As the reality of Garrett Richards' season-ending knee injury set in Thursday, so did this reality: the
They can make a trade, to be sure. But the relevant question for the Angels is this: Can they trade for a better pitcher than journeyman Wade LeBlanc, and would the price be worth what might be a minimal upgrade?
Elite pitchers generally are not traded in August, when players must be made available on waivers in advance of any deal. The complete list of starting pitchers traded or moved on a waiver claim this month:
The Dodgers twice acquired Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux in August. Maddux was 40 the first time, 42 the second time. The Dodgers also acquired
In order to fill Richards' spot in the rotation, the Angels could consider two
Colon, 41, is owed $12.5 million through 2015. Niese, 27, is owed $18 million through 2016.
The Mets could let Colon go on waivers, sticking the Angels with the entire $12.5-million bill. Of course, since every other team knows the Angels need a starter, all it would take is one team to claim him and block the Angels from getting him. The
However, if the Mets or any other team decided to engage in discussions about trading a pitcher, the Angels' perilously thin farm system could become an issue. The Angels traded five of their better prospects -- from a system already ranked as the worst in baseball -- to acquire relievers