As Garrett Richards went down with a knee injury last Wednesday in Boston, we here at Halo Hangout discussed the possible solutions for the starting rotation, including external options. Ultimately, it was concluded that none of the starting pitchers who cleared the revocable waivers would realistically be traded this season.
Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that two more starting pitchers cleared waivers: Bartolo Colon of the New York Mets and Scott Feldman of the Houston Astros. Should the Angels continue to explore for another starter, these two would make for far more feasible trade options.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times speculates that Bartolo Colon might be a long shot, with Angels already $50 million dollars away from the $189-million dollar luxury tax threshold for next year, with salary commitments to just 10 players. And despite pitching well, Colon is 41 years old; a fact that undoubtedly would make some suitors out there hesitant to deal for him. He is slated to make 11 million dollars next season, the final year of his two-year contract with the Mets.
Rumors tend to gear towards Colon for a reason. Perhaps they stem from the fact that he won a Cy Young Award with the Halos in 2005. Or perhaps it’s because Colon commands a 3.82 ERA (3.35 FIP, 3.56 xFIP), a 12-10 record, and a 2.3 fWAR that would hypothetically have him ranked as our second best pitcher for the season (Garrett Richards’ 4.4 fWAR would easily be first, but you probably guessed that already).
Scott Feldman isn’t faring quite as well, currently with a 7-10 record and a 4.34 ERA (4.36 FIP, 4.42 xFIP). He also is in the first year of a three-year, 30 million dollar deal. The contract is somewhat manageable, though not looking to be the best bargain in hindsight.
If the Angels were to make a move, it would essentially be a leap of faith based on his past track record fueled by the hopes that a change of scenery-and the motivation of playing for a first place team-could do Feldman well.
Prior to the two being placed on waivers, Peter Gammons reported the Angels were attached to both names, so one might be wondering why they haven’t placed claims on either.
In Colon’s case, placing a claim would do very little for the Angels. They have the best record in the Majors and, because he plays for the Mets, the National League would get precedence over the American League, leaving Angels dead last on the priority list. In fact, claiming him could have only been detrimental, as they would then have only a 48-hour window to strike a deal for Colon or the Mets would be forced to revoke him from waivers.
A bit more interesting is the fact that Angels didn’t put a claim on Feldman. The Houston Astros are in the AL, meaning the Halos unnecessarily risked letting 15 NL teams potentially claim him. The remaining two years on his contract may have been enough of a deterrent for teams (including Angels) to gamble on.
With the August deadline looming, these next few days will certainly be interesting for the Halos.