Most major-league executives believe that little quality starting pitching will be available before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31.
That might change, however, if the Angels stumble on a 12-game trip that begins Monday night and include series against the Mariners, Mets, Marlins and Dodgers.
Just imagine the frenzy among the Yankees, Red Sox and other clubs if the Angels signaled a willingness to move right-hander Jered Weaver.
Any discussion of trading Weaver is premature, according to sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking. One club official says the team is at “a frustration level, not a panic level” – and not close to becoming a seller.
But if the Angels fail to snap out of it, why wouldn’t they entertain offers for Weaver, who is 7-4 with a 2.24 ERA?
General manager Tony Reagins could even move Weaver for a hitter and possibly a lesser starting pitcher and try to win the division with a different kind of club.
The Angels are five games under .500, five out in the AL West. Club officials believe that the team’s offense will not collectively struggle much longer. Manager Mike Scioscia might balk at any attempt at a sell-off.
But there is also is this:
Weaver, earning $7.37 million, is a free agent after the 2012 season. His agent is Scott Boras, who generally prefers his clients to establish their values on the open market.
A team such as the Yankees might part with premium talent to gain control of Weaver for parts of two pennant races. The Angels, meanwhile, are unlikely to contend unless they get more out of veteran hitters such as Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells.
Club officials have discussed the possibility of promoting one of the game’s top prospects, Double A outfielder Mike Trout, sources say. But the Angels lack a spot in their outfield for Trout, who more likely will be a September call-up.
Another issue for the Angels: Bobby Abreu is within 150 plate appearances of guaranteeing his $9 million option for 2012.
Abreu, 37, needs 1,100 plate appearances in 2010 and ’11 to guarantee the option. He is at 950.
-- Ken Rosenthal