Trade Deadline: Los Angeles Angels Buyers or Sellers?

Yunel Escobar is one of the most talked about trade targets that other teams are trying to pry away from the Angels. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Yunel Escobar is one of the most talked about trade targets that other teams are trying to pry away from the Angels. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Angels are suffering through their worst season in over 20 years. So as we come to the trading deadline the Angels are in a unfamiliar position: Last place.  So the question now becomes do the Angels buy or sell?

Normally at this time of the season the Angels would be focusing on that one or two players that would put them over the top.  However with the team 19 games out of first and 10 games out of the wildcard the Angels are in a position to sell some of their veteran talent for prospects.

With the MLB trade deadline looming, the Los Angeles Angels are stuck trying to find their light at the end of the tunnel. Stuck, with one question in mind, the million dollar question that’s on every fans mind at this time of the year. “Are we buyers or sellers?”

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The Angels are in a bit of a pickle, coming off a promising 2015 campaign that seen the team go 85-77 finishing just 3 games out of a division title and ultimately finishing third in the standings of the AL West. Led by AL MVP runner-up, Mike Trout, the Angels to say the least, haven’t seen things go their way this year.

With expectations a bit higher entering this year, it’s safe to say they’ve done nothing but simply disappoint. The club currently holds an embarrassing 32-47 record, a record that will go down in the history books for the organization as the 33-45 start of the 1994 “California Angels” is the current comparison.

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In what can be viewed as “dejá vù” to some fans, we can look back on the 2011 season to see glimpses of attempts to turn this franchise into a championship contender. This season ushered in the signings of highly regarded free agents: Albert Pujols, and C.J. Wilson.

5 years later, here we are in 2016. Similarly to the 2011 season, the Angels made a splash on the market early. Swinging deals for both: Yunel Escobar, and Andrelton Simmons. Both, supposedly “key pieces” on the road to success. Escobar who currently boasts a .310 batting average, has been one of the few bright spots early on this year, While Simmons on the other hand, isn’t even worth noting.

However, with the Angels current state, we want answers. It’s frustrating. So with August 1st just around the corner, where do the Halo’s stand? What next, do we go for it? Or is it time to rebuild?

According to Angels general manager, Billy Eppler. Los Angeles has no intent on selling as the plan is to be “competitive” year in and year out. It’s obvious they’re going to ride Mike Trout as long as possible, but who wouldn’t? There’s only one other “Mike Trout” kind of player in the game right now, and it’s his National League counter-mate. His name? Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. But, if you’re going to start the process somewhere, you better believe the name Mike Trout is going to come up. Trout, a career .306 hitter, human highlight reel in center-field, and one of the games most well-rounded players classifying himself as an elite five-tool player and the cornerstone of this franchise offers so much talent, just going down the drain. If the Angels want to rebuild the farm, imagine the return this would reel in.

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On the other hand. The Angels aren’t going to make a block-buster deal anytime soon, they’re certainly not buying. But, now we’ve seen Yunel Escobar’s name come up, attached to both the San Francisco Giants, and New York Mets. So, why get rid of someone who can help the team out NOW and in return get some prospects if you’re looking to go for it, now? And, why trade a guy like Escobar if you’re trying to get younger but not at least listen in on offers for your superstar player? Doesn’t make sense, does it?

The 2016 Los Angeles Angels are no Chicago Cubs, who are clearly buyers as the heavy favorites to win it all this fall, after the additions of: Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, John Lackey, and re-signing of Dexter Fowler. Nor are they the Atlanta Braves, a team in complete rebuild mode and established sellers. They’re in a confusing situation, stuck right in the middle.

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There’s no doubt the Angels are at a crucial and pivotal point for the future of this ball club. And it’s obvious that the “competitive year in and out” isn’t the answer, it’s either you go for it, or you don’t. There is no middle ground. So maybe the front-office doesn’t even know what the next move is? But, if they want to see this club thrive again then its time they make up their minds.

Your move, Mr. Eppler.