shop for the year.
Last year, Texas was 43-49 through mid july. 9 games back. In the second half, they had the 10th best offense and the 16th best SP with the 10th best bullpen. Going 45-25. They had some talent, but they weren't exactly spectacular in any one facet of the game. I am not sure we are remotely capable of something like that and frankly I doubt it.
In fact, It would surprise me very much if we are anything close to .500 by the deadline which is game 105 for us. But you've got to spend some time figuring it out.
We have a .419 win pct right now. If we have 30-35 wins and 45-50 losses on July 1, it's time to start making some moves for next year. I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to add payroll for mediocre declining players (my suggestion of Shields was mostly in jest).
I also wouldn't be afraid to start seeing what we might have with several guys in the minors. Cowart, Kubitza, Johnson, Smith, Ortega, Agulera, Bandy, McGowin.
At the deadline, I would trade Joe Smith, CJ Wilson, Salas, Soto and Pennington. You aren't getting much from that crew but a few mid level prospects at best. But at this point you take what you can get to supplement the farm.
You have to also consider the fact that if the team isn't capable of winning with what they have right now then they likely won't be able to next year as well because you aren't really getting your pitching back until mid year at best and we know that there are horrible SP option on the FA market. For that reason, I would definitely consider trading Escboar, Santiago and Street. I would actually consider extending Hector for a couple of years first though. I would not trade Calhoun right now unless I get an offer that absolutely blows me away. If you could get anything for Weaver, I'd consider moving him, but only if he's ok with it. He deserves that. You can't move Pujols. Trout is Trout.
By the time the deadline has come and gone, Cowart would be my 3bman, Johnson my 2bman, Kubitza LF, Bandy/Perez C, Bedrosian Cl, Morin 8th.
FA's for the winter are slim except for the pen which could be bolstered considerably for next year.
I figure that one of Johnson, Kubitza or Cowart will show enough promise to earn a starting gig for next year. There are also a bunch of short term option position players which might actually work out better for our situation anyway."
AngelsJunky: "What now? We party like its 1999. You know, when the Angels sucked year after year, with just tantalizing glimmers of hope and then...wham! 2002.
Seriously though, this franchise is in very deep doo-doo. But it isn't absolutely hopeless. But if I were the Angels I would quietly let go of 2016 and see as a "taking stock" year. Give time to players like Cowart, Kubtiza, Choi, Ortega, Johnson, etc. See if any of these kids take a big step forward. Then, once the trade deadline looms--and assuming the Angels are 10+ games out--start shedding spare parts. Hope CJ comes back and has a few strong starts so is tradeable. See what teams offer for Santiago, Soto, Cron, Escobar, Smith, Street, etc.
2017 won't be that much better, but maybe we'll have a new direction. There simply isn't enough via free agency to fix this team. This past offseason was the time to do that, if they wanted to give it a shot. 90 losses this year might get the Angels a top 5 draft pick. Maybe they have a good draft this year.
I still feel the same way I felt before the year started: Stop worrying about the "Trout Window" and start worrying about building a team that Trout will want to be a part of for the rest of his career.
Oh yeah, we really should stop blaming Scioscia. There's only so much he can do with the mediocre talent on the field."