The Oakland Athletics picked up a new player Sunday. And they may add another by Tuesday. But don't expect the Angels to cover those moves with trades of their own.
"You have to make sure you tend your own garden," General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. "Don't worry about what they're doing. Do what you know will help our team get better."
The A's, who began Sunday tied with the Angels for first place in the American League West, acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Texas Rangers for cash considerations before the game. And they've claimed Tampa shortstop Yunel Escobar on revocable waivers, leaving them until Tuesday to work out a deal with the Rays.
The deals won't dramatically alter the A's roster and, in fact, the trade for Soto comes in anticipation of John Jaso's move to the seven-day concussion disabled list. Soto, the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year, missed 110 games this season to knee surgery and a groin injury. He is hitting .237 in 38 plate appearances and batted .245 in 184 plate appearances last year.
Dipoto said picking up a journeyman catcher like Soto is possible in August, but it's far more difficult to fill the kinds of needs the Angels after injuries knocked pitchers Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs out for the rest of the season.
"The chance of picking up a difference-maker without greatly changing the financial landscape of your team, it's not that common," Dipoto said. "It's a tough thing."
The Angels have made one move in the last week, picking up infielder Gordon Beckham from the Chicago White Sox. And if they make no more, Manager Mike Scioscia says they'll be fine.
"I really like our team," he said. "I know that Jerry's proactive on continuing to try to improve it. And although we're thin in a couple of areas, we have a good team. And we need to focus on what we can do.
"Other teams are going to continue to improve. I don't think that's our concern. Our concern is getting our club where we need it to be and continue to move forward. We've never put a lot of stock into worrying about other teams. I don't think we're going to start now."