Just one week ago, the Los Angeles Angels were aggressive buyers and it felt justifiable. They were just three games back of the final Wild Card spot and had been playing good baseball. With new additions coming and the injured players returning sometime down the stretch, the Halos seemed poised to at the very least play meaningful baseball.
The whole point of the Angels buying was to show Shohei Ohtani they could win. Even if they didn't end up squeaking into the playoffs, you felt that if they gave him some meaningful baseball in September in Anaheim he might actually consider staying put long term. Vibes were good among a large contingent of Angels fans as the team felt like it had a legitimate shot at its first playoff berth since 2014.
Fast forward a week later, and it feels like the Angels buying was already the wrong decision. They're losers of six straight since the deadline including being swept at Angel Stadium in a four-game series against the Mariners for the first time in 18 years. The Angels are now 10.5 games back in the AL West and seven games back of the final Wild Card spot. It's really eight games back with Toronto holding the tiebreaker.
LA Angels long losing streak since the trade deadline proves buying was likely the wrong decision
The Angels are in a massive pickle now. They're being given a 2.1% chance to make the playoffs by FanGraphs, way lower odds the 14.8% chance they had on the day of the deadline and the 22.7% chance they had when they made the trade to acquire Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez.
Things don't get any easier for this struggling team with them not facing a team with a sub-.500 record until the end of the month when they go to Citi Field. For an Angels team that has consistently struggled to beat opponents with records above .500, that's not ideal.
Furthermore, while players like Mike Trout, Logan O'Hoppe, and Zach Neto will be returning, their returns aren't imminent. The Angels could be 10+ games out of a playoff spot by the time those guys actually do return.
The Angels took a chance to try win in 2023. They traded some of their best prospects in exchange for rentals who can walk out the door in just a couple of months. It'll obviously be crushing if Lucas Giolito leaves for nothing after the Angels traded their top prospect to land him.
The Angels could've gotten a haul to really improve what's ranked as one of the league's worst farm systems if they decided to sell and trade Shohei Ohtani, but instead, they made the system even worse only for the team to collapse right after doing it.
The Angels can still turn things around and potentially play some meaningful baseball games, but it's going to have to start right now. Find a way to win series against good teams.